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8 SURFACE PREP 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM The Wide World of Surface Preparation By Jennifer Frakes Photos Courtesy of Blastrac, Clemco Industries Corp., DeFelsko Corp., HoldTight Solutions, ICRI, Jenny Products, Inc., Marco, W Abrasives, Wagner Meters, Warwick Mills Inc., WJTA-IMCA I n the coatings industr y, success can begin and end w ith surface preparation. Just as proper surface preparation helps ensure that a coating system w ill achieve optimum performance and longevity, improper surface preparation is basically a guarantee that a coating system w ill fail prematurely . ere are many, many aspects of surface preparation, and no one article on the subject can begin to touch on all of them. CoatingsPro Magazine put together the following guide to assist coatings contractors, asset owners, engineers, archi- tects, and project managers in navigating this vitally import- ant component in the coating system application process. What Is Surface Preparation? Simply put, surface preparation is the removal of old, exist- ing coatings; the removal of contaminants, such as debris, oils, and salts; the removal of rust and mill scale; and the creation of a surface, or anchor, profile for the proper adhesion of the new coating system. Each substrate that coatings contractors work w ith has specific characteristics that dictate the best surface prepa- ration method and process. Surface preparation methods w ill var y based on the substrate's condition — heavily degraded concrete or steel w ith rust w ill need to be prepared differently than new concrete or steel. T he situation at the jobsite w ill determine the best surface preparation procedure. Is it a confined space? A rooftop? A large warehouse? A n oil rig? Each of these situa- tions needs to be carefully considered prior to selecting a surface prep method. In addition, the job specifications and manufacturer recommendations provide guidelines to assure proper coating adhesion. For example, a coating system that is to be applied to a concrete bridge deck w ill have much different requirements than one applied to a steel tank holding potable water. With all of these factors to consider on each project — not to mention the critical nature of surface preparation — coatings contractors need to follow industr y standards and guidelines to ensure they are choosing the right surface prep method and equipment. Organizations such as NACE International, the A merican Concrete Institute (ACI), International Concrete Repair Institute (ICR I), the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC), and WaterJet Technolog y Association/Industrial & Municipal Cleaning Association (WJTA-IMC A) have developed best practices and standards to help contractors make sense of the various surface prepa- ration technolog y, equipment, procedures, and techniques. A ll of these organizations recognize the importance of surface preparation and offer a variety of resources. "Surface preparation is an important topic in ACI. We have detailed information related to proper preparation for sealers, coatings, and other coverings. In addition, other considerations, such as moisture content in a concrete substrate, are discussed in detail," said Julie Webb of ACI. Water to the Rescue One of the most common surface preparation methods is to clean the substrate using a pressure washer. Pressure washers can be used on roofs as well as concrete and steel substrates, and they work by breaking the bond between contaminants and the surface. "W hile pressure, flow, and horsepower can Surface prep is the removal of old, existing coatings, contaminants, or rust and mill scale; and the creation of a surface profile. Pressure washers, such as those from Jenny Products, may be one equipment consideration. Surface Prep