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Lessons Learned: SSPC 2018 Program Wraps

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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The four-day technical program at SSPC 2018 shed light on topics from surface preparation techniques to coating technology and even moviemaking, catering to everyone from industry beginners to industry experts. 

Tale of the Tank

On Monday, Patrick Brown of Tank Industry Consultants presented on a "Retro Tank Rehab" in Carmel, Indiana, detailing a job in which a 500,000-gallon water tank in the town was rehabilitated with aesthetics in mind, as it lies in the center of a redeveloping neighborhood.

tank striping
Courtesy of Tank Industry Consultants

Patrick Brown of Tank Industry Consultants presented on a "Retro Tank Rehab" in Carmel, Indiana, detailing a job in which a 500,000-gallon water tank in the town was rehabilitated with aesthetics in mind.

Contractors applied a fluoroethane topcoat in designer-chosen colors (brown, off-white) and detailed the tank with faux-rivets that were painted on in a darker brown, to give an aged, industrial appearance. Brown detailed how telecom equipment was removed and mounted on a temporary tower during the rehab, then replaced.

For more on the project, see Chip Stein's JPCL article, "Faux Real Retro Tank Rehab."

Regulatory Changes

Later the same day, Alison Kaelin of ABKaelin Inc. detailed changing regulations on the federal level, noting that in general, employers should expect further relaxation of regulations in most areas as the Trump administration continues, and less intensive enforcement. Kaelin noted pending changes in OSHA, including the new silica rule, the new (but still subject-to-change) beryllium rule and the new electronic illness and injury reporting rule. She also pointed out that hazardous waste disposal is one area in which the EPA is expected to actually tighten its enforcement.

Kaelin noted that actions on combustible dust and noise have been removed from the agency's regulatory agenda, and a hazard communication update and shipyard fall protection changes have been moved to the long-term agenda, meaning they're unlikely to happen soon. 

Bridge Sessions

Tuesday's program included four presentations on Bridge Painting and Protection. In the first, “SR 292 Over Perdido Key—Challenges to Field Metallizing of Steel Superstructure,” presenters Greg Richards of KTA-Tator Inc. and Chris Sasher of Infrastructure Solutions Inc. recapped the metallizing and painting of structural steel on a large high-level bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in south Florida, highlighting the design issues and challenges encountered during the project.

With no lane closures permitted, the parties involved utilized water access to perform field metallizing on the underside of the bridge, and the positive results from the project are expected to influence the decision-making process on future Florida DOT projects.

Crescent City Connection
Images: Technology Publishing Co., unless noted

Tuesday brought presentations on bridge protection and preservation.

Next, Kevin Keith of Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson Inc. (JMT), and David Hatterhill of Corcon Inc. presented “The Walt Whitman Bridge Painting Project: A Case Study for the Skills Needed by the Contractor and Engineer,” which covered a $57 million painting job on one of Philadelphia’s busiest and most notorious bridges. The presenters outlined the skills and qualifications needed to overcome some of the expected—and unexpected—challenges faced in the field, including deployment of a moving containment system, traffic monitoring and control, and even the presence of two falcons nesting in the bridge’s structure. This bridge painting project was also one of the subjects of the Bridge Brothers documentary released last year.

The other two presentations in Tuesday morning’s first Bridge session related to testing and evaluation of novel coating systems and methodologies. “Novel Test Methodology of Two-Coat and Three-Coat Systems for Steel Bridge Superstructures,” by Elias Touria of the University of Akron evaluated the performance of two-coat systems—a zinc-rich primer and a polysiloxane topcoat—compared to the traditional three-coat systems. The two-coat systems were found to have very similar performance characteristics to the three-coat system, and the presenter opined that cutting this third coat out of the process as a time- and money-saver could be adopted by DOTs and other public agencies in the future.

Finally, Md Ahsan Sabbir, Saiada Faudi Fancy and Kingsley Lau of Florida International University teamed up with Dale DeFord of the Florida Department of Transportation to present “Assessment of Novel Coatings in Comparison to Conventional Zinc-Rich Coating for Bridge Application,” which compared chemically-bonded phosphate ceramics (CBPC) and thermal diffusion galvanizing (TDG) coatings to traditional systems in an attempt to achieve better long-term performance on bridge application. While comparable performance of the novel coatings was observed, the presenters noted that a number of different parameters, including environmental factors, system compatibility and more, still need to be carefully considered during the coating selection process.

Concrete Coatings

Several presentations on Tuesday dealth with coatings on concrete.

Randy Nixon, of Corrosion Probe, discussed the idea of 28 days as the “magic number” for curing concrete before coating. The 28-day figure, Nixon explained, was developed as something of a rule of thumb: Exactly four weeks is a round number, and was an easy way to approximate the period of 26-31 days that most standard concrete mixes need to gain compressive strength before coating.
Morial Convention Center

SSPC 2018 took place Jan. 15-18 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The actual number, though, can vary widely, Nixon explained, based on a slew of factors. The two biggest concerns are shrinkage—which can cause cracks—and excess water. Factors including water-to-cement ratio in the mix, paste-to-aggregate ratio, environmental factors and cure temperature can all affect the time needed before concrete can be coated, Nixon said; the first two factors have the greatest impact.
Chris Hamilton of Avanti International, in his talk, discussed what causes cracking in concrete structures and what coating and grout products are available to repair cracks in different situations.
Hamilton noted that epoxy repair products exhibit high strength and are best for structural repairs, but aren’t particularly effective in a waterproofing capacity. Hydraulic cements, or patch mortars, have decent strength and can plug low flows of water.  Injection grouts, on the other hand—generally urethane or acrylic—while low in strength, can stop very high flows and exhibit high longevity.

The Leadership and Change Management session, sponsored by SSPC’s Women in Coatings Group, opened Wednesday afternoon with “Continuing to Build Your Professional Skills by Leading Change,” from Darlene Chisolm of Newport News Shipbuilding. The leadership management and shipyard veteran focused on a different kind of “ship”-building—building relationships, partnerships, workmanship, craftsmanship, ownership, and ultimately leadership in order to advance your career in your organization and in the industry. The session was followed by a networking reception, giving attendees the chance to discuss the presentation and get some face time with the presenter.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Bridges; concrete; Concrete coatings and treatments; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; SSPC; SSPC 2018; Z-Continents

Comment from Gunnar Ackx, (1/24/2018, 3:43 AM)

And it was another great conference ????

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