MPI 500 Series

Fueling Your Relationship with the Navy

The new MPI 500 series standards specify coatings approved for Navy fuel related assets

Fueling Your Relationship with the Navy

The new MPI 500 series standards specify coatings approved for Navy fuel related assets.

What are the new 500 series standards?

The MPI 500 series is a coating system with standards for protecting interior carbon-steel fuel tanks and auxiliary handling equipment used for the transportation and storage of fuels, coating for protecting welded fuel tank interior structures, and steel sheet piling and other steel waterfront structures.

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The MPI 500 Series Coating Standards:

Coatings for use on Naval Facilities

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Why were the 500 series created?

NAVFAC (Naval Facilities Engineering Command) contracted with MPI services to establish product standards for interior carbon-steel fuel pipes, interior welded fuel tanks, exterior steel systems, and waterfront steel structures. The new MPI 500 Series Standards are for use in numerous aspects of work involving specialized Department of Defense (DoD) Petroleum, Oils, and Lubricants (POL) facilities as well as shoreline structures and construction. Currently the MPI 500 series encompasses four systems and six standards.

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What does performance testing for the 500 series include?

Knife test: We verify adhesion by measuring the coating system’s resistance to a cutting force using a tried-and-true field test.

Reverse impact test: We measure the lining’s ability to maintain integrity and adhesion if the exterior of the tank gets dented. The uncoated side of the test panel gets hammered, and we check the coated side for cracking or any other loss of adhesion greater than 15 mm in diameter.

Fuel and water resistance: We immerse test panels for 21 days in glass jars containing a mix of JP-8 fuel and distilled water, and then check for blisters, darkening, or any indication of loss of adhesion (like softening).

Color: The difference in color between the primer and the topcoat helps the inspector verify the coating’s coverage, which is far more crucial with linings for immersion service than paints for atmospheric service. In the 500 Series, the 500 primer is generally yellow while the 501 topcoat is generally an off-white. A required delta E of 10 or more between the two coatings means that the contrast should be easily visible to the naked eye for in-the-field application; any sections not visually distinct like this can indicate a thinness of the topcoat or otherwise incomplete coverage.

Immersion Testing: Coated panels are submerged in various fuel/water mixtures at an elevated temperature for 180 days to simulate extreme usage condition. The panels are evaluated at 90 and 180 days for visual defects including discoloration, cracking, and blistering.

Freeze-Thaw Stability: Coated panels are exposed to a 30-day cycle of freeze/thaw that includes 16 hours at a frigid -30°C followed by 4 hours at a blistering 50°C. After 30 days, the panels are evaluated for adhesion and softening.

Accelerated Weathering: Coated panels are tested for 5000 hours according to ASTM D5894, varying between a UV/condensation chamber and a salt fog/dry chamber. Panels are evaluated for rusting and blistering every 1000 hours up to 4000 hours without scraping, and with scraping at the final 5000 hour mark to evaluate undercutting. Pictures are taken at each testing point.

What assets do the 500 series cover?

Interior Carbon Steel Tanks and Fuel Handling Equipment – MPI 500/501

The MPI 500/501 series categories comprise a primer and topcoat system with standards that are for protecting interior carbon-steel fuel tanks and auxiliary handling equipment used for the transportation and storage of fuels. This new commercial standard is based upon the MIL-PRF-4556, “Coating Kit, Epoxy, for Interior of Steel Fuel Tanks”.

Welded Steel Fuel Tank Interiors – MPI 505

This specification originated from UFGS 09 97 13.15 Feb 2015 and comprises a two-component Polysulfide Modified Epoxy Novolac coating for protecting welded steel petroleum fuel tank interior structures. This new commercial standard is a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content product that is lead and chromate free.

Steel Piling and Waterfront Structures – MPI 510

This specification originated from UFGS 09 97 13.15 Feb 2015 and comprises a two-component modified epoxy coating for protecting new or existing steel sheet piling and other steel waterfront structures. This new commercial standard is for a zero-Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content, self-priming, splash zone coating.

Steel Piling and Waterfront Structures (Non-Zinc) – MPI 515/516

MPI 515 and 516 categories comprise standards for a coating system originally outlined in the specification “UFGS 09 97 13.27 Feb 2016.” This system is comprised of a two-component non-zinc flexible epoxy barrier coating with a two-component fluoropolyurethane topcoat for protecting new or existing steel sheet piling and other steel waterfront structures. This new commercial standard is a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content product that is lead and chromate free.

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