Top of the Line Steel Structural Painting

April 1, 2010

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Steel is one of the most commonly used construction materials for buildings and major infrastructures in the world.  And yet, because it is rich in carbon, it is also vulnerable to damages brought by environmental conditions – particularly when exposed to oxygen and moisture.  And through time, structures based on steel can also degrade because of the continuous assault of the elements.

To combat this degradation, steel structural painting is conducted to clean up and provide a protective barrier against damages.  Doing so assures an extended life-span for the structure, avoiding the costly solution of replacing the damaged structure altogether.

Steel Structural Painting Project Requirements

The leg work and the nitty-gritty details of the steel structural painting project falls on the shoulders of the chosen contractor, which must see to it that the following requirements are in place before the project starts:

  1. A quality control program that includes the equipment and instruments to be used, the inspection details, requirements sourcing, error-detection and correction procedures, among others.
  2. An inspection plan to ensure the validity of the quality control program.
  3. An application process plan that outlines in detail the processes to be conducted during steel structural painting, from surface preparation, actual painting, waste disposal, and any products or equipment that will be used.
  4. An activity plan that will identify major work activities that will be conducted, and the schedule for each activity, based on the agreed time plan.

Steel Structural Painting Preparations

Damage remediation always begins with the correct preparation.  The surface must be properly cleaned, and any equipment that will be used for the project, such as brushes, rollers, sprays, and the like, must be checked thoroughly to ensure that they are in good working condition and will be able to deliver the work ahead.

Furthermore, any supplies such as diesel or gasoline, paints, thinners, and compressed air, must be prepared early on, and a steady source should be in hand to support the continuous need for these materials in the course of the project.

Preparing the surface for steel structural painting also necessitates setting up test sections, wherein surface cleaning and preparation will be done first to simulate the use of tools and materials prior to actual application.  

Painting Considerations

For the storage, handling, mixing, preparation and actual painting application, these shall be performed with strict adherence to specifications and the manufacturers’ data sheets and instructions.  There are cases when the steel structural painting requirements may conflict with the manufacturers’ specifications.  In such cases, the differences should be discussed with the facility manager or engineer in charge, with contractors abiding by the facility’s resolution of the conflict.

All painting procedures should comply with industry restrictions on VOC emissions.  Because of its criticality, any pre-approved paints that fell to errors during mixing or thinning will be rejected, with a fresh batch brought in, to ensure coating integrity.

Environmental conditions must be met during application, with the painting contractor observing proper procedures, use of the correct equipment, and the right thickness of coatings.  

The aim of all this thorough preparation and implementation standards is to ensure that the steel structural painting process is effective and efficient, and eliminates the possibility of coating defects and application failure.

Questions or comments?

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