Shipping plays an important role in the logistic chain. These a worthiness of ships transporting goods world wide is therefore crucial. One element defining these a worthiness of a ship is the condition of her ballast tanks. These tanks are an area of concern for ship owners and crew. They are subject to corrosion; and due to the enclosed environment and complex structure, maintenance is very difficult and costly. This paper gives the results of an “insitu” study of ballast tanks on board of more than 150 merchant ships. No selection criteria were applied from the start and the ships were surveyed as opportunity arose. Most of the ships are worldwide trading and the age varies between brand new and 36years. Figure 1 gives a good idea of the age distribution. Many types of ships are represented in the database amongst others 10oil tankers, 14 liquefied gas carrier, 25 chemical tankers, 28 bulk carriers, 23 full containers carriers, 5 general cargoes, 9 RoRo’s, 8 refrigerated ships. Surface corrosion was assessed, compared and the importance of condition and environmental parameters during coating application recognized. The paper also reveals the significant difference between the average corrosion regression line of the data base and the coating condition in the ballast tanks on board ships to where the operator invested in a superior coating system at new building, with extra attention to surface preparation and coating application. The need to reduce the environmental impact of shipping becomes more and more obvious. Blasting with shot and grit, vast amounts of water used for water jetting and rinsing, surface cleaning and high solvent coatings jeopardize our future generations. Luckily, there duction of the environmental impact has beneficial economic consequences a sit brings down significantly maintenance costs.

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