Wipe on wipe off

Claire Steel, Director, and Founder of CeraShield discusses the journey to a proven and certified ceramic removal process

As a company, CeraShield prides itself on having led the Ceramic Coating market for the past seven years, but the last remaining big doubt and question we often hear from captains, shipyards and paint companies alike, is regarding the removal of Ceramic coatings and cross contamination between ceramic and new paint.

In the past there have been problems with the removal of ceramics prior to repainting, this comes with many ceramic applicators offering no documentation on what has been applied and to which areas. This causes huge headaches for yards and paint applicators often leading to costly consequences.

CeraShield, after a thorough market research project selected Optimiza, an independent reputable laboratory, to research into the removal of ceramic coatings and to establish a proven system to certify the removal of a ceramic coatings.

CeraShieldCEO of Optimiza, Alejandro Expositio comments, “CeraShield is a market leader in Ceramic removals and applications. The R&D projects commissioned by CeraShield included the study of the different ceramic in the market, applications, accelerated aging test, high performance chemical and physical tests to understand the behaviour of the ceramic coating on surfaces with topcoat and identify the best procedure to verify and qualify an efficient removal process prior to sanding.”

Expositio continues, “The removal process of CeraShield consists of using the removal gel which has been tested in the laboratory. We tested the removal gel to make sure that there would be no damage to the top coat during the removal. They apply several applications of the gel to the surface. After a number of accelerated and analytical tests it was concluded that ceramic coatings can be fully and properly removed prior to sanding a painted surface.

“During the research several panels were prepared and tested in the laboratory. We were looking for a reliable test that could be carried out on site, without taking a destructive test, to check if a ceramic was still present.”

“Several techniques have been used in the laboratory to identify ceramics and ensure removal, like GC-MS, SEM/EDX, ToF SimS, contact angle analyzer and FT-IR-ATR. We found a way to correlate the results of the laboratory using a specific FT-IR-ATR spectroscope on the field directly connected to the laboratory database to identify the removal of ceramic products on site by nondestructive means.”

“The evaluation protocol consists of leaving a little reference area without applying the removal gel and mapping the complete surface to be sanded and painted with several measurement spots. The comparison of the reference area with the on-site measurements spots and the on-line real time connection with the laboratory data base indicates those areas where the ceramic is fully removed or the removal gel needs to be reapplied until a full removal is guaranteed.”

In conclusion, the ability to verify, and certify the ceramic removal objectively, is a big step forward in the industry. It means owners, management companies, shipyards and captains can make quick decisions and may have the information in real time, without the need to cut painted surfaces by destructive means and send to a laboratory and wait 2 weeks for the results. The on-site NDT testing has been successfully used during the past refit season in more than eight large superyacht paint refit projects in the Mediterranean shipyards.

Do you have ceramic onboard? Get in touch.

For more details: Tel:+34 620 393 033 or visit www.cerashield.net