Blog – Paintings and Coatings, Remote Monitoring and Control

Specified by Military: How monitoring surface conditions improves coating life

Military specifications are meant to outline the processes and procedures for completing a task so that the end results will meet military standards and approvals. There is an extensive catalogue of specifications that’s kept by the US military for a range of tasks. For over 16 years, the Navy specification has been included to improve the coating life and reduce costs.

It has been well-known that controlling temperature and humidity helps ensure surface prep and coating job is successful, on time, on budget, and long lasting. In 2007, Polygon’s ExactAire technology and methodology (then a part of Munters) was used to develop the Automated Monitoring Requirements for continuous monitoring of temperature, relative humidity, and dew point data at pertinent points on the structure, during surface preparation, coating application, and initial cure. These requirements remain to be the preferred and recommended standard operating procedure for monitoring and controlling moisture when preparing a metal surface for coating. Details can be found in UFGS 09 97 13.27 High Performance Coating For Steel Structures.

This seems like a lot of trouble to go through to get a surface prepped for coating, but surface conditions are the #1 factor in effective rust prevention. Improperly regulated surface conditions cause 80%1 of all coating failures. Restarting a job means additional hours worked as well as materials lost, and schedules being blown. Moisture can quickly lead to thousands of dollars lost on top of time and labor lost.

This technology was specifically created for the military but because it is so versatile and powerful, it has since been branched out for use in other service lines. ExactAire is now used to monitor and control equipment in construction, food, and production environments.

How does moisture effect surface coating projects?

It’s important to understand the down-stream impact that moisture can have on surface prep for coating jobs and its longevity to understand why prevention is so important.

When a metal surface is being prepared for coating, the first step is to blast the current coating off the surface, this means that the raw metal is being exposed to the ambient air. Without the protection of the coating the metal is extremely sensitive and vulnerable to any moisture in the air. It will begin to rust within minutes if the moisture is above a certain threshold.

If metal rusts the surface becomes brittle and crumbly. Coating should not be applied over rust as this will quickly chip, subsequently the surface has to be re-blasted and the job will have to restart.

Where remote monitoring and control makes the difference

Our IoT remote monitoring technology has been specified by the military to prevent moisture issues on surface coating jobs. These sensors can be installed in conjunction with our equipment or third-party equipment to help mitigate the risk of moisture issues and send real-time alerts when moisture levels increase.

The sensors are mounted directly on the metal, where they take readings on air moisture and temperature. The system can provide users with email and SMS alerts if conditions are approaching preset thresholds. The most advanced system configurations leverage the sensor data to turn climate control equipment on and off automatically. This approach allows for proactive temperature and moisture adjustments, preventing moisture issues before there’s ever an alert.

Proper preparation makes all the difference

Corrosion costs the US economy nearly $300 billion1 every single year. $100 billion1 of those costs could be avoided with the use of climate control and other corrosion prevention tactics as well as proper application of corrosion-resistant coatings.


Polygon can help you save both time and money on your next job and help extend the life of your coatings. Don’t take our word for it though, see the military spec here!

Learn more about Surface Temperature Monitoring here. 


ExactAire was initially developed by equipment manufacturer Munters in 1995. In 2010, Munters' service division spun out to create Polygon a engineered solutions company that advanced the technology that is available today.

Ship in dry dock

View Full Military Spec

Longer coating life

Our solutions will hold the blast between shifts, eliminating the need to paint-up each day, reducing condensation problems and improving coating productivity.

Related articles