How to repair coating flaws quickly and consistently using the ElcoPatch

When testing the porosity of protective coatings on pipelines, ballast tanks and other structures in the field, once a flaw has been located and marked, it needs to be repaired.

Current methods for repairing or patching coatings in the field can vary wildly, and are not always the most consistent from repair-to-repair. As a result, the quality of the repair can vary, and if the repairs being made aren’t consistent, how can you be sure you’ve adequately repaired every flaw? Not to mention that these methods can also be very wasteful, using up a lot more coating than is actually required. Wouldn’t it be better if there was a single, efficient, easily repeatable method for repairing coating flaws that resulted in consistent, reliable repairs?

This is where the ElcoPatch comes in – using patented technology it provides an efficient, consistent method for repairing coating flaws, ensuring a uniform coating thickness every time, so you can patch flaws quickly and accurately, using just the amount of coating you need.

Ideal for repairing flaws of up to around 8mm (0.3inch) in diameter, just slightly larger than the ElcoPatch’s injection port; the ElcoPatch kit comes with everything you need to patch your coating flaws - all you need is the coating you wish to apply inside a repair cartridge. You can see a couple of different brands here we are using as an example, but as long the coating is stored in this way, it should work with the ElcoPatch, regardless of brand.

With your flaw marked, if working on a ferrous substrate place the provided magnetic abrasion ring around the flaw. Alternatively use the provided adhesive abrasion ring when working on non-ferrous substrates or concrete for example. Then abrade the surface in preparation for the coating, using the provided abrasion tool. The abrasion tool comes with replaceable abrasive pads, so when the abrasive pad wears out, you can simply swap it with a new one.

Abrade the area inside the magnetic abrasion ring to either your job specification, coating manufacturer’s recommendations, or any relevant standards. As the internal diameter of the placement ring is the same as the compartment area of the ElcoPatch, you need to ensure you abrade the entire area inside the ring, so you can provide an adequate surface profile for the repair coating to adhere to.

Once the surface has been abraded, remove the magnetic placement ring, and remove any debris from the area using the wipes provided.

Now it’s time to apply the ElcoPatch. Remove the adhesive backing, and stick it firmly to the surface, ensuring the area you have abraded lines up with the ElcoPatch compartment. With the ElcoPatch firmly applied, you are now ready to insert your coating using the manual coating dispenser and mixing nozzle provided.

In colder climates, you can use the ElcoPatch 165 heater pouch to preheat the coating to 50°C (112°F) to improve the coating flow, making it easier to apply.

To assemble the manual coating dispenser, push the spring loaded tab at the back of the main body up, and then insert the push bar fully into the body - then release the tab. Next you can insert your repair cartridge into the front of the dispenser. If you’re using a coating which requires a two-to-one mix, such as the one we are using here for example, make sure the compartment sizes line-up with the sizes of the push bar correctly.

Then add the mixing nozzle onto the end of the repair cartridge, and then pump the trigger of the dispenser. As you do this, you will see the coating enter the mixing nozzle, mix, and then come out of the end of the nozzle.

Point the nozzle upwards and press the trigger to force any trapped air out of the mixer nozzle. Once the coating reaches the end of the nozzle, complete a test line to ensure the coating has mixed properly and free of any defects.

Once the coating has been suitably mixed, wipe away any excess, and you are now ready to insert the coating into the ElcoPatch.

Insert the mixing nozzle into the injection port, and press the dispenser trigger to inject the coating into the patch. Continue to do this until the coating flows out of the four coating overflow holes. This ensures there is no trapped air inside the ElcoPatch. Wipe away any excess coating, and then leave to cure for the coating manufacturer’s recommended duration. As you can see here we have used a contrasting colour to the coating on the substrate, so it’s easy to tell the difference between the repaired area, and the original coating.

Once the cure time has elapsed, and the coating has dried, using the pull ring at the top carefully peel the ElcoPatch away from the substrate, and you are left with your repaired coating. Simply repeat this process as many times as you need to, ensuring all of your coating repairs are consistent and efficient.