Industrial Painting Steel in Corrosive Environments – PennCoat, Inc

Industrial Painting Steel in Corrosive Environments – PennCoat, Inc.

When you provide industrial painting services, it’s common to see a lot of corroded steel.  Steel that’s exposed to natural environments, such as snow, rain, hail, UV rays, high and low temps contribute to the deterioration of steel.  So when looking at steel frames and structures, it’s important to consider coatings that will help prevent this corrosion.  And one of the best methods it to apply a moisture cured urethane primer.

I recently ventured onto the rooftops of a food manufacturing facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  The site owner’s request was to paint all of the corroded steel.  And what he had to show me was everything a corroded piece of steel could look like.

Clearly, this steel has been exposed to the natural elements for a long time.  So, the approach to a painting project of this magnitude will involve the following steps:

1. Pressure wash the steel to remove any loose rust, dirt, and debris that can impare adhession with the new coatings.

2. Hand tool the corroded areas.  Typically, when we see very corroded areas on structural steel, we will hand tool the areas with a mechanical rotary tool.  This will remove the rust, allowing the coating to make contact with the actual substrate.

3. Once the hand tooling has adequately prepared the substrates, our installers would then apply a thin-film of moisture cured urethane.  Moisture cured urethane is an excellent rust-inhibitive coating that will cure harder as it comes in contact with moisture.  Additionally, it’s low-viscous adhesion properties allow it to cross-link with the steel’s surface, creating a more permanent bond with the substrate.

4. After the rusted areas have been spot primed with the moisture cured urethane (and in this case, nearly the entire project would be spot primed), it would be time to apply the top coats.

The top coats would be a performance paint.  The performance paint we could use would be a mastic urethane.  The benefit of the mastic urethane is that it has excellent adhesion, and excellent color retention.  A “mastic” coating is a coating that has been chemically manufactured with a gum-compound that allows gives the material a greater bonding capacity.

So, during the hot days of summer, when the sunlight is showering over the structural steel, the pigment in the coating will not be compromised to the excessive ultra-violet light.  The urethane mastic will do a superior job at maintaining the integrity of its color, while preventing water and additional natural elements from coming in contact with the steel’s substrate.

This is going to be the coating system that I will present to the customer.  We’ve done similar industrial painting projects where the substrate is exposed to the natural elements, and have required some intense prep work to restore the appearance of the steel.  So while the project certainly presents its challenges, it isn’t a lost cause to restore the appearance of the steel, and uphold its integrity by protecting it against the natural elements that are prone to corroding structural steel.

PennCoat, Inc. has been providing industrial painting, commercial painting, epoxy flooring, and polished concrete services for nearly 30 years.  Our experienced installers are trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to ensure that every installation is installed efficiently and safely.  PennCoat, Inc. provides service to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  And we cover York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Bucks, Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.