Independent verification of coating system performance can be based on laboratory testing and/or field exposure. Qualification testing is a critical component to coating system selection. This article focuses on performance evaluations that are used to prequalify coating systems, namely, facility-specific, industry-specific, coating-type-specific, or a combination of these. It describes the standard laboratory tests used to generate performance data, namely, physical, compositional, chemical exposure, and application characteristics tests. The pros and cons of using manufacturer-generated data versus independently generated data are discussed. The article provides information on accelerated corrosion/weathering testing and nuclear level 1/level 2 service coatings qualification. It also describes the procedures for establishing minimum performance requirements and for determining when requalification testing may be required.
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