Steel Structure Surface Preparation for Below Grade Coatings

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by Edward M. Jacobs, Director of Quality and R&D; Thomas & Betts Corporation, 8155 T&B Boulevard, 2D-15, Memphis, TN 38125,,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Electrical Transmission and Substation Structures 2009: Technology for the Next Generation

Abstract: This paper covers the importance of achieving good adhesion strength when applying Below Grade Coatings to steel structures. In particular, galvanized structures. Through research, development and testing in accordance with ASTM D4541 we have concluded that there is a very meaningful correlation between a high pull-off adhesion value and the durability of an applied coating on a steel structure. The higher the pull-off adhesion strength, the better the bond to the substrate material. Having a superior bond will better enable the coating to withstand harsh weather and physical conditions. It is imperative that when using a blast technology to prepare a surface for a Below Grade Coating that a high level of attention be placed on not only the profile of the galvanized steel surface after blasting but also the surface roughness achieved. Having an insufficient surface roughness can lead to an undesirable adhesion strength of the Below Grade Coating and may compromise the intended performance for which it was engineered/developed. The importance of establishing a reliable and consistent surface preparation method is critical for providing a foundation that will enable a superior pull-off adhesion value, which will provide a more robust coating solution.

Subject Headings: Steel structures | Coating | Adhesives | Hydraulic roughness | Strength of materials | Bonding | Blasting effects | Structural strength |

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