Steel Bridge Coating Guide Revised


Three leading technical organizations have teamed up to overhaul an outdated guide specification for shop painting of bridge steel.

The new document is SSPC-PA Guide 13/AASHTO NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration S.8.1: Guide Specification for Application of Coating Systems with Zinc-Rich Primers to Steel Bridges.

The guide reflects a consensus on best industry practices for shop application of zinc-rich coating systems to previously uncoated bridge steel and includes the proper preparation of the steel.

The 34-page document represents a collaboration by SSPC, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA). The new work updates the 2006 document by the same name.

The AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration includes representatives from state departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, academia, and various industries related to steel bridge design, fabrication and inspection.

What's New

According to SSPC, the guide's "substantive revisions" include additional definitions for defects such as holidays, microcracking and pinholes, as well as updates to existing definitions.

Two appendices have also been added. The first describes conditions, causes and remedies for nonconformities that occur during and after surface preparation. The other addresses nonconformities that occur during and after application of inorganic and organic zinc primers, intermediate coats, and topcoats.

Phyllis Tilley Footbridge
Greg Folkins Photography / CC BY-SA 3.0

Although intended for shop coating, much of the guide also applies to field coating systems. The Phyllis Tilley Footbridge in Fort Worth, TX, was NSBA's 2014 Prize Bridge Award winner.

References have been updated and expanded.

Who It Helps

The standard can be used by owners, specifiers, inspectors, and coating shops to improve the application and inspection process and to diagnose and repair nonconformities in surface preparation and application of zinc-rich primers.

Although intended primarily for shop-applied coatings, much of the information also applies to field-applied coating systems, the groups say.

The revised standard, recently approved by SSPC's Board of Governors, was developed under the auspices of  SSPC Committee C.3.10 by the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration Task Group 8, Coatings, chaired by Tom Calzone of Carboline Co.

More information:



Tagged categories: AASHTO; Asia Pacific; Bridges; Certifications and standards; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA); North America; Primers; Quality Control; Shop-applied coatings; SSPC; Steel; Zinc-rich (inorganic); Zinc-rich (organic)

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