Water ballast tank coatings

Water Ballast Tank Coatings

IMO PSPC for the global marine coatings market

Water ballast tanks (WBT) constitute the single largest surface area on a vessel, more than 50% of the total coated surface for merchant vessels. Block stage during new-build is one of the few occasions, if not the only time, during the lifetime of the vessel to install the right coating system and make sure it is applied correctly.

Therefore, it is imperative that the applied WBT coating system delivers high performance standards in service, facilitates quality of application, and offers productivity to the shipyard.

The layer of WBT coating that sits between the steel and the seawater for as long as the lifetime of the vessel is specified at 320 microns dry-film thickness is only as much as two sheets of printer paper. Two-component epoxy coatings are the main products used today.

It takes expertise and a proven track record to formulate heavy-duty epoxy coatings that successfully meet the above requirements. PPG’s track record with epoxy technology started in the 1960s leading the way with unique in-house expertise in engineering the amine adducts of the cure agents.

The pictures below show an example of a WBT coating with our unique epoxy technology after >20 years in service.

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PPG’s WBT coating system >20 years in service and in excellent condition. Please note that the images show patches of mud residue on the tank surfaces.


From July 2008, the IMO Performance Standards for Protective Coating (PSPC) regulation came into force and from this the requirement for certification of WBT coating systems on various shop primers. PPG is again leading the way and the first vessel delivered under the PSPC regulation has the PPG SIGMAPRIME® coating in the WBT. This vessel was surveyed 5 years later with the WBT in excellent condition.

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First IMO PSPC certified vessel launched globally, showing the excellent in-service condition of the SIGMAPRIME coating in the WBT


More than 50 years’ experience and an unrivaled track record means that we offer a range of universal epoxy WBT coating systems with reliable and proven performance on more than 100 million m2, including these class-leading products:

  • PPG SIGMACOVER 380 tailored for yard standards in China
  • PPG SIGMAPRIME 700 tailored for yard standards in Korea
  • PPG SIGMAPRIME 800 tailored for yards in Korea with >80% volume solid requirement


PPG SIGMACOVER 380 is a universal PSPC-approved anticorrosive epoxy primer/coating specifically designed to meet yard high productivity requirements and providing long term service life protection.



The PPG SIGMAPRIME range is a unique set of multipurpose anticorrosives designed to suit modern shipyard building practices by simplifying and speeding up the coatings process, and providing long-term performance in service.

PPG SIGMAPRIME® 700: Mariloula

PPG SIGMAPRIME® 700: Mariloula

The PPGSIGMAPRIME 700 universal primer was applied to the Mariloula bulk carrier, the first vessel built under the IMO PSPC rules. The PPG SIGMAPRIME 700 primer is specially designed to provide excellent and long-lasting cracking resistance, even after multiple immersion and temperature cycles. It is not only an ideal choice for the harsh water ballast area but also a coating solution that reduces complexity during the new-building period.

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