NOAA - Fixing
A Coatings Failure

Project Name
NOAA - Fixing A Coatings Failure

La Jolla, CA

Science & Research

Services Performed
Corrosion Control Coatings

Project Value
$25k - $50k

Project Timeline
2 weeks

Project Technical Rating

Client Needs

Raider commercial building painters were contacted by an HVAC Fan manufacturer Toro-Aire with a big problem. They were just days away from the opening of a new (NOAA ) high-tech weather research facility in La Jolla CA that had been put on hold because a necessary exhaust fans coating had failed and the rust forming on the machine was becoming airborne and threatening other high-end machinery. With liquidated damages looming and their reputation on the line, they needed help.

This project presented challenges that caused other coating contractors to pass on it. We knew it was not only within our capability, but that we could do it efficiently and deliver a quality product.


The Challenges

Some of the difficulties associated with this project included:

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The fan was located in an open roof mechanical room and was less than .25 miles from the ocean. The area is know for a thick marine layer through much of the summer.


Unusual Working Conditions

Large fans of this type are normally coated prior to installation. Because this was a re-coating, we had other machines that needed to be safely contained so that air intake would not be effected.


Fan Balance And Clearance

Fan blades that had tight tolerances needed to be coating while taking special care to keep them in balance. Partial Dis-assembly. During the project it was discovered that the rusting was far more extensive then assumed, and was throughout the inside of the machine. A solution is needed to include the removal of access ports and repairs to interior components.


Tight Timeline

The client had an extremely tight timeline to work within and failure was not an option.

Our Solution

Safety was essential. We used extensive fall protection measures, held daily safety checks and meetings, and employed an on-site safety director.

To remove existing rust and form a profile on the steel surfaces that would allow the new coating to adhere properly, we used a grinding method to prep large surfaces, and needle-nosed guns for small corners and tight areas. Immediately following prep, we applied a rust-inhibiting epoxy coating to the surfaces to prevent flash rust from the extremely humid environment.

In order to minimize the structure’s exposure to humidity, we divided the process between two teams—one to prep the surfaces, and the next directly behind them to apply the first coating of epoxy.

Following the initial phase, we applied additional coats of epoxy to provide superior protection.

Project Outcome (completed 2011)

The project was completed ahead of schedule, including the added scope. The client, contractor, and end user were all appreciative that we were able to hold them to their schedule. The specialty DTM product used created a great finish and with a a total of 3 coats the longevity of the finish will allow for years of operation.

Before and After

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