Houston, Texas - Testing group Exova is to invest £3 million ($4.8 million) to set up a world class corrosion centre at Dudley, UK, to service increasing global demand.
The Exova Corrosion Centre, will be led by corrosion expert Dr Chris Fowler and "will cement Exova's reputation as a world leader in corrosion testing and services," a company statement said.
Exova's Corrosion Centre will relocate from existing premises in Dudley to a purpose-designed 23 000 sq.ft (2333 sq.m) facility. The current facility in Dudley will continue as a dedicated materials testing laboratory.
The new site will offer a significant increase in autoclave capacity, routine corrosion testing as well as Slow Rate Strain and Full Ring testing. It will be fully operational by May 2013.
Exova said the investment will mean recruitment of ten corrosion experts and the creation of the 'Exova Academy' aimed at nurturing and training future generations of corrosion engineers for Exova and on behalf of its international customers.
Exova has also recently been signed up by paint and coatings giant Sherwin-Williams to provide support on a key marine project.
The paint company, with almost 4000 locations worldwide, is now working with Exova's coatings division to test a number of marine coatings at the development stage.
Exova will test the products to the two key International Maritime Organisation (IMO) performance standards for protective coatings, resolutions MSC.215(82) and MSC.288(87). These provide minimum standards for protective marine coatings used in both ballast tanks and cargo oil tanks.
MSC.215(82) is the performance standard for protective coatings for dedicated seawater ballast tanks in all types of ships. MSC.288(87) is the standard providing technical requirements for the minimum standard for protective coatings to be applied in cargo oil tanks during the construction of new crude oil tankers.
Both standards are vital to the construction of ships, setting out the requirements to which the protective coatings used must adhere.
Exova will carry out this key testing for nine months in what is a significant investment for Sherwin-Williams.
The US-based company is a global protective and marine coatings company offering a complete line of high performance coatings and systems to combat corrosion, supported by the largest group of NACE-certified coatings inspectors in the industry.
Exova carries out a range of coatings services for the marine industry, and was the first independent testing group to be accredited for carrying out the key ballast tank simulation test introduced in the IMO resolution MSC.215(82) Ship Design and Equipment Specification performance standards for protective coatings.