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Removing Subjectivity from Paint Inspection

Paul King
January 25, 2020
fitz coatings paint inspection specialists

We are delighted to welcome a new client, Fitz Coatings.

Fitz Coatings asked us to carry out a detailed technical study, to explore the idea of a bespoke inspection app to supplement their existing reference guides for paint inspectors.

About Fitz Coatings

Fitz Coatings provide specialist advice for the protective coatings industry for the offshore and marine industries. They are best known for their world-renowned reference books; Fitz’s Atlas of Coating Surveys, and Fitz’s Atlas of Coating Defects.

They also provide expert witnesses for legal disputes involving protective coatings. Disputes sometimes arise between a business owner and a company responsible for paint application or paint surveying. In these cases, Fitz Coatings might be called as an expert witness to resolve the dispute.

The Problem

Paint inspection and surveying is highly subjective

If you asked two surveyors to carry out a protective coatings survey on the same ship, they are likely to give you two different reports. In the case of a legal dispute, this type of subjectivity may cause issues.

Visual Corrosion

Visual corrosion is a critical part of a protective coatings survey.  A breakdown in the paint can lead to rust, which can subsequently damage the hull of a ship, for example. So surveyors must give an accurate analysis of corrosion and other defects.

When carrying out a protective coatings survey looking at visual corrosion, surveyors face a few challenges, and this is where uncertainty arises.

Rust Coverage

You might think you could estimate rust coverage, but it’s a lot harder than it looks. The surveyed areas may not be flat or symmetrical. The inside of a ship often has rivets and beams, so it can be challenging to break the area down and give an accurate percentage.

rust classification

Once a surveyor has identified an area of rust, they must classify the rust using the appropriate rust scale. Rust classifications are another area where subjectivity can creep into the survey report.

There are several rust scales including ISO Rust Scale ISO 4628-3:2016, the European Rust Scale, or the IACS Marine Scale with varying ranges and classifications. A surveyor must use their best judgement to identify which one best matches the affected area.

Removing Subjectivity

Fitz’s Atlas of Coating Surveys aims to remove subjectivity to allow surveyors to carry out surveys accurately. The guide takes surveyors through the necessary steps required to carry out a report using industry best practices.

The team at Flow Software Solutions will explore how to transform the printed guide into a digital tool.

Exciting possibilities on the horizon!

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