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COATINGSPRO SURFACEPREP 2015 11 Concrete and Steel most important components of any coating application. It is critical that coatings contractors stress the importance of surface preparation to clients, especially those who may want to cut dollars from the surface preparation line item. Coatings contractors and their clients must remember this simple fact: Even the most expensive, specialized, high-tech coating system can fail if the substrate is not properly prepared. "Proper preparation is like an afordable insurance policy. Contractors and facility owners can sleep a little better at night knowing that their coating or overlay system has the best chance for success," said Jonn Rippman of Blastrac. Knowing just how vital surface preparation is to the overall performance of a coating system, coatings contractors need to know how to determine the best surface preparation method, technique, and technology for any one particular job. It's a heav y question, and the answer lies within the four Ss: substrate, specifcations, situation, and standards. Each substrate has specific characteristics and proper- ties that w ill dictate the ty pe of surface preparation methods that w ill y ield the best results. Even w ithin the categories of concrete and steel substrates, there are subcat- egories that w ill determine the best surface preparation procedures. For instance, newly poured concrete may require different surface preparation methods than an older, damaged concrete slab. In addition, there are also many ty pes of steel, each w ith different physical, chemical, and environmental properties, to be considered when choosing a surface preparation method. Project specifcations and coating system manufacturer recommendations will provide guidelines to assure the proper coating adhesion to a particular substrate. Specifcations and manufacturer recommendations vary widely depending not only on the type of substrate but also on the type of coating to be applied. For example, a coating system that is to be applied on a concrete foor in a meat packing plant will have much diferent surface prep requirements than a coating that is to be applied to a concrete wastewater tank. Coatings contractors must also ask questions that relate to the project's situation. W hat is the condition of the substrate? Does it have an existing coating that needs to be removed? Is it a steel pipeline? Is it an industrial manufac- turing plant? W hat environmental factors need to be consid- ered? Te answers to these types of questions provide vital information about the coating project's situation and will steer the surface preparation process. Organizations such as the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), NACE International, and the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) have developed standards and guidelines that can assist coatings applicators in making sense of the many diferent surface preparation processes, "When unprotected steel is exposed to oxygen and hydrogen in the air, an electrochemical reaction takes place in the steel that leads to its destruction by a process known as corrosion…" said Hernan Azocar of Clemco

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