Polyflake Coatings Protect Against Chemical, Mechanical and Galvanic Corrosion

October 22, 2018

Yachting Journal

  • Courtesy E4Power.
  • Courtesy E4Power
  • Courtesy E4Power
  • Courtesy E4Power.

  • Courtesy E4Power

  • Courtesy E4Power

After several Trinity megayachts experienced degradation of aluminum materials in the sea chest and exhaust piping, Capt. Dirk Sachse looked for a new solution versus cutting out the exhaust and replacing.

“There were various theories out there, including galvanic corrosion” said Capt. Sachse, master of M/Y Themis, a 156-Trinity.

“We did our own metallurgical tests and it was all 5083, 5086 good quality pipe, just as specified on the drawings. It was verified good stuff, but prone to breaking down under a certain temperature.”

Capt. Sache needed to replace the large engine dump, port and starboard, dividing the wet exhaust from dry exhaust dumps. He considered installing straight pipe, but began pondering coatings.

“Applying Polyflake creates a plastic tube within an aluminum tube,” he said, continuing, “This is not ceramic that lifts and keeps peeling. I figure what can it hurt? It’s described as a five-year product with a 20-year life. It has been used extensively in the commercial market throughout Europe.”

The Polyflake coating resins system protects the base metal from alkali and acids on the full range of Ph variations found in a gas scrubber system, in the temperature range where more expensive metal alloys may fail for pitting. Originally developed for restoration of damaged and corroded equipment, pumps and heat exchangers, and submerged hull, piping, decks and tanks requiring corrosion protection, the verified operational life, in continuous seawater service, exceeds 25 years without degradation of the performance, according to Gianfranco Lucignani, Polyflake’s vice president of business development.

Apply Polyflake to a rough grind profile
A critical phase to the success of Polyflake coating is proper primer with an abrasive profile; a rough grind allows the base product to bite on. High voltage instruments test for minimal porosity on the coating.

While selecting metal alloys as more resistant to either acid or to alkali, facing all conditions simultaneously is problematic, as temperature plays an important role in pitting corrosion.

One unique property of Polyflake, according to Capt. Sachse, is Polyflake has the same coefficient of expansion as the aluminum.

“It could be the same for fiberglass, I don’t know,” said Capt. Sachse. “As aluminum heats up, it shrinks and expands. Polyflake does, too, but ceramic Polymer doesn’t.”

Capt. Sachse applied Polyflake to all main engine exhausts, generator exhausts, sea chests and any point where seawater where was injected, mixed with saltwater and discharged. He did not resurface valve flanges, no machining of contacting faces was required for Polycoat application.

“We have increased the lifespan of these valves and just did the bilge area,” said Capt. Sachse, adding “ABS was all for it.”

He is also considering Polycoating the chain locker and lazzarette, and other difficult to maintain areas prone to corrosion.

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