Coatings Laboratory Capabilities

RAE Engineering and Inspection Ltd. offers a full service laboratory, providing comprehensive services in coating performance evaluation, failure analysis, physical testing, chemical analysis, field testing, and QC/QA. When you use RAE Engineering and Inspection Ltd. laboratory services you are assured of the highest quality, integrity, and excellence in service.

Coating Performance Evaluation Based on Established Testing Standards

RAE Engineering and Inspection Ltd. performs a wide range of industry standard test methods, including ASTM, CSA, SSPC, NACE, AWWA, and SAE standards. Some commonly conducted standards include: CSA Z245.20 (epoxy pipeline coatings), NACE TM0185 (autoclave testing of tank linings), ASTM D5894 (cyclic QUV/salt fog testing for accelerated weathering), NACE TM0174 (immersion test and Atlas cell test), ASTM G8/G95 (cathodic disbondment of coatings), and ASTM D4060 (wear by Taber abrasion).

Measures of Performance

Coatings are subjected to actual or simulated industrial process conditions, after which they are evaluated for performance. Measures of performance include adhesion, pull-off adhesion, coating impedance (for barrier properties), cathodic disbondment, blistering, cracking, under creep, swelling, rust through, change in color, and change in gloss. Coatings are also evaluated for physical attributes such as flexibility, impact resistance, hardness, and foam content.

Custom Test Methods

When standard test methods are not available to meet customer needs, RAE Engineering and Inspection Ltd. adapts existing methods or develops new ones.

Autoclave Test Facility

RAE Engineering and Inspection Ltd. autoclave test facility enables coating performance to be determined in aggressive process fluids up to 175°C and 1500 psig, depending upon the process fluid. Hastelloy C construction enables the use of hydrogen sulfide gases and brines. A common application is evaluation of tank linings under simulated oil and gas production conditions, ie. evaluation of resistance to oil, water, and sour gas at the temperatures and pressures characteristic of the oil field.

AC Electrochemical Techniques

Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) is a state-of-the-art laboratory method used by RAE Engineering and Inspection Ltd. for evaluating the level of protectiveness provided by coatings in industrial applications. Protective coatings with a low permeability to corrosive fluids are observed to have a very high electrical resistance. The electrical resistance is referred to as impedance when measured with AC (alternating current) methods. The impedance of a coating is observed to decrease as the coating deteriorates. The general laboratory practice is to measure the impedance of a coating as a function of time during exposure to a real or simulated process environment. The protectiveness of the coating and the extent of deterioration can be assessed from the impedance data. See our info sheet on this topic.

DC Electrochemical Techniques

DC Electrochemical Polarization is an established procedure for evaluating the corrosion behavior of metallic alloys and coatings. Instantaneous corrosion rate, pitting tendency, passivation tendency, and corrosion mechanisms can be determined rapidly under simulated process environments.


Coatings are examined under a high power microscope to identify contaminants, coating structure, multiple coats, foam cells, fillers, and other features to better understand coating performance, integrity, and failure.

Physical and Chemical Measurements

Specific gravity, density, viscosity, and other physical parameters can be determined for coating liquids for product data sheets or as part of a QA/QC program. Chemical analyses include identification and fingerprinting of coating liquid components and solid films by FTIR. Glass transitions, cure, and other physical-chemical properties can be determined by thermal analysis. The rate of cure under various environmental conditions can be assessed. Other materials such as blast media, cleaning materials, and metal surface can be analyzed to determine if they meet specification.

Accelerated Weathering and Thermal Cycling

These include thermal cycling, QUV exposure, salt fog, controlled humidity, and wet/dry cycling. Coating performance at holidays and scribes can also be evaluated.


Cathodic Disbondment Test for pipe coatings. CSA Z245.20


Autoclave test facility. NACE TM0185


Wear and Erosion

The resistance of coatings to wear and erosion is evaluated using procedures such as Taber abrasion (ASTM D4060) and Slurry Erosion (ASTM G6).


ASTM G6 Slurry Abrasion wear test


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