CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2015

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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24 NOVEMBER 2015 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Specifying Success It is not just the specifying engineer's responsibility to avoid taking the path of least resistance; qualifed and certifed coating inspectors and qualifed and certifed contractors should educate both themselves and their employees of these updates as well. Photos courtesy of O.T.B. Technologies The Path of Least Resistance By Tomas R. (Randy) Glover, President and Owner of O.T.B. Technologies, Inc. A well-known psychologist, Tom Ward, pointed out in an article entitled "Creative Bad Habits: Treading the Path of Least Resistance," that "when we think about anything, we follow the path of least resistance. Without realizing it, we instantly and automatically categorize every situation we see based on previous experience. So, despite our best eforts to do something bold and new, our memory drives us back to things tried and true. Our eforts at creativity are thwarted before they get on track." It has been my personal observa- tion that this holds very true when it comes to specifcations and the writers of these documents. A considerable amount of specifcations I've perused are so similar you might conclude that they were boiler plated or simply copied. I was once given a specifcation that stated that NACE No. 4/Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) Surface Preparation (SP) 7: Brush-Of Blast Cleaning was to be employed on a concrete surface preparation and coating project. Obviously, the author never read the frst sentence of General Section 1.1, which states, "Tis standard covers the requirements for brush-of blast cleaning of unpainted or painted steel surfaces by the use of abrasives." In case you missed it, NACE No. 4/ SSPC-SP-7 is for steel surfaces and not concrete surfaces. With that as a begin- ning, one can only wonder how well the rest of the specifcation was written. I'm also aware of industry inspection courses on concrete that insert International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 8502-3 into the curriculum for inspectors and engineers. Tat standard states, "Preparation of steel substrates before application of paint and related products—Tests for the assessment of surface cleanliness." Obviously, the writers of these courses pay no attention to the frst paragraph of Scope 1.1, which further states, "Tis part of ISO 8502 describes a method for the assessment of dust remaining on cleaned steel surfaces prepared for painting." Teaching the use of this standard as acceptable on a concrete project only makes me wonder if those who are in course oversight are ignorant of the standard's wording or are taking the path of least resistance. So what do we need to do to ensure that our specifcations are properly written for the end user, in this case the coatings applicator? Let's start at the beginning. What Is a Specification? As I said in my previous Specifying Success article (CoatingsPro, November

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