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SSPC coating material standards contain requirements for the performance of various types of coatings when tested in accordance with industry-established laboratory and field standards. The tests used to establish coating performance vary depending upon the type and intended use of the coating, and are selected by industry consensus to be appropriate for evaluating performance of all well-prepared coatings of a specific type. Specifiers who plan to use SSPC coating standards in their project specifications must make informed choices when selecting the proper coating system for a specific project. Most protective coatings are designed to work in systems of several compatible coatings: a primer, an intermediate coat and a topcoat, Manufacturers usually design individual coatings to allow for some mix-and-match among these components to obtain a system that has the desired performance properties for a specific service environment. Therefore, one of the first steps in coating selection is evaluating the coating's service environment to analyze the stresses that it will impose upon the various components of a coating system, and thus determine the properties required for optimum coating performance. Compatibility of different coatings in a selected system can be determined by standard compatibility testing.