FHWA Resource Center
SCEF Structural Coatings Subcommittee Meeting
11/2/2001 - Holiday Inn, Manassas, Virginia
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 AM by Paul Perkins, attendees
introduced themselves. 28 people were in attendance.
1. The minutes of the June 4, 2001 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were
2. Lou Triandafilou discussed the possibility of having only one meeting per
year rather than the two meeting that are currently held each year. Lou
discussed the problems of scheduling two meetings each year as more
organizations have cut back on traveling.
3. Williams Bridge personnel
(Ron Quasebarth & Rocky Snellings) discussed shop painting.
- Mr. Quasebarth gave the Williams Bridge procedure for planning a paint
project. Williams reviews plans and specifications, schedules production and
order materials (stressed the need to give supplier lead time for paint
- Mr. Snellings gave the company's standard procedure for shop
All material is solvent cleaned, as per SSPC-SP1, this is to remove
oil & grease.
Material is pre-blast cleaned, deburred, welds
Material is re-blast cleaned to meet the specification of
the project. At this point the material is inspected for specification
compliance with regard to level of cleaning, surface (anchor) profile is
- Mr. Snellings demonstrated test equipment. The test equipment was handed
out to the attendees for a close look; included pictorials, flashlight with
circular disc, testex tape, micrometer, pull-off gage,etc.
- Williams Bridge discussed some problems they see with shop
SSPC-SP5 versus SSPC-SP10: Invariably inspectors require
SP5 when SP10 is the specified requirement.
Surface profile of 1 ½ -
3 mils is usually specified; inspectors reject if 3 ½ is found.
to fix handling damage? At fabrication shop or at construction site? If
performed at the shop, the steel will be damaged in transit and/or during
erection; maybe best repair time is after erection?
- 1 coat of paint versus multiple coats painted in the shop.
As per Williams Bridge, 1 coat in shop saves time, speeds work flow,
zinc primer more resistant to handling damage than topcoats. Multicoats favor
fabricators who have facilities in place to handle painting in a separate
location in the plant. Three-coat system has advantage of being coated and
inspected on the ground, better control of weather conditions. NJ appeared to
be the only State present requiring all coats to be applied in the shop.
- Painting certification programs (AISC versus QP3) Why both? Either should
be acceptable; multiple certifications require more resources and are
reflected in the cost of steel bridge projects. Bill Shoup of SSPC said intent
is reciprocity between the two certification programs; at present main
difference is health/safety requirements for SSPC certification.
- Question discussed as to what type of bolts (black, hot-dip galvanized,
mechanically galvanized or type 3 weathering) are specified by each state DOT
to be used at non-painted and painted connections. Ms. Sandy Compton of
Industrial Galvanizers of Virginia volunteered to chair a task group to
investigate this question. Task group comments due at next meeting.
4. Two coat versus Three coat systems:
Small amount of discussion, no one
is using two coat systems except for a few rapid deployment projects. Few states
are anticipating using rapid deployment next year.
5. AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration
Inorganic zinc shop coat
specification has been approved and is posted on NSBA web site .
Specification will be discussed at SSPC yearly meeting in November 2001.
Discussion followed concerning whether states would incorporate the document
into their respective specifications. It was stressed that a national
specification is of little value if individual states do not accept the
specification. It was suggested that this subcommittee might want to accept the
specification as a regional specification. Each state was encouraged to adopt
- SCEF has a specification for application of inorganic zinc primer. It
appeared that those states present do not use this specification. Dick Hanlon
will follow up with all SCEF states to find out if anyone is using the
specification. If no one is using it, the subcommittee will vote on deleting
the specification from the SCEF listing of specifications. (Specification
attached to minutes)
6. OSHA Slip Coefficient for paint used on new structural steel. As per Bill
Shoup, SSPC is working with the rule. SSPC to test slip coefficient; testing
apparatus will be discussed at up coming SSPC meeting. Shoup sees no change by
OSHA, industry will have to live with the rule. Bob Kogler of FHWA discussed
some of the problems with the test equipment.
7. Inorganic zinc versus organic zinc.
Russ Panico of High Steel
Structures discussed some experimental work performed at High, which indicated
that organic zinc is more impact resistant than inorganic zinc. In addition,
organic cures faster (10 versus 24 hours) than inorganic. Due to the faster cure
and impact resistance, steel can be handled sooner in the fabrication shop when
organic is used. Mr. Panico indicated that the organic zinc coatings must meet
the same specification requirements as inorganic coatings.
((The NTPEP specification dated April 2000 for zinc primer has different
requirements for inorganic and organic coatings. Inorganic zinc must meet AASHTO
M300; organic zinc must meet SSPC Paint #20. M300 requires a 5000 hours salt fog
resistance test while SSPC Paint #20 requires a 1000 hour salt fog resistance
test. The NEPCOAT specification requires 5000 hours for both types of
8. SSPC SP 14/NACE 8 Industrial Blast Cleaning Bill Shoup discussed the
newest SSPC blast cleaning standard, SP 14. This standard provides for degree of
cleaning between SP 7 (brush off) and SP 6 (commercial). See attached
9. Weathering Steel.
A discussion was held regarding when to use
weathering steel, what sections of the steel members are painted, and cost
savings. In general, all states coat the ends of weathering steel members, some
coat the fascia girders. All steel producers and fabricators present encouraged
more use of weathering steel to cut cost of steel bridges in comparison to
concrete bridges. Many States now have policies to evaluate the use of
weathering steel on most projects, many in combination with jointless bridges.
Bethlehem Steel indicated a total fabrication cost reduction of 7-15% by using
weathering steel over painted steel; this is equal to 2-5% of total cost of the
structure. The 7-15% is the reduction in the cost of the structural steel
portion of the structure. A High Steel Structures' life cycle cost study of the
Lewisburg bridge noted long-term savings of $1 million by using weathering
Public demand is a motivation force to require painting
of galvanized steel. In addition, some structures, such as high mast poles, sign
structures, lighting poles, etc., are galvanized to protect the interior of the
structure. Coating over galvanize requires careful planning and attention to
details in both the galvanizing and coating processes. A number of photographs
were shown of massive coating failures over galvanizing. Bob Garretson of Lane
Enterprises, noted that only 3 percent of their work involves powder coating
over galvanized steel (1 mil profile from an SP-7 blast), however, 80 percent of
their shop problems are related to this type of work. IGA web site contains
information concerning coating over galvanize. The 2002 Mid-Atlantic States'
Quality Assurance workshop will have a speaker on this subject.
11. Overcoating - Minimal State experiences were covered.
A discussion was held concerning mutual acceptance and
verification of coating materials by all the mid-Atlantic States. NEPCOAT and
NTPEP were discussed.