U.S. Drives for Less Rust on the Road

THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013


Is there a solution to the thousands of miles of guardrails rusting away along U.S. highways?

The federal government is gambling yes, with a new request for proposals to find the best method.

The U.S. Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued an RFP to determine and compare the corrosion resistance of guardrail materials prepared by continuous and hot dip galvanization using accelerated corrosion testing.

Proposals are due Jan. 25. The agency wants a $90,000 fixed-price contract.

Guarding Guardrails

The agency notes that all state highway agencies use galvanized guardrail manufactured to the AASHTO M 180 Specification as part of roadway safety elements.  A number of agencies permit both hot dip batch and continuous galvanization of W-beam guardrail elements.

In the hot dip batch process, guardrail elements are fabricated, followed by hot-dip galvanizing application. In the continuous process, the steel is repeatedly galvanized and then fabricated to manufacturer guardrail elements resulting in bare steel exposed to the elements at cut edges and punched holes.

“These coating types and coating thicknesses have been compared in the past using the ASTM B-117 Salt Fog test,” the Research Board notes. “However, this test does not directly correlate to corrosion seen in real world environments.”

Corrosion Comparisons

The agency wants a head-to-head comparison of the corrosion protection afforded by both methods.

Guardrail
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The Transportation Research Board wants to compare the corrosion resistance of guardrail materials prepared by continuous and hot dip galvanization.

Engineers will submit proposals that are broken down into three tasks:

  • Prepare a laboratory experiment;
  • Conduct accelerated corrosion testing and analyze results; and
  • Present a final report that summarizes findings, draws conclusions and presents proposed guidance.

Proposals will be evaluated by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.The work is scheduled to begin about March 1.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Coating Materials; Corrosion protection; Corrosion resistance; Galvanized steel; Paint BidTracker; Protective Coatings; Roads/Highways; Transportation

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