Office to Field: Lost in Translation
Thermal Spray Safety

From JPCL, June 2017

By Alison B. Kaelin, ABKaelin, LLC


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Tagged categories: Alison Kaelin; Health & Safety; Paint application equipment; Safety; Thermal spray

Comment from Mario Colica, (7/5/2017, 3:08 AM)

thanks for reminding the main mesures to be adopted when metalising (TSA) . It's useful tool for everyone

Comment from Paul Tsourous, (7/5/2017, 9:08 AM)

Great article Alison highlighting what could be overlooked safety concerns regarding Thermal Spray application. I emphasize the importance you have pointed out pertaining to combustible dust. In our experience on bridge applications the thermal spray units generated large amounts of airborne material. Forced mechanical ventilation at large exchange rates is essential in minimizing this hazard if performed within containment enclosures.

Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (7/10/2017, 9:26 AM)

Very informative. Thank you

Comment from Martin van Leeuwen, (8/15/2017, 4:20 AM)

TS is a process to apply high quality metal coatings to substrates to protect them against corrosion. As explained clearly in the article, it comes with specific safety requirements and protective measures to reduce hazards to persons. This makes the process not suitable for corrosion protection of some structures, for example the Eiffel tower. TS of the Eiffel tower would require a complete closure of the tower for the duration of the maintenance period which is not really acceptable for the city of Paris.

Comment from jerrod monaghan, (8/16/2017, 8:07 AM)

I am curious why you say the Eiffel Tower would have to be closed to perform TS? With only a modest amount of containment, paired with a quality dust collector you can mitigate or eliminate any harmful fumes. The noise is actually harder to mitigate than fumes but in the example of the Eiffel Tower a majority of the structure is high enough from the general public that noise would not be a factor that would disqualify the process. As I type this I am sitting in an airport a few meters from a running jet, the airports special glass has protected passengers and a contractor such as myself could do the same with sound proof panels. The UV light is the same as any welding operation and I am sure the Tower receives welding without closure. I feel with a good safety plan and a quality contractor TS can be performed almost anywhere. Just my opinion... great article and great feedback by all.

Comment from Martin van Leeuwen, (8/17/2017, 4:18 AM)

TSZ of the Eiffel tower will for sure reduce maintenance cost. It now has an organic coating pigmented with micaceous iron ore. Re-painting requires 50mt of paint and costs 3M€. The paint layer is renewed every 7 years. The tower has been completely repainted at least 19 times since it was built. Do the maths on maintenance costs.

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