Preparation of Protective Coating Specifications for Atmospheric Service
A Joint Protective Coating Specifications by SSPC and NACE
This SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)/NACE International (NACE) report represents a consensus of those individual members who have reviewed this document, its scope, and provisions. Its acceptance does not in any respect preclude anyone, whether he has adopted the report or not, from manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, or using products, processes, or procedures not in conformance with this report. Nothing contained in this SSPC/NACE report is to be construed as granting any right, by implication or otherwise, to manufacture, sell, or use in connection with any method, apparatus, or product covered by Letters Patent, or as indemnifying or protecting anyone against liability for infringement of Letters Patent. This report should in no way be interpreted as a restriction on the use of better procedures or materials. Neither is this report intended to apply in all cases relating to the subject. Unpredictable circumstances may negate the usefulness of this report in specific instances. SSPC and NACE assume no responsibility for the interpretation or use of this report by other parties.
Users of this SSPC/NACE report are responsible for reviewing appropriate health, safety, environmental, and regulatory documents and for determining their applicability in relation to this report prior to its use. This SSPC/NACE report may not necessarily address all potential health and safety problems or environmental hazards associated with the use of materials, equipment, and/or operations detailed or referred to within this report. Users of this SSPC/NACE report are also responsible for establishing appropriate health, safety, and environmental protection practices, in consultation with appropriate regulatory authorities if necessary, to achieve compliance with any existing applicable regulatory requirements prior to the use of this report.
CAUTIONARY NOTICE: The user is cautioned to obtain the latest edition of this report. SSPC/NACE reports are subject to periodic review, and may be revised or withdrawn at any time without prior notice. SSPC and NACE require that action be taken to reaffirm, revise, or withdraw this report no later than ten years from the date of initial publication.
Approved December 2000 ©2000, SSPC and NACE International NOTICE TO THE READER: The SSPC and NACE releases of this publication contain identical wording in the same sequence. Publication format may differ.
The purpose of this SSPC/NACE technical committee report is to describe current practices for the preparation of a protective coating specification for atmospheric service. It provides a general description of a specification, as well as a review of the contents of a specification; the typical selection of protective coatings; and the establishment of job and inspection requirements. Format and writing style are stressed. There is also discussion of commercial aspects of the work that have not typically been contained in the technical specification. This report is intended for facility owners, engineering/erection contractors, in-plant protective coating specialists, inspectors, and others responsible for protective coating work.
This joint technical committee report was prepared by the SSPC/NACE Task Group 004 on Coating Specifications. This joint task group is administered by NACE Specific Technology Group (STG) 80 on Intersociety Joint Coatings Activities. It is also sponsored by STG 03 on Protective Coatings and Linings – Immersion/Buried. This report is published by SSPC and by NACE under the auspices of STG 80.
Definition of a Specification
A coating specification is a document that details the mandatory technical requirements of work involving the use of protective coatings. It includes requirements for the quality of materials to be used during a protective coating application and the work to be accomplished. The general objective of the coating specification is to ensure that the owner or purchaser receives the finished work product that is desired. This is accomplished by providing a detailed definition of work to be done in a well-designed specification.
Without a well-designed protective coating specification, problems such as unrealistic bidding, disputes of specific requirements, inappropriate materials or workmanship, delays in completing the work, costly change orders, and increased costs, are likely to occur. Specifications are concise and specific, and contain essential information and requirements.
There are several objectives for preparing a protective coating specification. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- To obtain specific protective coating products or their equals;
- To assure quality materials and workmanship;
- To determine inspection requirements;
- To assure timely completion of work;
- To avoid disputes;
- To obtain reasonable costs that reflect the specification requirements;
- To avoid costly change orders and claims;
- To meet safety, environmental, and regulatory requirements of the protective coating operation; and
- To assure suitable coating systems are applied to the correct equipment.
General Specification Characteristics
The following topics are frequently included in the first part of a protective coatings specification, not necessarily in the order as discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
Scope of Work: A summary is used at the beginning of a specification to state the scope and purpose of the work. It provides general information and not specific items that are described elsewhere in other specifications. A title is sometimes adequate for this purpose.
Reference Section: The reference section lists all documents to be used in conjunction with the specification. No reference is made to standards or technical specifications that are not part of the specification requirements. Generally, only one standard method is referenced for each requirement, although alternative methods are often available. These documents might include, but are not limited to, those of AISC,(1) ASTM,(2) AWS,(3) AWWA,(4) ISO,(5) SSPC, NACE, ACI,(6) ICRI,(7) PDCA,(8) and coating manufacturers’ materials safety data sheets (MSDS) and product data sheets.
(1) American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), 1 E Wacker Drive, Suite 3100, Chicago, IL 60601-2001.
(2) American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM), 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.
(3) American Welding Society Inc. (AWS), 550 N W Le Jeune Road, Miami, FL 33126.
(4) American Water Works Association (AWWA), 6666 W Quincy Avenue, Denver, CO 80235.
(5) International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Case Postale 56, Geneva CH-1211, Switzerland.
(6) American Concrete Institute (ACI), P.O. Box 9094, Farmington Hills, MI 48333.
(7) International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), 1323 Shepard Drive, Suite D, Sterling, VA 21064.
(8) Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), 3913 Old Lee Highway, Suite 33B, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Definition Section: Terms that could be subject to interpretation are defined in this section.
Submittals Section: Documents or samples to be supplied by the coating contractor are normally specified in this section. These might include the following:
Samples of coatings to be used; Draw-down films of these coatings; Coated reference panels; Certificates of conformance or performance; Manufacturer’s product data sheets and appli
cation instructions; Material safety data sheets; Contractor’s projected schedule or work plan; Contractor certification (such as SSPC1, 2, 3 or equivalent) Contractor’s QC program and procedures; and Contractor’s inspector training and certification.
The submittals are usually kept to a minimum and are not always utilized unless specified by the owner or purchaser in order to accomplish the work.
Quality Assurance Section: This section details all items deemed necessary for quality assurance. This can include requesting qualifications of the contractor and his personnel, certification of the contractor and personnel, and field sampling. It frequently includes a SSPC-TR 4/NACE 80200 December, 2000 proposed inspection plan as a submittal, because the contractor might be responsible for inspection as well as for quality of the work. Normally, the contractor is also responsible for meeting all applicable regulations as well as the owner’s working rules and safety standards.
Pre-job Visit and Conference: Many specifications require a job site visit and conference to review work procedures and standards.
Delivery, Storage, Handling, and Disposal Section: Detailed in this section are requirements concerning delivery, storage, and handling of products to be used. Collection, storage, and disposal of waste materials and abrasive debris are also detailed.
Site Conditions Section: Conditions at the job site that can affect the work are defined in this section or in other contract documents. These conditions can include utility availability, safety, environmental, and personnel considerations. Any potentially hazardous materials or operations are normally noted. Failure to note site conditions in the specification can result in costly change orders.
Resolution of Conflicts: A procedure for resolving conflicts in the specification, references, or product manufacturer’s instructions is normally stated.
This portion of the specification defines the requirements practice to provide the coating contractor with a choice by for protective coating products to be employed in the work. specifying two or more products. Protective coating products can be specified by brand name, performance criteria, or qualified products list. All protective coatings in a single system are usually When specific brand names are listed, it is common supplied by the same manufacturer. Color requirements are typically specified in this section.
The execution section details surface preparation and application of protective coatings. Surface preparation is a vital factor in achieving long-term durability of the coat-ing system. Surface preparation is defined by industry standards and can include hand/power tool cleaning, abrasive blasting, and hydroblasting, among others, or a combination of different techniques. If an abrasive is used, the owner generally specifies the type. However, depth of anchor pattern is usually specified in the coating manufacturer’s data sheets. The owner also specifies any limiting conditions such as requirements for dust, debris, and overspray control, limiting schedules for abrasive blast cleaning or coating application, and any other limitations affecting the work.
The protective coating systems to be used for carbon steel piping, vessels, tankage, or other equipment exposed to the atmosphere are typically specified, along with the level of surface preparation, coating material, number of coats, dry film thickness, and finish color. Other protective coating systems for use under insulation or fireproofing, at elevated equipment operating temperatures, for safety identification, below grade, or water, and other environments or situations are also specified. Protective coating systems are frequently listed in tabular form within or at the end of the specification.
At times, the owner specifies that hot-dip galvanizing be substituted for protective coating systems, especially for hand rails, stairs, ladders, safety cages, or other structures. As appropriate, galvanizing is sometimes specified for beams and columns. The standards that are to be used for galvanizing applications are usually included in the reference section of the specification and can include ASTM A 1234 and ASTM A 780.5
The limitations on weather or other conditions that might adversely affect the work are normally defined by the owner in the specification or other contract documents. Such limitations can include temperature, humidity, and wind. When limits defined vary from those recommended by the coating manufacturer, the contractor is typically responsible for resolving this problem with the owner.
Purchased equipment, such as vessels, pumps, rotating machinery, valves, and other equipment items are sometimes specified to be prime coated in the shop prior to field delivery. Repair and topcoat systems are included in the specification in the event such prime-coated equip-ment is damaged and/or requires topcoat in the field.
This section also includes those materials the owner does not want coated, unless otherwise specified, such as:
- Stainless steel
- Galvanized steel
- Nonferrous metals
- Thermal insulation jacketing or covering
Shielding or masking is frequently required by the owner to protect sensitive equipment, such as electronic equipment, gauge glasses, valve stems, machined surfaces, equipment identification labels, lighting fixtures, compressors, pumps, electric motors, or other equipment, from abrasive debris and dust and from overspray.
When repairs are required, the contractor typically prepares a repair procedure that can contain surface preparation, type and number of coats, and application techniques. This normally includes purchased equipment. These repair procedures are submitted to the owner for approval.
Owner inspection requirements are normally defined in this section. This has been accomplished by referencing accepted industry quality criteria test methods as available from SSPC, NACE, ASTM, or others. Based on these requirements, the contractor submits the inspection plan discussed previously, and informs the owner when particular inspection points are reached and available. Inspectors are typically certified by the NACE Coating Inspector Certification Program or equivalent. It is usually specified that the owner’s inspector has full access to all work.
Owners frequently request participation of the owner’s inspector in specific areas of coating application including but not limited to:
- Coating contractor’s record keeping – SSPC’s The Inspection of Coatings and Linings6 and the NACE Coating Inspector’s Logbook7 contain information and forms for accurate and precise record keeping.
- Environmental conditions – such as temperature, humidity, wind, direct sunlight, rain, or other environmental conditions during storage of coating materials, surface preparation, application, and curing.
- Surface preparation – cleaning equipment, operation of equipment, degree of cleaning, and anchor pattern, if specified.
- Application – storage of materials, mixing, application equipment, application, wet film thickness, dry-film thickness, and appearance.
- Acceptance testing – appearance, hardness, cure, adhesion, holiday inspection, or others.
In accordance with these concerns, the owner often establishes and lists the inspection hold points, if any, as part of the specification.
A specific format for preparing specifications for coating work facilitates the logical and systematic presentation of all requirements and other items. This makes it easier for the specification writer to prepare and for the bidder to understand and find specific requirements, so that he or she can prepare a realistic bid.
Writing style for the presentation of information is also a consideration. Either the imperative manner of describing requirements (“Abrasive blast all steel surfaces . . .”) or the passive manner (“All steel surfaces shall be abrasive blasted . . .”) is normally used, but one method is typically used throughout the entire document. In either case, all descriptions are normally as clear and concise as possible. Complex wording and lengthy sentences that adversely affect clarity are avoided. Terminology commonly employed by the coatings industry is used. Terminology that is not universally understood, or is subject to interpretation, is defined.
Conventionally, each requirement is stated in the appropriate section of the specification and stated only there. If stated more than once, each description might be slightly different from the other, and thus the desired requirement might be susceptible to different interpretations. This is especially true of standards referenced in the reference section. For example, if SSPC-PA 18 is a referenced standard, the requirements therein are typically not inserted into the specification.
In describing work requirements, a description of the desired product is frequently provided rather than instructions on how to achieve it. For example, a specification would normally state, “Abrasive blast to an SSPC-SP 10/NACE No. 2,”9 rather than describe the pressure at the nozzle, distance from the nozzle to the surface being blasted, or other requirements. The latter is vague and the result can be less than satisfactory.
For comparison, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)(9) provides a systematic and stylized format for preparation of specifications. CSI has published details of a specification format frequently used by the civil/ architectural industry and most U.S. governmental agencies. This format divides construction work into sixteen basic divisions according to different construction trades. Protective coatings are located in Division 9. Each division is divided into three basic parts: (1) General, (2) Products, and (3) Execution. The CSI format for use during the preparation of a coating specification is shown in Appendix A. There might be other organizations that provide these services.
Other Contracting Documents
The conventional protective coating technical specification defines the work to be accomplished during protective coating system application. Typical technical specifications do not include nontechnical or commercial items, such as:
- Coating contractor bidding slate or invitation to bid;
- Coating contractor selection procedures;
- Contracting routes;
- Pre-bid meeting and site inspection (included in the invitation to bid);
- Bonus/penalty plans, warranties, or guarantees; and
- Commercial bid review procedures.
These items are usually not the responsibility of the technical expert preparing the protective coating specification. They are the concern of others in the owner’s organization or the general engineering contractor organization who are specialists in the area of commercial and overall project planning and execution, as well as health, safety, and environmental issues. These individuals can contact those responsible for the technical specifications to ensure items such as prebid conferences and reviews of technical proposals from contractors are included in the overall bid package.
1. 2. SSPC-QP 1 (latest revision), “Standard Procedure for Evaluating Painting Contractors (Field Application to Complex Industrial Structures)” (Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC). SSPC-QP 2 (latest Revision), “Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualifications of Painting Contractors to Remove Hazardous Paint” (Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC). Galvanized Coatings” (West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM). 6. “The Inspection of Coatings and Linings” (Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC, 2003). 7. “NACE Coating Inspector’s Logbook” (3rd ed.,) Houston, TX: NACE, 1996).
3. 4. 5. SSPC-QP 3 (latest revision), “Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualifications of Shop Painting Contractors” (Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC). ASTM A 123/ASTM A123M (latest revision), Standard Specification for Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coatings on Iron and Steel Products” (West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM). ASTM A 780 (latest revision), “Standard Practice for Repair of Damaged and Uncoated Areas of Hot-Dip 8. SSPC-PA 1 (latest revision), “Shop, Field and Maintenance Painting” (Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC). 9. SSPC-SP 10/NACE No. 2 (latest revision), “Near-White Blast Cleaning” (Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC and Houston, TX: NACE). 10. Section Format: A Recommended Format for Construction Specifications Sections, 1997 ed. (Alexandria, VA: CSI, 1997), p. 6.
(9) Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), 99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Drisko, R.W. “Reviewing and Preparing Inspection Documents.” In The Inspection of Coatings and Linings. Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC, 2003.
Munger, C.G. Corrosion Prevention by Protective Coatings. Houston, TX: NACE, 1984.
NACE Publication 6D161 (withdrawn). “Specification Format for Surface Preparation and Material Application For Industrial Maintenance Painting.” Houston, TX: NACE, 1961.
NACE Publication 6J162 (withdrawn). “Guide to the Preparation of Contracts and Specifications for the Application of Protective Coatings.” Houston, TX: NACE, 1962.
Reddi, S.V. “Structure Better Engineering Specs.” Hydrocarbon Processing 7 (1997): pp. 121-125.
Rosen, Harold J. Construction Specifications Writing. 4th ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
Szokolik, Alex. “The Making of a Qualified Specification Writer.” Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings 13, 4 (1996): pp. 64-71.
Weaver, P.E. Industrial Maintenance Painting. Houston, TX: NACE, 1981.
SSPC-TR 4/NACE 80200 December, 2000
APPENDIX A: CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS INSTITUTE (CSI) SECTION FORMAT OUTLINE OF A TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION10,(A)
PART 1: GENERAL PART 2: PRODUCTS PART 3: EXECUTION
SUMMARY MANUFACTURERS INSTALLERS
Section Includes EXISTING PRODUCTS EXAMINATION
Products Supplied but Not Installed MATERIALS Site Verification of Conditions
Under This Section MANUFACTURED UNITS PREPARATION
Products Installed but Not Supplied Under This Section Related Sections Allowances Unit Prices Measurement Procedures Payment Procedures Alternates REFERENCES DEFINITIONS SYSTEM DESCRIPTION Design Requirements, Performance Requirements SUBMITTALS Product Data Shop Drawings Samples Quality Assurance/Control Submittals Design Data, Test Reports, Certificates, Manufacturers’ Instructions, EQUIPMENT COMPONENTS ACCESSORIES MIXES FABRICATION Shop Assembly Fabrication Tolerances FINISHES Shop Priming, Shop Finishing SOURCE QUALITY CONTROL Tests, Inspection Verification of Performance Protection Surface Preparation ERECTION INSTALLATION APPLICATION CONSTRUCTION Special Techniques Interface with Other Work Sequences of Operation Site Tolerances REPAIR/RESTORATION RE-INSTALLATION FIELD QUALITY CONTROL Site Tests, Inspection Manufacturers’ Field Services ADJUSTING CLEANING DEMONSTRATION PROTECTION SCHEDULES
Manufacturers’ Field Reports,
DELIVERY, STORAGE, AND
Packing, Shipping, Handling, and
Acceptance at Site
Storage and Protection
Waste Management and Disposal PROJECT/SITE(B) CONDITIONS
(A) Reprinted with permission from the CSI.
(B) Project Conditions is the preferred term in the U.S. Site Conditions (for protective coating) is the preferred term in Canada.