What’s The Best Signage Solution For Your Subsea Equipment?
23 August 2018 – No Comments
Clear long-term identification of subsea equipment is essential to aid diver and ROV programs whether these be scheduled maintenance and inspection or further exploration or hook-up projects.
Being able to identify specific equipment, locations and status enhances safety by ensuring the information provided at surface from historical data etc. is correct before any intervention work is started.
For more information about our subsea markers please contact our team.
Permanent Markings Options
The three most common marking systems are
- Aquasign® is a unique oil-exuding silicone that is guaranteed to deliver 60 years anti-fouling performance. Originally developed by Shell using the inspiration of fish skin this clever silicone prevents the very first stages of fouling from attaching ensuring long term performance.
- Flame cutting is a thermos-chemical process whereby immense heat and pure oxygen is used to cut through the metal plates to create the characters required. Thinner materials tend to be plasma or laser cut which still produce the characters by melting, burning or vapouring the metal which can result in warping or tarnishing depending on the application.
- Waterjet cutting uses ultra-high-water pressures to carry an abrasive to produce the characters required into the metal plates. This cold cutting process removes the thermal stress that is caused during flame or plasma cutting which can lead to potential damage such as surface hardening and warping.
Flame/Waterjet cut plates are then protected with an anti-corrosive and anti-fouling paint scheme – typically the same as that of the equipment they are there to identify. One of the draw backs of this process can be the lack of character definition, or colour contrast.
At AQUASIGN we often produce robust waterjet cut nameplates complete with black backing panels to improve the clarity of the characters. These backing panels can be provided a separate kit item or supplied pre-bonded for ease of application.
Flame or waterjet cut letters are a very common method for ROV panels or through the addition of a supporting plate attached to the equipment. The use of carbon or stainless steel ensures a robust solution and the manufacturing method can sometimes be completed by the manufacturer of the equipment in-house. Typical lead-time may be 4-6 weeks due to coating processes.
Aquasign® being a silicone-based material is less damage tolerant however this can be elevated through encapsulation the markers within a tough polycarbonate frame, learn more in our Shield your Subsea Asset blog. Typical lead-time may be as little as 5 days for manufacture.
The long-term visibility and maintenance of Flame or waterjet type of signage is based on the anti-fouling coating applied (manufacturers guarantees). These can vary from 5-10+years and dependant on the environmental conditions specific to the equipment location. Damage to the coating can create anchor points for marine growth to attach and the inside of the characters on such nameplates is the most common. Marine growth build-up on the nameplates therefore needs to be cleaned off prior to any work being undertaken. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, which depending on the depth and type of fouling attachment can again potentially damage the surface.
They key advantage to the Aquasign® material is that marine growth will not attach to the surface, removing the need to clean and ensures equipment is identified throughout the life span of the project. Guarantee antifouling performance for standard version of Aquasign® is 60 years.
Polycarbonate/silicone markers are a light weight alternative to steel and both marking specifications are pressure tested and for deep-water use.
Polycarbonate/silicone markers are often a more cost-effective solution for subsea marking than flame or waterjet type of signage particularly when process subcontracted out.
For more information or to enquire about our subsea signage please contact our team.