CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2009

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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DEEPLY INVOLVED For more than 15 years Dunkel's Aquatic Coatings has been deeply involved in polyurea coatings for commercial water containment systems. Dunkel's involvement in primary containment systems grew out of a love for beautiful fish. "What got me into the business is that my wife and I show Japanese koi fish," says Dunkel. "I know how important water containment membranes are to show fish." Dunkel's experience with koi helped him land projects fabri- cating polyurea koi ponds at homes of several Hollywood actors and a National Football League franchise owner in the past. But to tackle the Skirball Fountain, Dunkel would need to draw on an earlier life experience. Prior to entering the polyurea spray business, Dunkel worked in the aerospace industry where he specialized in moving heavy machinery. "That experience helped me figure out how to make the move a perfect one," says Dunkel. "We completely dismantled a spray rig in the parking lot and used techniques I'd learned in aerospace to secure the loads on rolling equipment, coax it all down a steep ramp, and move it gently over the granite walkways. Between the genera- tor and everything, we had a good 25,000 pounds of machinery that had to be moved." KNEE DEEP With all the gear in place and the pond drained, the five-man Aquatic Coatings crew was ready to take the plunge. First order of business: remove the failing epoxy coating. "I don't sub out any prep work," Dunkel says. "I spent more than $100,000 on Blastrac equipment at the World of Concrete Show. I do this because I'm a fanatic about quality; without good prep, my product is not going to stick." Knowing a wedding was scheduled near the fountain in less than a week, Dunkel brought in a couple of local helpers. He also flew in an associate from Arizona: Ron Ostislawski, an experi- enced shotblast operator. The crew performed most of their prep work at night to prevent noise from the Blastrac 1-15DS and five Milwaulkee seven-inch angle grinders from disrupting events at the cultural center. Plastic tenting and a vacuum dust collecting system helped keep dust particles kicked up from shot blasting and angle grinding from becoming airborne. With his eight-man crew knee-deep in prepping the fountain, Dunkel began to wonder if his earlier sinking feeling about this project's deadline was unwarranted. It was not. BOGGED DOWN First, an electrical short circuit stopped shotblast operator Ostislawski dead in his tracks. Somehow, in the middle of the night after some serious phone calls and text messages, the Aquatic Coatings crew found a technician to deliver a new circuit board. Then a more serious delay occurred. "Adam Sandler had been filming a fundraiser on location," JOB AT A GLANCE PROJECT: Install spray-on polyurea liner to repair leaking decorative fountain at a busy Los Angeles-area cultural center. COATINGS CONTRACTOR: Aquatic Coatings, Inc. 1205 Brookdale Drive Brentwood, CA 94513 (925) 634-6557 SIZE OF CONTRACTOR: Five full-time employees PRIME CLIENT: Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 (310) 440-4500 SUBSTRATE: 12-year-old concrete SUBSTRATE CONDITION: Solid, but existing epoxy coating was leaking SIZE: About 5,000 sq. ft. DURATION: Four-day project likely would have taken two days without delays UNUSUAL FACTORS: Work done while busy cultural center remained open to public Proximity to buildings required intensive dust abatement Much of the prep done at night to lessen impact of noise Adam Sandler was filming on location, causing delays due to noise Access to fountain so difficult that equipment had to be dismantled, moved 450', and reassembled on site MATERIALS/PROCESS: Shot blast and angle grind to remove existing epoxy coating Apply with rollers and brushes in one pass 25 mils (DFT) of Polycoat Product's Polyprime 21 epoxy-polyamine primer Spray three passes 90 mils total (DFT) of Polycoat's Polyeuro 5502 polyurea protective coating SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: Working with cultural center patrons nearby required vigilance Great care used to avoid injury/property damage while moving heavy equipment up and down sloping access route Comprehensive steps taken to keep dust from becoming airborne near visitors January 2009 J 51

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