SME’s consultants and certified coating inspection professionals provide consulting, nondestructive testing and failure analysis related to protective coatings and linings.

Protective coatings were once thought of as something to make steel “look nice.” Owners now realize that properly applied coatings will protect their valuable infrastructure, leading to less maintenance and longer service life. SME provides corrosion engineering and consulting services for coatings and liner materials selection and design, and condition assessments. Our experience crosses many service sectors including:

  • Tank liners
  • Bridges
  • Steel fabrication
  • Zinc coatings
  • Intumescents
  • Façade coatings
  • Stadiums
  • Water towers
  • Galvanizing 
  • Electrocoat tank liners 

Coating Audits and Inspections

Focused on the prevention and mitigation of corrosion, SME’s team of coatings experts include NACE CIP certified inspectors from levels 1-3, SSPC members, and coatings related ASTM committee members. 

Once products are selected and work is ready to begin, SME’s inspectors have the equipment and experience necessary to inspect your projects and verify the specifications are met. We have performed coatings inspections in confined spaces, on bridges, in boats, on towers and in fabrication shops. Our knowledge can assist with every level of inspection as we have performed a wide array of roles including functioning as the owner’s representative, serving as expert witnesses, performing basic hold point reviews, or full-time 24-hour turnaround liner reviews.  


A proper specification is the foundation of any coating project, and SME has written specifications for projects including refineries, stadiums, water towers, and building facades. Consulting with coating professionals prior to the start a project is often the smartest call clients can make in protecting their assets. Whether clients want input regarding specific coatings, thorough field analysis prior to specification, or someone to write a specification from start to finish, SME coating experts can assist with product and preparation selection.  

Failure Analysis

SME investigates coating failures and analyzes the conditions that led to the failure. Our team collects background information on the coating type and application procedure, the service history and environment, and physical evidence of the failed coating to determine the cause of failure. By analyzing this information, we assist owners with plans to move forward and repair the failing coatings or remove and apply a more effective system. We also offer expert witness testing, verification and litigation support to settle liability disputes. 


SME has a broad range of intumescent experience ranging from water-based for standard buildings to high-heat epoxy intumescents which can be well over a half-inch thick and require mesh reinforcement. We have reviewed intumescents on wood substrates in buildings, steel columns in buildings, and pipe racks in refineries.

Coatings Consulting

With our broad range of expertise, SME staff members are always willing to assist in specialty coatings situations. Contact our coating experts regarding your coating issues.

Related Services

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