The ship was brought into dry dock and washed down using high pressure water jetting methods. SCA Marine Ltd then supplied and fitted monoflex sheeted containment to the required enclosure standards set and approved by BAE, and Jack Tighe Ltd began the surface preparation of various areas of the outer bottom using a combination of UHP jetting and abrasive blast cleaning using Scangrit Grade 5 abrasive to achieve a standard of SA2½. This work was carried out by a team of 4 ICATS blaster and/or UHP accredited operatives under the supervision of an ICATS supervisor. Company owned grit recovery vacuum units and sealed skips were used to clean away the expended abrasive.
Once the preparation stage had been completed, our operatives and management pulled off the job to allow BAE Systems to carry out essential repairs to appendages. Once repairs were complete our team of ICATS Sprayer accredited personnel applied the coating system, supplied by International Paints, using Graco extreme airless spray units. For this part of the ship the specification called for a spot coat of Intershield 300 Aluminium to all bare steel to achieve a dft of 125 microns, followed by a spot coat of Intershield Bronze to the same thickness and another spot coat of Intersleek 737 Pink to achieve a dft of 100 microns. Finally a full coat of Intersleek 1100SR Red was applied to a dft of 150 microns.
The painting specification to the boot top called for touch-up coats to all bare steel of Intershield 300 Aluminium and Interzone 954 Black, in both cases to achieve a dft of 125 microns. Thereafter a full coat of Intersleek Rapid was applied at a dft of 150 microns and this final coat was also applied to the underwater hull markings.
Other areas which were painted during the works included the cofferdam tank and areas of the external decks. For the former we used mechanical preparation methods to prepare the 5% breakdown area to a standard of ST2, followed by a 100% abrade of the tank and thorough clean to remove any contaminants prior to paint application. The coatings system involved a touch-up coat followed by a full coat of International 5000.
The specification for the external decks called for a 100% blast clean to SA2½ and application of full coats of Intergard 5000 and Intershield 851 non-skid coatings. Some works were carried out on the vessel's superstructure, involving the same coatings as the external decks except application of a non-skid coating.
Plant and equipment used on this vessel included compressors, blast pots, UHP machines, diesel bowsers, spray pumps, clean air packs, a fork lift truck and several cherry pickers. QA equipment included a 319 Elcometer and a 456 Elcometer, and dry and wet film thickness gauges.
The bulk of the works were carried out during 2 distinct one week periods including weekend working to ensure the programme was achieved. Access to the works was via cherry pickers, using MEWP accredited personnel. All works were overseen by the on-site Nebosh accredited Health & Safety Officer and our Site Manager and his QA Engineer, both of whom hold NACE Level 3 Paint Inspector accreditations, A full quality plan, incorporating hold points, was prepared and handed over to the client at the successful conclusion of the works which were signed off.