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Re: exposed base plates / hillside construction

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Code issues aside, structural steel is often painted for industrial applications in the petrochemical and power industries.  Note that these paint systems involved a lot more than just slapping on some primer and the cost can be the same as galvanizing depending on the location of fabrication.  You typically start with a very good sand blasting, then a primer coat, then one or two top coats.  With all the VOC regulations epoxy paints seems to be the most popular system.  You could probably get some good information by calling a steel fabricator that has a lot of experience with industrial applications.  You could also contact NACE and since they are supported by the paint industry I am sure they could give you some recommendations.  Of course you could also just call the paint companies directly and sort through all the sales babble.  Another issue is the handling and installation of the painted steel.  If it gets scratched up and dinged then you have lost your corrosion protection.  With galvanizing, a few small scratches will not effect the overall performance of the coating.  This is why many petrochemical clients will put the primer (and first coat of a three coat system) in the shop then will put the final coat on after erection.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting


07/22/2003 09:21 AM

Please respond to

exposed base plates / hillside construction

i have a question regarding typical specification for base plates that are
exposed to the elements and base plaes in hillside construction.

there is a provision in the la city code that requires galvanized base plates
and anchor bolts in hillside construction.  (section 1666.10.4)  this seems
to be a sound requirements as the plates are horizontal surface and collect
water, they may not be maintained. i have seen several installations where severe
corrosion has compromisred integrity.
however, is there a more eceonomical or easier way of achieving the same
result?  are there epoxy coated paints / primers that provide equivalent
protection, but ease fabrication?

thanks in advance - paul franceschi