DIGICOAT: Digital Data-Driven Evaluation of Coatings in the Maritime Industry.
Spain – Portugal
The general objective of DIGICOAT experiment is to work on an improved way of evaluating coatings for all actors involved in the protective coatings sector (asset owners, manufacturers of critical assets, paint inspectors and/or paint manufacturers) through the use of an online evaluation application during coating surveys.
From a single non-destructive measurement with specialised equipment this innovative evaluation app will analyse the coating spectra/data through AI technologies (allowing quantitative assessments instead of the current qualitative evaluation) and providing the user with a report of the real coating condition (recently installed or already in use), predicting its future behaviour and remaining lifetime, and advising whether or not to undergo maintenance activities.
In this respect, the global objective during the experiment is focused in the optimization of the AI predictive algorithms for spectrum data analysis obtained with digital evaluation techniques (Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy or EIS and Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy or FTIR)
One of the most important problems affecting a metal surrounded by an aggressive medium (such as the marine environment) is corrosion that promotes the degradation of the constituent metal, causing a reduction in structural resistance and service life of a ship, marine structure or critical active. Organic protective coatings are accepted as the most efficient methods for corrosion control from cost / performance point of view. Those coatings are commonly constituted by polymeric materials, pigments, filler and additives.
Unfortunately , failures are produced in organic coatings either at the initial coating installation or during their service life, and it is essential that inspections are carried out in order to detect and correct these defects or deficiencies in the protective layer of the asset for safety reasons (ensure its structural integrity and functionality), for cost-efficiency reasons and for the possible environmental impact of catastrophic failures ( boats inking, spill of polluting products, etc…).
The need for preventive maintenance capable of detecting any small anomaly in the coating before it is detectable by current inspection methods will present a considerable reduction in maintenance costs and the downtime costs of unplanned repairs.
DIGICOAT experiment main goal is to work on an improved, innovative and an efficient application that allows all actors involved in the protective coatings value chain to use an online evaluation app during coating surveys. In order to achieve this goal, DIGICOAT experiment is divided in 4 main activities: Data collection, algorithm optimization and integration; APP & Cloud design and development; System integration and validation and Exploitation, dissemination and coordination.
This general objective has been fully achieved, as the innovative evaluation app (DIGICOAT) is able to analyse the coating spectra/data obtained (from NDT measurement on laboratory or at site during installation or coating evaluation) through AI technologies, allowing quantitative assessments (instead of the traditional cualitative evaluation) and providing the users with a report of the real coating condition (recently installed or already in use), predicting its future behaviour and remaining lifetime, and advising whether or not to undergo maintenance activities.
Impact of the experiment
DIGICOAT web app is an online Coating NDTs data management system able to provide a complete solution to the different players in Coating Inspection value chain.
DIGICOAT allows to store, manage, compare and analyse NDTs data from coating inspection manually (for expert users) or automatically, reducing complexity analysis and minimizing evaluation time.
The NDT evaluation solution provides added value (in terms of easing evaluation process) to all actors involved in coating service life.
The impact so far is medium. However, the expectation is for the impact to grow as the dissemination plan is executed beyond the experiment duration and the potential users are aware of the existence of this tool.
The communication plan will go beyond the experiment duration and will include publishing in forums and level conferences, identification of partial and global results, along with its futures exploitation and potential markets, which include:
- attendance at national and international fairs, conferences and exhibitions,
- sales promotions among possible users from the coating value chain,
- advertising in digital media through promotion videos, banners in corrosion and/or coatings web pages,
- Google positioning and SEO,
- interactive marketing techniques like visits to coating manufactures, shipowners and shipyards,
- direct mailing actions,
- publications in corrosion/coatings technological magazines.