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Bedevilled Bridges: An Answer to a National Scandal

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By Michael O’Donoghue, Ph.D., International Paint LLC; Vijay Datta, MS, International Paint LLC and Glenn Hollins, Vision Integrity Engineering, Ltd.

Presented at SSPC 2017; Session: Bridge Painting and Protection; Session chair: Mark Hudson

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In some quarters of society there is a public outcry regarding the significant corrosion, coatings deterioration and safety concerns associated with North American bridges. Against this backdrop, this presentation describes the application more than 20 years ago of an innovative coating system for the rehabilitation and lead abatement of a major truss bridge superstructure in Alberta, Canada. Two decades ago, a one coat HRCSA (high ratio calcium sulfonate alkyd) coating system was deemed best in-test for the superstructure and crevice corroded joints and subsequently applied under the direction, and inspection, of one of the authors (GH). Today, outlining the current inspection findings and performance of the coating system on the bridge, details are provided not only as to the coating system condition but the unique chemistry of the HRCSA coating technology. In addition, evidence is provided that shows how years ago HRCSA coating technology should be, and indeed has since proven to be, “The Answer” for many bridge rehabilitation coatings projects and “The Answer” for what some describe today as a “National Scandal”.


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