New class standards issued for tanker steel

22 Dec 2010
Class NK standards covering corrosion resistant steels for oil cargo tanks are expected to encourage the use of these materials to save coatings costs

Class NK standards covering corrosion resistant steels for oil cargo tanks are expected to encourage the use of these materials to save coatings costs

Japanese classification society ClassNK says that it has developed, and now released, the first set of standards for the application of corrosion resistant steels to cargo tanks of oil tankers.

The new Guidelines on Corrosion Resistant Steel for COT are claimed to be the first to lay out clear requirements for the application of the new steels, the use of which was approved by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) earlier in 2010.

Class NK says that growing volumes of crude oil carried at sea has led to rising concerns over pollution, and the last decade has brought tremendous changes to the building and survey requirements for oil tankers. Along with the shift towards enhanced survey programmes, double hulls, and ballast tank coatings, Class NK’s recent efforts have focused on establishing corrosion prevention measures for the cargo tanks of oil tankers.

Amendments to the SOLAS convention requiring such corrosion prevention measures were adopted at the MSC in May 2010, and from January 1, 2013 corrosion resistance measures will need to be applied to the cargo oil tanks of all crude oil tankers. Along with coatings, MSC recognised corrosion resistant steel as an acceptable corrosion resistance measure, and adopted new performance standards with the amendments to SOLAS.

Japanese steel makers have developed corrosion resistant steel specifically for this application, as a lower-cost alternative to applying, maintaining and re-applying coatings. Adoption of this type of steel has been held back through the absence of clear standards for its use. ClassNK’s new guidelines describe the procedures for application of the new steel in detail, including area of application, construction work and inspection procedures during construction, including the requirements for type approval of corrosion resistant steels based on the amendments to SOLAS.

The new guidelines are available via the ClassNK web site.

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