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Mechanical IntegrityNDENews

Fun Fact Friday: NACE Coatings Inspections

By June 19, 2020No Comments3 min read

Recently, we talked about some of the different types of mechanical integrity inspections that are available, and what they can be used for.

NACE CIP (Coatings Inspector Program) inspections are used to examine protective coatings.  This ensures that the equipment being coated is prepared correctly and the coatings are applied as per the manufactures specifications to maximize the life and effectiveness of the coating system. Structures that may require coating inspection include tanks, piping, vessels, towers, and bridges.

NACE CIP Inspections

The NACE CIP is recognized for its comprehensive testing methods.  Certification includes Levels 1, 2, and 3, as well as specialties such as the nuclear, bridge, and marine industries. Each level covers additional topics, beginning with non-destructive inspections of liquid coatings applied by brush, roller, or spray to steel surfaces at Level 1.  In Level 2, the scope of inspections expands to include liquid and non-liquid coatings to any substrate in a shop setting.  Level 3 inspectors have expert knowledge of all Level 1 and 2 competencies, and often review or supervise the work of lower level inspectors in both shop and field settings.  Nuclear, bridge, and marine specialties can be obtained by inspectors of any level.

What a NACE Coating Inspector Does

So, what does a coating inspector actually do?  Their role includes monitoring the conditions where a coating, such as paint, is to be applied, and suggest appropriate coating types which will protect the structure from harsh corrosive environments.  They can also assess and recommend surface preparation methods.  The inspector will check to be sure the coating was correctly prepared, applied and the manufacturers specifications were followed.  They can also use both destructive and non-destructive testing methods to test that the coating was applied at the appropriate thickness and that it had achieved the necessary adhesive strength.

NACE inspectors look at the coatings on water tanks, refineries, pipelines, military installations, nuclear power and natural gas plants, wastewater treatment plants, shipyard and marine structures, bridges, and other structures.  Coatings are applied to things you can and cannot see – even tanks or pipes buried underground need to be coated to protect against corrosion.  Correct application of appropriate coatings on underground structures may be considered even more vital than those above-ground, as they are more difficult and costly to inspect and correct, and problems may take longer to notice.

The Importance Of Coatings Inspections

Coatings are vital to the safety and integrity of the structures they protect.  Corrosion of various materials can lead to equipment failures, plant downtime, lost revenue, and even injury or death.  Certified inspectors are familiar with the standards applied to each coating, and with the factors that contribute to a successful coating application, such as humidity, temperature, applied thickness and proper surface preparation.  In addition, pre- and post-coating inspections, provide a quality record which can be referenced later.

If you have any questions, or would like a quote on NACE coatings inspections or any other mechanical integrity services, call Keith Taylor, Director of Mechanical Integrity Services at 716.592.3980, ext. 143, or email him at