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 Warren Brand

Warren Brand

Warren Brand’s coatings career has ranged from entry-level field painting to the presidency of two successful companies. Over nearly three decades, he has project-managed thousands of coating installations and developed specs for thousands of paint and coating applications. NACE Level 3 and SSPC PCS 2 certified, Brand, an MBA and martial-arts instructor, now heads Chicago Coatings Group, a leading coatings consultancy. Contact Warren.


The World’s Largest Movable Structure You’ve Probably Never Heard About
By Warren Brand

It’s called The New Safe Confinement (NSC). Picture a massive, movable hangar-like dome designed to cover the highly radioactive remains of the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 21, 2016 | 2 COMMENTS

Normalization of Deviance
By Warren Brand

It brought down both Space Shuttles, is responsible for the disaster at Deepwater Horizon and is an insidious issue for many corrosion mitigation failures.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 2, 2016 | 18 COMMENTS

Outgassing: It’s Not Just Hot Air
By Warren Brand

I am intimately familiar with the fine art of “eye-rolling.” As the followers of my blog know, I have three daughters, ages 16, 19 and 22.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 31, 2016 | 9 COMMENTS

Between a Rock and a Rusty Place
By Warren Brand

My eldest daughter, Jessica, 21, excitedly called me a few months ago to tell me about a new hobby she’s taken up: bouldering. If you’re anything like me, you’ve just had the response, “Huh? Is that a... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 29, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Our Industry’s Aversion to Risk: Nothing Is Risk-Free
By Warren Brand

I was 18 and SCUBA diving off a pristine, white, sandy beach in the Red Sea. My dive-buddy was a highly experienced world-traveling... READ MORE

POSTED MAY 18, 2016 | 3 COMMENTS

Are Your Clients Arguing from Ignorance or Authority?
By Warren Brand

For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll know I live with four women—three daughters (15, 19 and 21) and my wife, whose age will remain confidential as I prefer to remain married.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 13, 2016 | 5 COMMENTS

A Tale of Two Contractors:
The Hidden, Staggering Costs of Inefficiency
By Warren Brand

It was early spring of 2007 when my old coating company got the call from Grainger World Headquarters to line the interior of four, identical, stainless steel cooling tower basins.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 9, 2016 | 7 COMMENTS

Kindness: The Missing Ingredient in Any Successful Coating Application
By Warren Brand

It was 2010 and I had just turned 50 when I walked away from a family business. In doing so, I sacrificed roughly three years of salary. I had tried as best I could to change the culture of our family... READ MORE

POSTED JANUARY 27, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

A Tale of Two Clients
By Warren Brand

There’s a concept in martial arts that the first time a student sees a... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2015 | 6 COMMENTS

Can We Save Our Corroding Infrastructure?
By Warren Brand

It's time for a new way of thinking. Let’s first start with a story from a 60 Minutes exposé that aired... READ MORE

POSTED OCTOBER 6, 2015 | 23 COMMENTS

A Pleasant Surprise in the Permian Basin
By Warren Brand

The three-hour drive through the scrub of the Northwestern Shelf of the Permian Basin was hot, long and fascinating.... READ MORE

POSTED AUGUST 18, 2015 | 9 COMMENTS

Specifications: Does Anyone Still Care?
By Warren Brand

When I was nine or 10, my summers were spent with gun-toting workmen, driving around Chicago in old blue Metros, lining the exterior bottoms of 275-gallon tanks in the city’s basements.... READ MORE

POSTED JUNE 18, 2015 | 6 COMMENTS

Standards: Guidelines or Gospel?
By Warren Brand

In coatings, as in every other profession, you can go by the book or you can go with what real life demands. Sometimes, those are very different paths.... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 6, 2015 | 7 COMMENTS

Seeking Sense from the Experts
By Warren Brand

It takes an enormous amount to get under my skin. But I just attended a conference for the benefit of Illinois DOT and came away appalled.... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 24, 2015 | 15 COMMENTS

Failure? Analyze This (or Don't)
By Warren Brand

So, I get a call from the manager of a tony high-rise condo on Chicago’s Gold Coast.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2014 | 10 COMMENTS

Driving Data from Disco to Digital
By Warren Brand

For nearly 30 years, I’ve watched, fascinated, as technology in the coatings industry has advanced.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

Lead: Much Ado about Nothing?
By Warren Brand

I can think of few corrosion protective materials more durable, functional and versatile than lead. Setting aside the health issues for a moment, the history of lead is truly remarkable—like the Swiss... READ MORE

POSTED JULY 28, 2014 | 12 COMMENTS

Coating Inspectors: Are We Necessary?
By Warren Brand

Over 30 years in the industry, I’ve been on most sides of many paint issues. I’ve owned a painting company; I’ve represented coatings; and I’m a coating consultant and inspector with an SSPC-PCS, NACE... READ MORE

POSTED APRIL 24, 2014 | 23 COMMENTS

‘Solutions’ That Also Teach Lessons
By Warren Brand

It all started over coffee with a friend. I had wondered to Dean, a coating rep, how it was that Chicago—the U.S.’s third-largest market—had never hosted a local corrosion conference... READ MORE

POSTED MARCH 25, 2014 | 0 COMMENTS

How Much Does a Bad Paint Job Cost?
By Warren Brand

I’m passionate about everything pertaining to our industry. I have one company that consults on technical aspects of coating selection and application, and another that focuses on business development... READ MORE

POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2014 | 2 COMMENTS

I Try to be Flexible...
By Warren Brand

We are in the process of getting a water tank—85 feet in diameter and roughly 80 feet tall—back in service.From start to finish, we have about four weeks.... READ MORE

POSTED DECEMBER 3, 2013 | 9 COMMENTS

The Perils of O-Ring Thinking
By Warren Brand

When it comes to failure, there are causes, and then there are causes.... READ MORE

POSTED NOVEMBER 5, 2013 | 1 COMMENT

Beyond the Cold Wall: A Penetrating Look
By Warren Brand

Thanks to everyone for reading, thinking about and commenting on my last blog on the Cold Wall Effect. For better or worse, the column seems to have raised more questions than it answered.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 | 8 COMMENTS

The Cold War over the Cold Wall Effect
By Warren Brand

Reality is not always as firm a thing as we would wish, alas, even in the realm of coatings science. Take the Cold Wall Effect: to some experts, a key cause of coating failure; to others, a myth.... READ MORE

POSTED SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 | 18 COMMENTS

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