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STRUCTURES TEAM

SCEF Structural Coatings Subcommittee Meeting Minutes
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 approved.

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 delivery)

  • Mr. Snellings gave the company's standard procedure for shop painting:

    ­ All material is solvent cleaned, as per SSPC-SP1, this is to remove oil & grease.
    ­ Material is pre-blast cleaned, deburred, welds fixed, etc.
    ­ 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 determined.



  • 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 painting.
    ­ 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.
    ­ When 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 this specification.

  • 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 primer.))

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 information.

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 steel.

10. Galvanizing.
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.

12. Discussion
A discussion was held concerning mutual acceptance and verification of coating materials by all the mid-Atlantic States. NEPCOAT and NTPEP were discussed.

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