OGN: Paints, coatings catching up with developments in O and G

Paints and Coatings Emerging Trends in the oil and gas industry

The paints and coatings industry is a crucial sector that provides coating and finishes to numerous industries, including oil and gas, buildings and automobile.

The industry is currently witnessing many developments to enhance and improve the overall efficiency and outlook of its supplies, and one of the most significant developments is in products for the oil and gas industry.

The advancements in paints and coatings industry are intended to address the particular difficulties and demands of this industry, including corrosion prevention, high-temperature resistance, the development of micro cracks on the surface, and environmental concerns, among others.

Some of these developments include:

Advanced corrosion protection coatings

Corrosion is a significant challenge in the oil and gas industry due to exposure to harsh environments.

Such situations require advanced coatings with improved corrosion protection properties, such as high-performance epoxy and polyurethane coatings.

These coatings provide enhanced corrosion, abrasion, and chemical resistance, ensuring asset durability and longevity.

Ain addition to major producers, such as AkzoNobel, PPG Industries and Hempel, various technology centres and institutions are also actively involved in the development of these coatings.

For example, in 2020, the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) in Aberdeen, UK, successfully tested an advanced anti-corrosion coating on two North Sea offshore platforms.

High-temperature resistant coatings

Oil and gas equipment, such as pipelines and refineries, frequently operate at high temperatures.

To protect these surfaces, specialized heat-resistant coatings that can withstand extreme heat have been developed.

These coatings are intended to maintain their integrity and provide insulation, thereby preventing structural damage and ensuring operational safety.

The commonly used high-temperature resistant coatings are epoxy and vinyl polymers.

Due to their higher level of danger during application, vinyl ester-based coatings have been losing popularity in the oil and gas sector.

Thermal insulation coatings

In certain applications, thermal insulation coatings are used to minimise heat transfer and reduce energy consumption. These coatings serve as a barrier, preventing heat gain or loss from reaching machinery and infrastructure, and help reduce costs and conserve energy by increasing thermal efficiency.

The oil and gas industry is said to save a significant amount of money by using these coatings.

For instance, Sinopec estimates that their Nansulate™ thermal insulation coating solution will enable them to save over $500,000 over the course of six years.

Anti-fouling coatings

Offshore structures, including oil rigs and platforms, are prone to fouling brought on by the development of marine organisms.

Anti-fouling coatings have been developed to prevent the attachment of organisms and reduce the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance. These coatings minimise downtime and extend the lifespan of offshore structures.

The offshore oil and gas industry recently received the copper coat-commercial antifouling coating from producers like Aquarius Marine Coatings (AMC).

To guard the pipe and the infrastructure against microorganisms, they use high concentrations of copper, a natural antimicrobial agent.

Nanotechnology-based coatings

Nanotechnology has had quite an extensive impact on various industries, including paints and coatings, and has resulted in the development of coatings with improved properties in the oil and gas industry.

For example, nanocomposite coatings outperform traditional coatings in terms of corrosion resistance, hardness, and barrier properties.

Furthermore, they help improve the wear properties of the surface, which is commonly used in bushings, seals and gaskets, sleeves, etc.

One of the most important fields of application for nanoparticles is enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which provides more oil during the extraction process, resulting in a faster return on investment.

Various nanotechnology techniques are being investigated here, with the use of nano-robots for real-time insight into the well-pad appearing to be the most promising.

These tiny robots can deliver vital information to operators to improve drilling operations, such as dynamically adjusting additive mixtures or operating pressure.

Digitalisation and monitoring

The combination of digitalisation and coatings technology has resulted in the development of smart coatings capable of monitoring corrosion or structural integrity in real time.

These coatings include sensors or indicators that detect changes in the coating’s condition, allowing for proactive maintenance and timely intervention.

Aside from these trends, businesses are focusing on producing environment-friendly coatings.

With an increased emphasis on environment and sustainability, the paints and coatings industry has made strides in developing environment-friendly solutions for the oil and gas segment.

This includes low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) coatings, which reduce the release of harmful emissions during application and provide workers with safer working environments.

Keeping sustainability in mind, companies are experimenting with different manufacturing techniques to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the carbon footprint.

The mass-balance approach is one of the most important techniques used by businesses. In the mass-balance approach, companies use some bio-based resources, such as bio-naphtha or bio-methane derived from organic waste, crops or vegetable oils, or recycled products, as feedstocks in the very first steps of the chemical manufacturing process with fossil fuels to produce sustainable products.

As regulations become more stringent across regions in the coming years, it is expected that various advanced coatings to evolve, with a primary focus on sustainability and the reduction of carbon footprint in their products.

Lifecycle assessment (LCA) will be an important aspect of products in the future.

Small ceramics and small metal particles could also be added to improve the surface’s scratch, wear, and UV resistance, among other properties.

It is anticipated that there will be significant product offerings in the nanotechnology coating segment for pipes, vessels, housing, and so on.

Corrosion under insulation and fireproofing are also anticipated to be major driving forces in the coating industry. The ease of application and quick drying would gain popularity in order to reduce downtime and revenue loss.

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This article was originally published in Oil and Gas News, written by Nasid Ismayil, Associate Consultant at ChemBizR.

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