Whitford, EMEC team up for coatings testing

Coatings manufacturer Whitford is working with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to test various high-performance coatings within the harsh oceanic conditions in Orkney.

The long-term project will analyse existing and developmental coating products to assess their suitability for applications within the marine renewables industry, as well as for other offshore industries such as offshore wind, and oil and gas.

For the initial stages of the project, Whitford has been testing coated panels and bolts in Stromness Harbour. The panels are therefore subject to a range of wet and dry conditions as the test pieces are submerged in line with the ebb and flow of the tide, according to EMEC.

Gareth Berry, Renewable Energy Manager at Whitford, said: “With some of the harshest wave and tidal conditions in the world, EMEC provides the perfect location in which to test the performance of Whitford’s coatings in dynamic and volatile environments.

“We’ll be exposing the coatings at different locations and for different periods of time to assess their durability. The pier provides an easily accessible location which can be easily reached and regularly monitored for the initial stages of this project.”

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director, added: “Effective coatings are vital to ensure wave and tidal energy devices survive and continue to work whilst at sea. Through our experience we have seen how unprotected materials suffer and how effective protection makes marine energy possible.”

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