Coating, Weathering & Corrosion Protection

Field of Work

The "Coating, Weathering and Corrosion Protection" division of the Fraunhofer IGP is concerned with the development of automated coating applications, including underwater applications, the field and laboratory ageing of coating materials, and the quantitative assessment of corrosion processes in the maritime and offshore sectors.

© Fraunhofer IGP
© Fraunhofer IGP

In the accredited test laboratory of the Fraunhofer IGP, materials, compounds and coating systems are tested and qualified under standardised conditions. In addition, new test methods are developed and used for special applications.


In the field of corrosion protection and artificial ageing, the IGP focuses on the development and qualification of novel corrosion protection systems with improved properties and the determination of ageing effects.

Project overview

Ship Hull cleaning by ROVs

Realisability of hull cleaning in combination with water treatment

Biofouling on ship hulls leads to significantly increased fuel consumption and the introduction of invasive species into alien aquatic habitats. Stricter environmental and safety regulations combined with economic factors make the regular mechanised underwater cleaning of hulls attractive. The aim of this project is to investigate the feasibility of an ROV-based cleaning solution including downstream wastewater treatment according to the highest ecological standards. For this purpose, versatile technical challenges for a development are identified and illuminated. The project work shows that with the implementation, a possibility for the greening of shipping can be created and a new market for maritime service providers will emerge.

SOT-Underwater coating

Corrosion protection of maritime structures through coating systems

Coatings provide maritime structures with effective protection against corrosion. Damage to the anti-corrosion coating can already occur during transport and installation of the equipment, but also in the course of its long service life. In the Underwater Maintenance research project, Fraunhofer IGP is therefore developing a smart solution for repairing coating damage to maritime structures as part of the Smart Ocean Technologies research group. What is currently implemented by the use of divers is to be mechanised in the future by underwater vehicles (ROV). The technology is based on a coating process for underwater application that has been qualified in laboratory tests. The subsequent connection of the developed application technology to corresponding vehicles will make repair work more efficient and safer.

Corrosion protection of offshore wind turbines through coating systems

OWSplus - Development of a pre-laying technology for the automated corrosion protection of floating multi-purpose platforms

Extreme atmospheric and high mechanical loads characterise the requirements for coating systems in the offshore sector. Steel structures used there are particularly susceptible to corrosion damage in the area of the edges and weld seams due to the edge alignment that occurs. In order to protect the steel structure, an additional layer is currently applied by hand (pre-laying process). This pre-laying process is very time-consuming and cost-intensive, which means that a high savings potential can be derived from the possibility of automation. Furthermore, the implementation of an optical inline layer thickness measurement for quality assurance is being investigated. Within the scope of the research project, the automation potentials will be worked out and implemented in real trials on mock-up structures.


Development of film coating systems and their Application techniques for corrosion protection of offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines are constantly exposed to wind, water and salt. The protection of the steel structures is ensured by high-performance coating systems. The application of these liquid coating materials is associated with enormous effort due to environmental conditions and quality monitoring in the coating process. With the development of a film coating system, the requirements for the technical hall equipment can be significantly reduced. For example, a ventilation system and explosion-proof areas can be dispensed with. The development of an automated application system is planned. In combination with the film coating system, the need for quality monitoring is significantly reduced. In addition, fewer employees are working in the hazardous areas.



  • Selection and optimisation of coating systems and processes for structural steel and offshore applications.
  • Development and testing of automated application technology for large structures
  • Development of smart coatings with function and sensor integration
  • Development of ROV-supported coating technology in the underwater sector.


  • Accelerated laboratory ageing in an accredited testing laboratory
  • Offshore testing (ISO 12944-9)
  • Salt spray/condensation testing
  • UV/condensation test
  • Xenon testing
  • Development of test methods for combined mechanical and media stresses for special applications
  • Combined test methods for large components as well as joining and assembly processes in a climatic chamber (-50°C...+60°C)

Corrosion protection

  • Evaluation of the corrosion protection effect of coating systems as well as on complex structures and mechanically joined joints
  • Determination of corrosivity categories in the field and derivation of necessary corrosion protection measures
  • Use of electrochemical measurement methods to quantify novel coating systems in the underwater environment and transfer from laboratory tests to real environmental conditions with large sample geometries