One Coat Paint System for a Lifetime of Corrosion Protection on New Steel Bridges

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General Information
Solicitation Number: 924
Status: Solicitation withdrawn
Date Posted: Mar 04, 2005
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2008
Solicitation Expires: Jun 30, 2008
Partners: AL, CT, NHDOT, OH, PADOT, TX
Lead Organization: Federal Highway Administration
Financial Summary
Commitment Start Year: 2005
Commitment End Year: 2011
100% SP&R Approval: Pending Approval
Commitments Required: $400,000.00
Commitments Received: $260,000.00
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Joey Hartmann
joey.hartmann@fhwa.dot.gov
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): Joey Hartmann
joey.hartmann@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 202-493-3059
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Alabama Department of Transportation 2006 $40,000.00 Jeff Brown 334-353-6941 brownje@dot.state.al.us
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2008 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2009 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2010 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2011 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
New Hampshire Department of Transportation 2008 $20,000.00 Glenn Roberts 603-271-3151 Glenn.Roberts@dot.nh.gov
Ohio Department of Transportation 2009 $40,000.00 Jeff Chandler Monique Evans 614-728-6048 monique.evans@dot.state.oh.us
Ohio Department of Transportation 2010 $40,000.00 Jeff Chandler Monique Evans 614-728-6048 monique.evans@dot.state.oh.us
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2008 $40,000.00 Bonnie Fields Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Texas Department of Transportation 2006 $40,000.00 Jamie Sanchez Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov

Background

Corrosion of steel bridges has been a problem for a very long time. In 1970, after 100 years of using oil-based paints containing lead pigments, bridge coatings technology changed to the "state of the art" application of a three-coat system consisting of a zinc-rich primer and two additional coating layers. While there are various approaches to the chemical nature of the second and third coating layers, protection of the substrate is rooted in a zinc-rich primer and two additional layers of paint aggregating 8 to 12 mils. These systems are expected to deliver long-term corrosion protection. Coating system life expectation varies, but normally is in the 15 to 30-year range before the first major touch-up will be required. With periodic maintenance, total life expectancy is estimated by some to be as long as 100 years.

The cost of painting steel is thought to be a major deterrent to the use of steel as the preferred material of construction for new bridges. A recent study sponsored by FHWA surveyed costs from 20 fabrication shops nationwide. This survey indicates that the cost of shop applied coating has a significant impact on the delivered cost of a fabricated steel girder. The study indicated that the median cost for application of a shop primer is 7% of the cost of the girder, while the cost of a full shop-applied 3-coat system is 11%. In addition, the same study showed that costs for paint application range widely from 4% up to 20% depending on the complexity of the steel member, logistics of the particular shop, etc. These facts indicate a ripe area for capture of significant cost savings and production efficiencies.

In addition to pure cost impact, the time and space required for proper shop application of a three coat paint system are unattractive to the tightening schedule demands of fabricators and bridge owners. Current practice requires significant shop space for girders to allow for coatings to dry/cure prior to application of the next coat. This dry time requirement (often 24 hours between coats) may also require steel girders to be moved within the shop multiple times. This is not an efficient process. In these times of increased demand for on-time project delivery, shop productivity improvements pay significant dividends.

The major benefit of this project is to develop a one-coat bridge painting system that will deliver the same protection and aesthetics as the three-coat system while saving on application costs. It is believed that a true single-coat material can be developed, tested, and available for use within about five years.

Under Phase I, 14 candidate one-coat systems (serving as both primer and topcoat) were identified. The most promising three of these systems were tested utilizing laboratory testing and a five-year field exposure test commenced in early 2006. The best performing materials (or improved versions thereof) with advantageous properties will be considered for field testing and demonstration installation under Phase II. In order to benefit from coatings formulation research and development advances since 2003, Phase II will also include a new solicitation to the coatings industry to propose new or improved candidate materials.

Objectives

· To determine the ultimate field performance of the most promising one-coat (primer and topcoat) coating system(s). These will likely include both new materials and improved versions of products tested in Phase I. Field exposure will be targeted to different demanding environments, e.g., freshwater marine, saltwater marine, inland dry, and control test sites. Note that the experimental coating(s) will be applied only to new steel bridges during the shop fabrication process.

· To optimize the material/application process to provide a quality corrosion protection system that can be easily and consistently installed in shops with various material handling and material flow set-ups.

Although the field monitoring duration is five years under Phase II, the overall objective is to achieve a lifetime of protection with a single coat of paint applied in the shop to new steel.

Scope of Work

Phase II ¿ Screening and Ramp-Up Testing for Full Scale Production of New Processes

Specific Tasks:

Phase II of this effort will be supported by the subject Pooled Fund. This effort will focus on further definition, improvement, and implementation of promising candidate coating materials and systems identified in Phase I, as well as a new solicitation for new coating material candidates. In addition, Phase II will focus on optimizing the material/application process to provide a quality corrosion protection system that can be easily and consistently installed in shops with a variety of configurations, material flow, and equipment.

Durability testing and verification begun in Phase I will continue in both accelerated testing and actual field exposure of test specimens. In addition, new candidate materials and possibly improved versions of the most promising of the candidates identified in Phase I, as well as new material candidates, will be brought to several steel shops in large enough quantities to exercise the logistics and define the relative cost factors associated with each unique process. It is envisioned that pertinent major portions of bridges will be protected using the new materials in a realistic production basis. The areas so coated will be of sufficient size to provide a realistic test of both the materials and the shop's ability to apply it on a production basis. These data will be compared on a task-by-task basis with data representing the current state of the practice. These comparisons, when coupled with the durability data, will allow for rational cost/benefit relationships to be drawn for present and new corrosion protection options. Specific savings in both cost and in-shop time will also be reported.

Candidate structures to be coated with the new materials will be chosen in a manner allowing for varied and well defined exposure over their service lives. Field performance of the coated steel will be monitored for a period of no less than 5 years, but likely longer in total.

Based on the indications from testing and lessons learned during shop application in Task 3 of Phase I, work will continue on providing independent test verification that candidate materials meet the criteria developed in Tasks 1 through 3. Testing will involve conducting simultaneous laboratory exposure tests on further-defined candidate systems submitted by vendors whose own test data indicate that their material meets the criteria. Laboratory testing will continue according to existing accelerated test protocols (e.g., AASHTO R31-02). In order to further accelerate the testing and material introduction process, three promising materials will be applied to new bridge steel in as many as three different shops. Again, candidate bridges or major parts of bridges will be sought from owners willing to assist in the process of changing the paradigm of steel bridge coatings.

This project has the potential to set a new direction in bridge painting for decades to come.

Comments

A one-time funding commitment of $40,000 is requested. The maximum number of participants will be 8 to 10 states.

Subjects: Bridges, Other Structures, and Hydraulics and Hydrology Materials and Construction

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
One Coat Paint System for a Lifetime of Corrosion Protection on New Steel Bridges 924.pdf Solicitation Public

One Coat Paint System for a Lifetime of Corrosion Protection on New Steel Bridges

General Information
Solicitation Number: 924
Status: Solicitation withdrawn
Date Posted: Mar 04, 2005
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2008
Solicitation Expires: Jun 30, 2008
Partners: AL, CT, NHDOT, OH, PADOT, TX
Lead Organization: Federal Highway Administration
Financial Summary
Commitment Start Year: 2005
Commitment End Year: 2011
100% SP&R Approval: Pending Approval
Commitments Required: $400,000.00
Commitments Received: $260,000.00
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Joey Hartmann
joey.hartmann@fhwa.dot.gov
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): Joey Hartmann
joey.hartmann@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 202-493-3059
Commitments by Organizations
Agency Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Alabama Department of Transportation 2006 $40,000.00 Jeff Brown 334-353-6941 brownje@dot.state.al.us
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2008 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2009 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2010 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
Connecticut Department of Transportation 2011 $10,000.00 David Kilpatrick James Sime 860-258-0309 james.sime@ct.gov
New Hampshire Department of Transportation 2008 $20,000.00 Glenn Roberts 603-271-3151 Glenn.Roberts@dot.nh.gov
Ohio Department of Transportation 2009 $40,000.00 Jeff Chandler Monique Evans 614-728-6048 monique.evans@dot.state.oh.us
Ohio Department of Transportation 2010 $40,000.00 Jeff Chandler Monique Evans 614-728-6048 monique.evans@dot.state.oh.us
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2008 $40,000.00 Bonnie Fields Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Texas Department of Transportation 2006 $40,000.00 Jamie Sanchez Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov

Background

Corrosion of steel bridges has been a problem for a very long time. In 1970, after 100 years of using oil-based paints containing lead pigments, bridge coatings technology changed to the "state of the art" application of a three-coat system consisting of a zinc-rich primer and two additional coating layers. While there are various approaches to the chemical nature of the second and third coating layers, protection of the substrate is rooted in a zinc-rich primer and two additional layers of paint aggregating 8 to 12 mils. These systems are expected to deliver long-term corrosion protection. Coating system life expectation varies, but normally is in the 15 to 30-year range before the first major touch-up will be required. With periodic maintenance, total life expectancy is estimated by some to be as long as 100 years.

The cost of painting steel is thought to be a major deterrent to the use of steel as the preferred material of construction for new bridges. A recent study sponsored by FHWA surveyed costs from 20 fabrication shops nationwide. This survey indicates that the cost of shop applied coating has a significant impact on the delivered cost of a fabricated steel girder. The study indicated that the median cost for application of a shop primer is 7% of the cost of the girder, while the cost of a full shop-applied 3-coat system is 11%. In addition, the same study showed that costs for paint application range widely from 4% up to 20% depending on the complexity of the steel member, logistics of the particular shop, etc. These facts indicate a ripe area for capture of significant cost savings and production efficiencies.

In addition to pure cost impact, the time and space required for proper shop application of a three coat paint system are unattractive to the tightening schedule demands of fabricators and bridge owners. Current practice requires significant shop space for girders to allow for coatings to dry/cure prior to application of the next coat. This dry time requirement (often 24 hours between coats) may also require steel girders to be moved within the shop multiple times. This is not an efficient process. In these times of increased demand for on-time project delivery, shop productivity improvements pay significant dividends.

The major benefit of this project is to develop a one-coat bridge painting system that will deliver the same protection and aesthetics as the three-coat system while saving on application costs. It is believed that a true single-coat material can be developed, tested, and available for use within about five years.

Under Phase I, 14 candidate one-coat systems (serving as both primer and topcoat) were identified. The most promising three of these systems were tested utilizing laboratory testing and a five-year field exposure test commenced in early 2006. The best performing materials (or improved versions thereof) with advantageous properties will be considered for field testing and demonstration installation under Phase II. In order to benefit from coatings formulation research and development advances since 2003, Phase II will also include a new solicitation to the coatings industry to propose new or improved candidate materials.

Objectives

· To determine the ultimate field performance of the most promising one-coat (primer and topcoat) coating system(s). These will likely include both new materials and improved versions of products tested in Phase I. Field exposure will be targeted to different demanding environments, e.g., freshwater marine, saltwater marine, inland dry, and control test sites. Note that the experimental coating(s) will be applied only to new steel bridges during the shop fabrication process.

· To optimize the material/application process to provide a quality corrosion protection system that can be easily and consistently installed in shops with various material handling and material flow set-ups.

Although the field monitoring duration is five years under Phase II, the overall objective is to achieve a lifetime of protection with a single coat of paint applied in the shop to new steel.

Scope of Work

Phase II ¿ Screening and Ramp-Up Testing for Full Scale Production of New Processes

Specific Tasks:

Phase II of this effort will be supported by the subject Pooled Fund. This effort will focus on further definition, improvement, and implementation of promising candidate coating materials and systems identified in Phase I, as well as a new solicitation for new coating material candidates. In addition, Phase II will focus on optimizing the material/application process to provide a quality corrosion protection system that can be easily and consistently installed in shops with a variety of configurations, material flow, and equipment.

Durability testing and verification begun in Phase I will continue in both accelerated testing and actual field exposure of test specimens. In addition, new candidate materials and possibly improved versions of the most promising of the candidates identified in Phase I, as well as new material candidates, will be brought to several steel shops in large enough quantities to exercise the logistics and define the relative cost factors associated with each unique process. It is envisioned that pertinent major portions of bridges will be protected using the new materials in a realistic production basis. The areas so coated will be of sufficient size to provide a realistic test of both the materials and the shop's ability to apply it on a production basis. These data will be compared on a task-by-task basis with data representing the current state of the practice. These comparisons, when coupled with the durability data, will allow for rational cost/benefit relationships to be drawn for present and new corrosion protection options. Specific savings in both cost and in-shop time will also be reported.

Candidate structures to be coated with the new materials will be chosen in a manner allowing for varied and well defined exposure over their service lives. Field performance of the coated steel will be monitored for a period of no less than 5 years, but likely longer in total.

Based on the indications from testing and lessons learned during shop application in Task 3 of Phase I, work will continue on providing independent test verification that candidate materials meet the criteria developed in Tasks 1 through 3. Testing will involve conducting simultaneous laboratory exposure tests on further-defined candidate systems submitted by vendors whose own test data indicate that their material meets the criteria. Laboratory testing will continue according to existing accelerated test protocols (e.g., AASHTO R31-02). In order to further accelerate the testing and material introduction process, three promising materials will be applied to new bridge steel in as many as three different shops. Again, candidate bridges or major parts of bridges will be sought from owners willing to assist in the process of changing the paradigm of steel bridge coatings.

This project has the potential to set a new direction in bridge painting for decades to come.

Comments

A one-time funding commitment of $40,000 is requested. The maximum number of participants will be 8 to 10 states.

Subjects: Bridges, Other Structures, and Hydraulics and Hydrology Materials and Construction

Title Type Private
One Coat Paint System for a Lifetime of Corrosion Protection on New Steel Bridges Solicitation N

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