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February 9 - February 13, 2015

How should a conflict between requirements, such as film thickness, on a product data sheet and the specification be resolved?

Selected Answers

From William Gusnard of Southern Company Services on February 23, 2015:
I am a specifier of coating products. I use tables when various manufacturers' products are "as-equals." However, each manufacturer has its own section of the table for thicknesses and each manufacturer varies. I do not just put a generic thickness in because the coatings manufacturers' data sheets take precedence over my spec work when it comes to the coatings themselves.

From travis gold of Mid Atlantic Coatings on February 20, 2015:
The spec is law. Request an RFI for clarification, but often specs will be written specifically for the job. If a rep has a hand in the spec, he should know what's going on.

From Jaime Molina of Primary Materials Inc. on February 18, 2015:
Applying a thicker coat than what the manufacturer recommends will frequently result in "outgassing." This will generate micro bubbles inside the resin and create an undesirable appearance. More is not always better.

From Warren Brand of Chicago Coatings Group on February 16, 2015:
The short answer is to get the coating manufacturer on the phone right away and have them resolve the conflict. Obtain an email from them ASAP and add it to the contract documents, and/or as an addendum to the specification. No one is going to know the product better than the manufacturer. However, we often recommend product thicknesses that are thicker than those recommended by the manufacturer. This goes beyond the normal "inspector" role and I've written a controversial blog about this earlier. As an inspector, I recommend the aforementioned. As a consultant, doing exclusively what's in the client/owner's best interest, we sometimes veer from the manufacturer's recommendations by recommending a cleaner surface or deeper blast profile and thicker coating system, to provide a longer service life of the material for the client. Of course, we get a signed approval from the coating manufacturer if we veer from their recommendations.

From mauricio gomez of jifco on February 12, 2015:
I think the owner and the paint rep have to get an agreement at the pre-job meeting.

From Tom Schwerdt of Texas Department of Transportation on February 11, 2015:
Frequently, these “conflicts” aren't actually conflicts. They are usually overlapping requirements that can both be met; for example, a primer where the data sheet indicates 2-5 mils DFT and the specification indicates 3-10 mils. The contractor can meet both requirements by applying the coating at a DFT of 3-5 mils.

From Rodney White of Independent Consultant on February 10, 2015:
Provided that the specifier has directed the use of a particular product, the information contained on the product data sheet should prevail. Even if the spec were written to allow similar products from different manufacturers, the data for the selected product should prevail.

From George Deal of Eco-corflex on February 10, 2015:
The conflict should be resolved through a job submittal to the GC and architect.

From Tim P. Simpson of Simpson & Associates on February 9, 2015:
I am first assuming that the product data sheet is for a product that is approved by the specification for the intended use. Under that assumption, I would clarify the product data to determine if the total system performance and system thickness as called out in the manufacturer's product data and application instructions meets the intent of the specification for the intended exposure. If the product system meets the intended specification, then clarification with the producer of the specification is in order regarding the thickness called out in the specification. In my experience, architects and engineers typically look to the more stringent of the specifications when determining compliance. Bottom line? If there is a question, get the question answered before proceeding with the bid or the performance of the work.

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Tagged categories: Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS); Specification; Specifiers

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