Reliability and durability are critical for steel structures that are exposed to environmental attack, particularly those situated close to the coast or off-shore (marine environments). It is therefore vital that the protective coating applied can provide protection from the elements. ISO 12944 Standards are in place to help coating applicators determine an appropriate coating system that will deliver the level of protection for specific client requirements.

What is ISO 12944?

ISO 12944 is a set of instructions and recommendations for the types of paints and coatings that can be applied in the protection of steel structures. The extent to which the steel structure is exposed to corrosive conditions determines the level of protection required and the paint or coating system that is recommended for use. Other factors such as design, joints, welds and sharp edges are also taken into account within the body of the standard which is in 9 parts:

  1. General Introduction
  2. Classification of Environments
  3. Design Considerations
  4. Types of Surface and Surface Preparation
  5. Protective Paint Systems
  6. Laboratory Performance Test Methods
  7. Execution and Supervision of Paint/Coating Application Works
  8. Development of Specifications
  9. Protective Paint Systems and Laboratory Performance Test Methods for Offshore and Related Structures


Most Recent Changes

In 2018/2019, the ISO standard was revised and clause 9 (listed above) was introduced. Alongside this, the corrosion categories, C1 – C5 (very low to very high) were also revised and a new category of CX was added relating specifically to offshore structures. In addition, a 25+ years durability classification was developed to correspond to a new immersion category, Im4.

Laboratory Performance Tests

All paint and coating systems for C4 and above environments are now required to undergo cyclic testing. These procedures are designed to speed up the ageing of specific paint and coating systems in line with the naturally accelerated corrosive conditions the protective coatings will be exposed to when in-situ, so that assurances can be provided on the effectiveness of the paint or coating system proposed.

ISO 12944 also recommends that paint and coating systems proposed for use in marine and offshore environments are exposed to ‘real-world’ environmental conditions over an extended period of time. Systems are exposed to conditions such as Sun Light (UV), Moisture, Sea Water Spray, and Wind Chills. Testing is undertaken by authorised laboratories according to specific environments (Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands; Sanary, France; Florida, USA). Testing includes 72 hours accelerated UV exposure, 72 hours of neutral salt spray exposure, and 24 hours of state low temperature testing at -20oC. This methodology is repeated for 25 cycles (4,200 hours) to ensure only the most durable paint and coating systems remain.

Northpoint’s ISO 12944 Coating Systems

Northpoint’s expert team provides marine grade powder coating solutions that can be designed to provide reliable anti-corrosion protection in all of the corrosion classifications from C1 to C5-M, including CX. At our facility in Dukinfield, Northpoint utilises coating systems from Azko Nobel, International Paints, Jotun, Hempel, Axalta, BS Coatings and more. Coating durability and longevity is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific needs of each client, and can be provided with a life expectancy of between 5 and 25 plus years.

All of Northpoint’s Polyester based anti-corrosion coating systems meet the general requirements of BS EN 13438:2005 & BS 1722 – 16:2009. A dedicated coating facility combined with experienced, trained staff and exceptional customer service have positioned Northpoint as a leader in the industry and a supplier of choice for many leading multinationals.

Want to know more about marine grade powder coating? Contact Northpoint today!