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Weathering of High Performance Coatings on Florida Bridges


By Paul Vinik, Florida DOT

Presented at SSPC 2014; Session: Bridge Protection and Repair; Session chair: Mark Hudson, Sherwin-Williams

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The State of Florida spends millions of dollars to mitigate corrosion and paint existing bridge structures each year. Since tourism is a big contributor to the State’s economy, it is of high importance to maintain these structures in a condition that is pleasing to the eye in order to provide a pleasant welcome for visitors to the Sunshine State. Subsequently, many of these structures are painted purely for aesthetic purposes. The Florida Department of Transportation has been evaluating the ability of high performance coating systems to resist color and gloss degradation. This is an aesthetic study and the corrosion resistance properties of these systems are not presented. The number of days of sunlight and the southern latitude produce a severe environmental effect on polymeric resins. The Departments environmental test facility in Marathon, Florida is considered the most severe UV test site in the United States. Test panels exposed to xenon arc radiation and outdoor exposure, as well as several bridges throughout Florida have been utilized for this study. In addition, some of the highest profile bridges including the Sunshine Skyway in St. Petersburg and the Hart in Jacksonville were used as test structures for this study. Multiple coating systems and colors have been evaluated. Color and gloss data will be presented for coating systems incorporating fluorourethane and clear coatings with UV inhibitors for finish coats.

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