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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume


2: Research Overview

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94 pages | 8.5 x 11 | PAPERBACK


ISBN 978-0-309-47504-4 | DOI 10.17226/25090

CONTRIBUTORS

GET THIS BOOK Theodore Hopwood II, Sudhir Palle, Bobby Meade, Rick Younce, Danny Wells, and
Christopher Goff; National Cooperative Highway Research Program; Transportation
Research Board; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP
Web-Only Document 251:

Spot Painting to Extend


Highway Bridge Coating Life
Volume 2: Research Overview
Theodore Hopwood II
Sudhir Palle
Bobby Meade
Rick Younce
Danny Wells
Christopher Goff
Kentucky Transportation Center
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Contractor’s Final Report for NCHRP Project 14-30
Submitted January 2018
ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This work was sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation
with the Federal Highway Administration, and was conducted in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP),
which is administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and
Medicine.

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The information contained in this document was taken directly from the submission of the author(s). This material has not been
edited by TRB.

Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

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Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Contents

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES ............................................................................................... v

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................. vii

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 1

CHAPTER 1 Background, Project Objectives, and Research Approach .............................. 3


1.1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 3
1.2 Project Objectives ............................................................................................................... 3
1.3 KTC Research Approach ....................................................................................................4

CHAPTER 2 Laboratory Accelerated Performance Testing of Spot Coating Systems........ 6


2.1 Background ......................................................................................................................... 6
2.2 KTC Test Protocol ............................................................................................................... 9
2.3 Results of Accelerated Laboratory Performance Testing .................................................. 21
2.4 Laboratory Coating Testing Discussion ............................................................................. 29

CHAPTER 3 Field Spot Painting Work ................................................................................... 32


3.1 Background ....................................................................................................................... 32
3.2 Bridge Selection and Field Coating Assessments ............................................................. 32
3.3 Field Work Protocol ........................................................................................................... 37
3.4 Follow-up Evaluations off Field Work ................................................................................ 45
3.5 Field Work Discussion ....................................................................................................... 49

CHAPTER 4 Overview of Project Tasks/Conclusions ........................................................... 51


4.1 Laboratory Testing ............................................................................................................ 51
4.2 KTC Field Testing.............................................................................................................. 53
4.3 Conclusions ....................................................................................................................... 54

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................ 55

ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS, INITIALISMS AND SYMBOLS ............................................. 56

APPENDIX A Mill Certification for ASTM A 572 Steel ......................................................... A-1

APPENDIX B Laboratory Test Protocol for Repair Test Coatings ..................................... B-1

iv

Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES

Figure 1. KTC Cyclic Corrosion (Dry/Fog) Test Chambers. ................................................................. 9


Figure 2. KTC QUV Accelerated Weathering Testers.......................................................................... 9
Figure 3. Accelerated Performance Type I Test Panel (0.25 in.-Thick ASTM A572 Steel)............... 10
Figure 4. Test Matrix for Type I Panels ............................................................................................... 12
Figure 5. Surface Preparation of Conditioned Panels to SSPC-SP 3,
“Power Tool Cleaning,” Standard...................................................................................................... 13
Figure 6. Feathering Exposed Edge of Existing Coating on Test Panel by Hand Sanding............... 13
Figure 7. Type I Flat Panel Specimen Surface Prepared to SSPC-SP 3 with
Feathered Existing Coating.............................................................................................................. 13
Figure 8. KTC Technician Brushing a Spot Coating on a Test Panel. ............................................... 14
Figure 9. Test Specimens with Grease “Repair” Coatings Ready for Testing. .................................. 15
Figure 10. Tape Specimens Prepared for Testing (Note the Smudges on the Tape). ...................... 15
Figure 11. Polyurethane over Epoxy Sealer “Repair” Coating System
Tested over Test Panels with an Alkyd/Alkyd Existing Coating on a Test Panel. .......................... 16
Figure 12. Polyurethane over MIO-Epoxy “Repair” Coating System Tested
over Test Panels with an Epoxy/Urethane Existing Coating on a Test
Panel after 5,040 Hours of ASTM B117 Testing. ............................................................................ 18
Figure 13. Moisture Cure Polyurethane (2 Coats) “Repair” Coating System Tested
over Test Panels with an Epoxy/Urethane Existing Coating on a Test Panel
after 5,040 Hours of ASTM B117 Testing. ........................................................................................ 18
Figure 14. Accelerated Performance Type II Test Panel (0.25 in.-Thick Steel)................................. 19
Figure 15. Test Matrix for Type II Panels. ........................................................................................... 19
Figure 16. Surface Preparation of Complex Shape (Type II) Test Specimen to
SSPC-SP 3 Standard Using a Needle Gun. ................................................................................... 20
Figure 17. Grease Coated Type II Specimen Prepared for Accelerated
Corrosion Testing per ASTM B117.................................................................................................. 21
Table 1. Type I Test Results for Mill Scale Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per
ASTM D5894 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance* ............................................................... 23
Table 2. Type I Test Results for Blast Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours
per ASTM D5894 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance*......................................................... 24
Table 3. Type I Test Results for Mill Scale Plates Tested for 5000 Hours
per ASTM B117 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance* ........................................................... 25
Table 3 Cont. Type I Test Results for Mill Scale Plates Tested for 5000 Hours
per ASTM B117 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance* ........................................................... 26
Table 4. Type I Test Results for Blast-Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours
per ASTM B117 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance* ........................................................... 27
Table 4 Cont. Type I Test Results for Blast-Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours
per ASTM B117 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance* ........................................................... 28
Table 5. Type II Test Results for Blast-Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours
per ASTM B117 Test Durations in Hours vs. Performance* ........................................................... 29
Figure 18. Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60 Near Lexington, KY. ........................................... 32
Figure 19. KY 922 Southbound Bridge over KY 4 in Lexington, KY. ................................................. 33
Figure 20. Corrosion on Beam Ends and Cross-Bracing under Leaking Deck
Joint on the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge at Pier 1 (Area 2). ............................................................. 34
Figure 21. Disbonding of Existing Coating on Girder near East Abutment (Area 1).......................... 34
Figure 22. Corrosion and Rust Staining on Beam Ends and Diaphragm at the KY 922
Southbound Bridge South Abutment. .............................................................................................. 34
Figure 23. Coating Assessment Area on the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge at Pier 1. .......................... 35

Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


S p o t P a i n t i n g t o E x t e n d H i g h w a y B r i d g e C o a t i n g L i f e : V

NCHRP Project 14-30

Figure 24. XRF Testing the KY 922 Bridge Coating for Lead. ........................................................... 35
Table 6. Coating Assessment for Beams 1, 3 & 4 Near East Abutment on
KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60. ........................................................................... 35
Table 7. Coating Assessment for Beams 1, 2 & 3 Over Pier 1 (West) on
KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60. ........................................................................... 36
Table 8. Coating Assessment for Test Areas 1, 3 & 7 Near the South
Abutment on KY 922 Bridge over KY 4. .......................................................................................... 36
Figure 25. A Ground Tarp Placed under the Bluegrass Parkway Area 1 to
Collect Leaded Paint Chips.............................................................................................................. 39
Figure 26. Surface Preparation to SSPC-SP 3 Standard Using a Pneumatic Needle Gun. ............. 40
Figure 27. Surface Preparation to SSPC-SP 3 Standard Using an Electric Sander. ........................ 40
Figure 28. Area 2 Test Location on the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge with
SSPC-SP 3 Surface Preparation. .................................................................................................... 40
Figure 29. Test Location on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge with
SSPC-SP 3 Surface Preparation. .................................................................................................... 40
Figure 30. Dew Point Meter Used to Monitor Ambient Conditions on the
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge Prior to Coating Application. ................................................................ 41
Figure 31. KTC Technician Brushing an Alkyd Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge. ........... 41
Figure 32. KTC Technician Applying Grease Coating with a Glove before
Smoothing It out with a Scraper. ...................................................................................................... 42
Figure 33. Green Tape Used to Supplement Beige Tape Due to a Shortage. .................................. 42
Figure 34. Rust Bleed Problem with the Direct-to-Metal Acrylic Primer............................................. 42
Figure 35. Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd Repair Coating (2 Coats) on Area 1 of the
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. .............................................................................................................. 44
Figure 36. MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane Repair Coating on Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge.. 44
Figure 37. A Moisture Cure Urethane Repair Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge............... 44
Figure 38. A Grease Repair Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge.......................................... 44
Table 9. Dry Film Thicknesses for Liquid-Applied Coatings on KTC Field Tests (Topcoat/Primer) .. 45
Figure 39. The Moisture Cure Urethane Spot Repair in Good Condition on the
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. .............................................................................................................. 46
Figure 40. The Tape Spot Coating in Good Condition on Area 1 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. 46
Figure 41. The Alkyd Spot Coating in Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge in Good Condition. 47
Figure 42. The Acrylic Spot Coating in Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge in Poor Condition 47
Figure 43. The Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane Repair Coating on the KY 922
Southbound Bridge in Fair-to-Good Condition. ............................................................................... 47
Figure 44. The MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane Repair Coating on the KY 922
Southbound Bridge in Good Condition. ........................................................................................... 47
Table 10. KTC Ratings of Power Tools .............................................................................................. 49
Table 11. KTC Rating of Coatings ...................................................................................................... 49

vi

C o p y r i g h t N a t i o n a l A c a d e m y o f S c i e n c
S p o t P a i n t i n g t o E x t e n d H i g h w a y B r

NCHRP Project 14-30

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The research reported herein was performed under NCHRP 14-30 by the Kentucky Transportation
Center at the University of Kentucky. The University of Kentucky is the contractor for this study,
and Theodore Hopwood II P.E., Program Manager – Bridge Preservation, is the principal
investigator. The other contributing authors of this report are Sudhir Palle, Bobby W. Meade, Rick
Younce, Danny Wells and Christopher Goff.

The authors would like to thank Mr. David Steele of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
(ret.) for assisting us in accessing several Cabinet bridges for performing field spot painting tests.
The authors would also like to acknowledge all of the officials from state highway agencies
and other transportation authorities who participated in our spot painting survey.

Finally, the contribution and guidance of the NCHRP Panel should be mentioned. Without
their hard work and diligence in providing comments, this work would not have been successfully
completed.

vii

C o p y r i g h t N a t i o n a l A c a d e
Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

SUMMARY
Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life

Bridge coatings are the primary means of corrosion protection for steel bridges in the United
States. Maintaining those coatings is a major challenge for State highway agencies that are faced
with many bridges requiring repainting and constrained budgets that limit the amount of painting
work they can perform. If the coatings are not preserved in a timely manner, they can fail and
expose the steel bridge members to corrosion damage. That can lead to repairs or risks posed
by corrosion losses to key structural members.

Most bridge coatings tend to fail prematurely in localized areas and spot painting can be
used to repair those. That will restore the lost corrosion protection and extend the service lives of
existing bridge coatings, often at a fraction of the cost of a complete bridge repainting. However,
many state highway agencies do not perform spot painting primarily due to performance concerns
and lack of familiarity with its proper utilization and execution.

This research was initiated to provide guidance to state highway agencies on “best
practices” for employing spot painting in a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally compliant
manner. That guidance, less the evaluation method employed in this report, is incorporated in a
companion document (Hopwood et al. 2018).

One component of this project was to develop laboratory procedures for accelerated
testing of coatings to qualify them for use as spot repairs to specific existing coatings on bridges
and assess their potential service lives. A key facet was the focus on the SSPC-SP 3, “Power
Tool Cleaning” method for preparing damaged steel surfaces/existing coatings to receive
applications of spot coatings. That method provides an acceptable level of surface cleanliness to
promote reasonable spot coating performance under atmospheric exposure in mild or moderate
climates. It can be utilized by a range of workers from in-house bridge maintenance crews to
experienced painting contractor personnel.

The KTC at the University of Kentucky developed a testing protocol that replicated typical
spot failures on steel test panels using three types of coatings to duplicate existing bridge
coatings. Corroded areas on the panels received surface preparation using the SSPC-SP 3
standard. The test panels were subsequently coated with six conventional 2-coat liquid-applied
coating systems amenable to the SSPC-SP 3 standard and several non-traditional coatings -- a
grease and a tape. Those were intended to assess both the test procedures employed and the
performance of the coatings over typical substrates receiving spot coatings in the field. The coated
test panels were subjected to conventional accelerated weathering and corrosion laboratory tests
to stress the coatings and determine their performance under conditions that simulated several
common types of coating exposure on bridges. The test panels were periodically evaluated for
damage by rusting and blistering. At the end of the testing program, the coated flat panels had
been exposed to 5,000 hours of testing which proved sufficient to fail lower-performing coatings
and validate the test protocols as being suitable for screening coatings for use on bridge spot
painting projects using SP 3 surface preparation and common (existing) bridge coatings or, at
least, provide comparative performance data.

A field test protocol was developed during preparation of the guidance document that
enabled field researchers to conduct experimental spot painting tests on several bridges using
those procedures in conjunction with the use of surface preparation employing the SSPC-SP 3
standard and coatings evaluated in the laboratory tests. Three Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

(KYTC) bridges were selected for testing which had coatings containing lead, requiring KTC to
address the appropriate worker safety and environmental protection actions to achieve regulatory
compliance. Prior to performing the field tests, coatings assessments were conducted to measure
key parameters on the bridges that impacted the performance of maintenance painting work and
the selection of spot painting as a viable option using the field test protocol. Based on those
assessments, field researchers mobilized and applied spot coating repairs to the three bridges.
The work encompassed two areas on one bridge with different problems — disbonding of the
existing coatings (alkyds) and corrosion under a leaking deck joint. The spot coating work in the
first area was intended to repair the failed existing coating and halt further disbonding. Spot work
in the second area was intended to repair the failed existing coating and stop further corrosion.
Work on the other two (twin) bridges was also intended to repair failed existing coatings and stop
further corrosion. Work on those bridges addressed corrosion issues occurring with a different
type of existing coating system than on the first bridge — an inorganic zinc/vinyl. The field spot
painting work was performed in accordance with the KTC spot painting protocol and was
successfully completed without incident.

The field spot coating tests were evaluated 14 months after application and most were
performing satisfactorily. The coatings had halted progressive failures of existing coatings in the
disbonding problem areas. In the other areas with corrosion, there was evidence of rust-back to
varying degrees with the conventional coatings, but in most cases, it was limited and the coatings
were effective in halting widespread corrosion damage. More time would be required to determine
the long-term performance of the field spot coatings and better correlate their performance with
the laboratory test results.

The research performed provides guidance for state highway agencies to address the use
of spot painting as a viable maintenance painting option for bridge coatings. It further provides a
laboratory protocol for assessing candidate spot coating systems. It also demonstrates a spot
painting method that could be applied by relatively inexperienced state highway agency bridge
crews to affect spot repairs of damaged coatings on steel bridges using minimal procedures such
as SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning” and brush application of liquid-applied coatings. Troweling
and wall paper hanging procedures were used by KTC researchers to apply the grease and tape
respectively. Those methods are also amenable for adoption by state highway bridge crews.

Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

CHAPTER 1
Background, Project Objectives, and Research Approach

1.1 Introduction

Of the approximately 614,000 bridges in the FHWA National Bridge Inventory, about 170,000 are
steel bridges that rely on protection from corrosion damage by thin film coatings or paints. Those
coatings have a finite lifespan in relation to the steel they protect. Over time, they degrade
eventually requiring repair or replacement. Maintenance of protective coatings on steel bridges is
a major problem for transportation agencies, especially state highway agencies. Many lack the
resources to continually re-paint their bridges in a timely manner. As a consequence, they will
require costly demand maintenance for steel replacement or incur increased structural risk due
to loss-of-section to critical structural components.

The coating deterioration process is accelerated at highly stressed bridge locations that
typically fail earlier than others subjected to more moderate exposures. The primary stresses for
bridge coatings are extended time of wetness (TOW), soluble salt contamination,
condensation/evaporation cycles and ultra-violet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Premature coating
failures may also be attributed to variations in substrate condition, application, material variability
in the resulting film, and inadequate/excessive film build. Frequently, bridge coatings will
experience small areas of localized failure, while most of the coating remains intact and capable
of years of additional service. In those situations, the failed coating areas can be repaired by
recoating without affecting the balance of the intact existing coating (i.e., spot painting).

The most cost-effective approach for state highway agencies to address bridge
maintenance painting is to employ a “toolkit” containing the four maintenance painting options: 1)
removal and replacement, 2 overcoating, 3) zone painting, and 4) spot painting. Spot painting is
the lowest first-cost option (in terms of total cost) for restoring overall coating integrity and
protection on many bridges. In determining the appropriate maintenance painting option, selection
of spot painting depends, in part, upon the number, areas and disposition of coating failure sites
to be repaired, along with the condition/type of the intact existing paint.

A vital factor in selecting the use of spot painting is the identification of proper spot repair
coatings. Repair coatings must possess application characteristics that match the level of worker
skill and supervisor knowledge of the paint crews using them. They must also perform well, often
over marginally prepared substrates and match or exceed the subsequent performance of the
existing coating in areas where it is performing acceptably. A practical evaluation procedure is
needed to identify spot coatings that can be used successfully over a variety of existing bridge
coating types.

1.2 Project Objectives

The objective of this research was to produce guidelines promoting the use of spot painting to extend
the service life of existing coatings on steel bridge. Those guidelines included:

Develop a methodology to identify suitable spot coatings - Accelerated laboratory testing


procedures were to be used to:

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

• Qualify spot coatings for spot painting repairs over specific existing coatings on
bridges, and
• Assess their potential service lives for those applications.

Provide guidance for state highway agency officials to deploy spot painting - Identify commonly
employed structural painting methods that constitute:

• Best practices for spot painting on bridges incorporating the selection process, proper
materials handling, cleaning, soluble salt remediation, mechanical surface
preparation, verification of ambient conditions, coatings application, and compliance
with worker safety and environmental regulations, and
• Best practices for cleaning/mechanical surface preparation to the SSPC-SP 3
standard.

Address key issues in spot coatings selection - Review the existing coatings industry knowledge
base to:

• Assess the advantages and limitations of generic coatings/systems for spot painting,
• Summarize application characteristics of spot coatings (including worker safety
issues) that affect ease of use (user-friendliness and adaptability) for spot painting by
state highway agency maintenance personnel,
• Assess non-traditional coatings/materials used to supplant or supplement
conventional spot coatings for spot painting,
• Identify climatic conditions (e.g. environments, prevailing weather) affecting spot
coating application and service performance,
• Recommend selection procedure of spot coatings for use over specific existing
coatings with regard to compatibility issues and precautions in painting over weathered
materials,
• Identify worker safety and environmental remediation issues, and
• Determine service performance of spot coatings over existing coating types and
performance matching based upon condition of existing coatings.

1.3 KTC Research Approach

The Kentucky Transportation Center used a six-step approach to address the goals of this project.

The primary goal (first step) was to develop a test method that can be used to assess
existing coating systems to be used for spot painting over common generic types of coating
systems used on bridges (Chapter 2 of this report). That method was applied to evaluate a range
of coatings, tapes, and greases used for spot painting/repair of localized failed coatings using the
aforementioned common coating types serving as existing bridge coatings and determine their
behavior when subjected to accelerated laboratory tests replicating several common service
conditions on bridges (i.e. direct UV exposure with condensation/evaporation cycles and
sheltered sites with inconsequential UV exposure but extended TOW). An important factor was
the preconditioning of steel samples to replicate rusted steel with soluble salt contamination
combined with surface preparation by SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning.”

The second step was the review the large body of pertinent documents (reports,
presentations, papers, guidance documents, standards, specifications and regulations) and

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

preparation of guidance to assist state highway agencies in deploying in-house forces (or
contractors) to spot paint bridges effectively and efficiently. This work was addressed in the
interim report to the NCHRP project review panel.

The third was the analysis of a DOT/bridge owner survey distributed by KTC researchers.
In addition, the findings of three other bridge painting surveys, one prepared and distributed by
KTC in 1991, another in 2012, and a survey prepared and distributed by a consultant for MnDOT
in 2013 were analyzed. Collectively, the surveys identified past and current agency practices
relative to coatings decision making, scoping, and application. Barriers for wider deployment of
spot painting by state highway agencies and other bridge owners were identified and addressed.
The specific survey findings were provided in the interim report to the NCHRP project review
panel and used indirectly to prepare the final NCHRP 14-30 guidance document.

The fourth was the performance of field spot painting using the SSPC-SP 3 surface
preparation method and the coatings evaluated in the laboratory accelerated performance testing.
Concurrent with that work, initial field assessments of existing coatings on the subject bridges
were performed by KTC researchers using procedures identified in the literature review.

The fifth was the identification of best practices for state highway agency officials and
personnel to: prepare budgets/warrants for deploying spot painting, identify necessary equipment
and materials, address worker safety and environmental issues, and evaluate the acceptability of
the completed work. Those are presented in a companion guidance report (Hopwood et al. 2018).

The sixth and final step was to provide the information to support wider use of spot painting
in the form of practical and implementable guidance documents targeted at specific agency
audiences (as previously noted above). Some of that information was garnered from Phase 1
work (the interim report to the NCHRP project review panel) and the Phase 2 laboratory and field
investigations provided in this report.

Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

CHAPTER 2
Laboratory Accelerated Performance Testing of Spot Coating Systems

2.1 Background

A major project requirement was to, “develop guidelines for the selection and use of a broad
spectrum of protective materials for spot treatment of failed coatings on steel highway bridges,”
more specifically, “testing protocols to determine the anticipated performance and service life
of protective material types for use on rusted, soluble salt-contaminated substrates prepared
to SSPC-SP 3 standard.” This requirement was addressed by applying accelerated laboratory
testing of candidate spot coatings using modifications of ASTM standard accelerated coating
performance tests, in particular ASTM D5894, “Standard Practice for Cyclic Salt Fog/UV
Exposure of Painted Metal, (Alternating Exposures in a Fog/Dry Cabinet and a UV/Condensation
Cabinet),” and ASTM B117, “Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus.” There
were numerous reasons for doing this:

• Those tests are internationally recognized standards for evaluating protective coatings
• Coating manufacturers typically evaluate their coatings prior to manufacture using one or
both of those tests providing some basis for anticipating testing performed by KTC
• Equipment and test procedures for those tests are widely used by other firms in coatings
industry including consultants, end users, industry associations (e.g. AASHTO NTPEP)
and universities so any methods developed under this study can be readily adopted by
others
• Those methods have proven effective for screening coatings by the coatings industry in
particular and specified by many industries and technical sectors
• There is a large body of information relative to their use
• Those methods are adaptable to wide variety of coating materials including standard
liquid-applied and non-traditional materials (greases, tapes)
• They provide usable test data in a relatively short period (typically less than one year)
which is advantageous in the rapidly changing coating industry where coating formulations
can be affected by availability, cost, and environmental regulations.
• The tests can be used co-jointly to approximate conditions that exist at various locations
on bridges
• There is some experience, at least from KTC’s perspective, that specific coating
performance levels in those tests can be equated to historic service performance on
bridges

Test protocols to evaluate the performance of candidate spot coatings/systems should:

• Provide data in a short timeframe


• Be relatable to actual service conditions
• Yield reasonable results

In the past, field test patches were used to evaluate candidate overcoating
coatings/systems for both performance and compatibility with existing coatings. That approach
has been mostly abandoned for performance testing due to the effort and timeframe needed to
produce viable results. Accelerated laboratory performance testing has largely supplanted field
trials. Standard coating test intervals produce satisfactory results in about nine months. Prior to

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

ASTM promulgating its standard for cyclic weather/corrosion testing ASTM D5894 in the mid-
1990s, KTC used that method to test overcoating systems. Prior to this research, KTC employed
that method to test approximately 100 different coatings/systems-primarily barrier systems used
for overcoating. KTC has also employed ASTM B117 testing to evaluate coatings, but rarely
performed it as ASTM D5894 had generally supplanted it for testing coatings to be used for
atmospheric service. Those tests included coatings placed over a variety of steel test panel
substrates including uncontaminated rust, power-tool cleaned rust, mill scale and abrasively
blasted steel (both uncontaminated and contaminated with soluble salts). Many of the
coatings/systems that performed well on those tests were subsequently used by the Kentucky
Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) on experimental bridge maintenance painting projects. In most
cases, they provided good service performance as determined by follow-up periodic inspections
of the experimental projects and were adopted by KYTC for routine use as maintenance coatings.
To perform those tests, KTC developed standard operating procedures (SOPs) used by
laboratory technicians to ensure consistency.

Accurate evaluation of candidate spot coatings requires the use of representative service
exposures and test panel substrates in the test protocol. Two different types of exposures reflect
common service conditions of failed bridge coatings monitored by KTC researchers: 1) bold
exposure using ASTM D 5894 and 2) sheltered exposure with extended time of wetness (TOW)
using ASTM B117. Spot painting is performed over 1) an area where the existing coating has
failed, 2) a boundary between the failed area and existing coating and 3) the intact existing
coating. Typically, the failed area contains a surface consisting of rust, mill scale,
cohesive/adhesive failed existing coatings or a combination of all three. In many cases, it is
contaminated with soluble salts. Prior to spot painting, where rust is present, the failed areas are
mechanically prepared to eliminate loose material (SSPC-SP 2, “Hand Tool Cleaning,” or SSPC-
SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning”) or to provide a profiled steel substrate (SSPC-SP 11, “Power Tool
Cleaning to Bare Metal,” SSPC-SP 15, “Commercial Power Tool Cleaning,” or various abrasive
blasting standards). If a failed area consists of inter-/intra-coat disbonding and it is entirely
covered by a portion of the existing coating, it can be lightly abraded by hand using sand paper
prior to spot painting.

The intact existing coating is usually weathered causing it to deteriorate and form a white
powder (chalking). That is usually more severe on bridge surfaces which are exposed to direct
sunlight (UV exposure). The surfaces may be contaminated with soils and hydrocarbons,
commonly from diesel fumes. They may also be contaminated to a certain extent with soluble
salts from atmospheric exposure and deicing salts. Those issues can be addressed by solvent
cleaning, washing, dry wiping, and soluble salt remediation using pressure washing, sometimes
using chemical treatments. The boundary (or border) between the failed area and intact existing
coating must be defined by hand- or power-tool cleaning. An intact border is typically assessed
by probing the edge of the existing coating with a dull scraper to ensure that it is firmly adherent.
Commonly, the edge of the existing coating is feathered by hand or power tool abrading using
sand paper or non-woven pads. The existing coating around the repair area needs to be cleaned
where the spot coating will over lap it in coating the repair area and feathered boundary. Where
a repair coating is placed over an existing one on bridges, there is a possibility that they will be
composed of different generic coating types/chemistries and may experience incompatibility
problems.

In developing the coatings testing protocol, certain assumptions were to be made about
level of surface preparation to be replicated, the degree and types of soluble salt contamination;
the coatings (coating systems) employed both as existing and repair test systems and the method
of application (for liquid-applied coatings). To replicate large area spot painting methods used by

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

some state highway agencies that employed abrasive blasting to SSPC-SP 6/ NACE 3,
“Commercial Blast Cleaning,” or SSPC-SP 10/NACE 2, “Near White Metal Blast Cleaning,” (used
with a coating system employing an organic zinc primer) standard ASTM D 5894 testing would
probably suffice over properly prepared panels or state highway agencies could use the AASHTO
NTPEP steel coatings test results. This protocol, as mandated by the project RFP, was to evaluate
cleaning to the SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning” standard. The test protocol reflected not only
that requirement, but the intent of the review panel was to address methods that could be readily
applied by state highway agency in-house forces. Survey responses from some state highway
agencies noted significant regulatory issues with pressure washing bridges related to the capture
and disposal of the resulting wastewater. State highway agency requirements varied widely based
upon the regulations of Departments of Natural Resources (DNRs) in each state. KTC
researchers believed that could be a major stumbling block for some state highway agencies in
adopting spot painting, especially when using in-house crews. Additionally, KTC researchers felt
that state highway agencies using less vigorous surface preparation methods wished to limit spot
painting costs and potential motorist disruptions.

Pressure washing, while effective in reducing soluble salt levels, typically requires an extra
day on-site for the washed surface to dry properly prior to additional cleaning/painting operations.
As part of the KTC protocol, the decision was made to eliminate the use of pressure washing to
limit soluble salts (with the exception of several low water consumption tests described below). In
the past, KTC had successfully used dry wiping with burlap to clean off surface soils on coating
test patches and felt that a dry method to remove chalk, loose materials and soils in a wipe down
prior to painting would eliminate state highway agency concerns about capturing and treating
wastewater and the need for a hold period to allow for drying after pressure washing. In situations
where soluble salt concentrations warranted concern, a state highway agency could elect to
employ other salt remediation treatments including pressure washing. Based upon the literature
review KTC performed as part of the interim report and other KTC field tests on bridges for
chlorides, KTC researchers determined that any test coatings should be placed over prepared
substrates with about 20-30 µg/cm2 of chloride contamination in mild/moderate atmospheric
exposures. Soluble salt effects from other sulfates and nitrates were not considered as
commonplace as chlorides in those exposures. As SSPC-SP3 cleaning was to be incorporated
into the protocol, coatings systems evaluated would not benefit from the use of zinc primers.
Rather, inhibitive and barrier coating systems would need to be considered. It was anticipated
that most of the spot painting work addressed by state highway agencies would be on relatively
small areas that could be best painted by brushes or rollers. That coupled with the small size of
the test panels, and the irregular shape of some test panels incorporated into the KTC laboratory
test program, led KTC to incorporate brush application in the testing protocol.

KTC researchers decided to use ASTM A572 high-strength low alloy columbium-
vanadium steel (50 grade) for the test panels in the laboratory tests. Although that steel had a
higher corrosion resistance than some other grades, it typically corroded to provide a pitted
substrate that posed a difficult surface for SSPC-SP 3 cleaning with the potential to provide “hot
spots” in the pits that trapped small amounts of soluble salts in high concentrations. The trapped
soluble salts would have a negative effect on coating performance and enable the test protocol
to be able to deteriorate coatings in a manner consistent with that occurring on bridges. The steel
test panels were ordered from a steel distributor pre-cut to the final size for the laboratory tests -
6 in. (15.24 cm) x 4 in. (10.16 cm) x 1/4 in.(0.64 cm). The mill analysis of the ASTM A572 steel is
provided in Appendix A.

KTC employed two Q-Lab Q-Fog Cyclic Corrosion (fog/dry) Testers capable of performing
both ASTM D 5894 and B117 tests (Figure 1). KTC also had four QUV/se Accelerated

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NCHRP Project 14-30

Weathering Testers capable of performing ASTM D 4587, “Practice for Fluorescent UV-
Condensation Exposures of Paint and Related Coatings” with SOLAR EYE irradiance control
(Figure 2). That provided KTC a large test capacity to test multiple combinations of spot coatings,
existing coatings, test panel substrates, and specimen types.

The proposed test program was modified as requested by the project review panel. The
final program incorporated three “existing” coating systems consisting of: 1) two coats of acrylic
coatings, 2) two coats of alkyd coatings and 3) an epoxy primer with a two-component
polyurethane finish coat. Those were chosen to replicate existing coatings to be repaired on
bridges. Six liquid-applied coating systems were to be tested under the KTC test protocol: 1) a
calcium sulfonate alkyd (applied in two-coats), 2) a two-coat alkyd system (including a phenolic
alkyd primer and silicone alkyd topcoat), 3) a two-coat acrylic system (including a direct-to-metal
primer and a UV-resisting topcoat), 4) a two-coat moisture cure urethane (MCU) system including
a MIO-aluminum pigmented primer with a high-gloss UV-resisting topcoat, 5) an epoxy
penetrating sealer with a two-component polyurethane topcoat and 6) a micaceous iron oxide
(MIO) pigmented epoxy primer with a two-component polyurethane topcoat. Two non-traditional
coatings were also selected for testing: 1) an aluminum-blend, heavy duty multi-purpose grease
and 2) a non-curing visco-elastic polymer supplied as a self-adhering tape in rolls 9-in. (22.9 cm)
wide x 34 mils (859 microns) thick. Those were selected serve as “repair” coatings for spot coating
failures of the replicate “existing” coatings.

Figure 1. KTC Cyclic Corrosion (Dry/Fog) Test Figure 2. KTC QUV Accelerated Weathering
Chambers. Testers.

2.2 KTC Test Protocol

The primary methods used to evaluate candidate spot coatings were accelerated laboratory
weathering/corrosion testing (ASTM D5894) and corrosion testing (ASTM B117). Two types of
tests were performed utilizing flat panel specimens (Type I) and shaped test panels consisting of
lapped/bolted flat panels (Type II). The Type I tests were used to evaluate coating performance
over local distress (spot failures). The Type II test was used to evaluate coating performance over
irregular substrates with spot failures at edges, faying surfaces and around the bolts.

Type I Tests - ASTM D5894 testing was used to replicate spot coating performance under
conditions of bold exposure (exposure to direct sunlight-UV deterioration with cyclic condensation
and evaporation). ASTM B117 testing was used to replicate sheltered performance with exposure
to deicing salt runoff and extended time of wetness (TOW) with inconsequential UV exposure (no
UV exposure occurring in the B117 testing).

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NCHRP Project 14-30

To evaluate the potential steel substrates, half of the Type I test panels had initial test
surfaces with intact mill scale and the other had the mill scale removed by blast cleaning to an
SSPC–SP 5 White Metal Blast Cleaning condition. ”Existing” coatings were applied to half of the
test surface of each panel with the remainder of the surface consisting of steel or mill scale left
uncoated (Figure 3). All test panels were to be conditioned by exposing the steel/mill scale
surfaces to a corrosive spray in a test chamber to replicate rusted surfaces found on bridges.
Initially, KTC planned to weather the “existing” coatings. Due to the duration of the proposed
ASTM D5894 testing, concern arose about excessive UV exposure causing premature failure of
the “existing” coatings and that step was eliminated. The conditioning was also intended to create
rust contaminated with chlorides at a nominal level from 20-30 µg/cm2 (~166 to 250 µS/cm) after
SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation (prior to painting). Sulfate contamination was considered less
significant than chlorides and nitrates.

A series of exposure tests were performed using the test panels in mill scale and blasted
substrate conditions using ASTM G85, “Standard Practice for Modified Salt Spraying - Annex A5
Dilute Electrolyte Cyclic Fog/Dry Test.” It was determined that 250 hours of exposure provided
sufficient time to properly charge both types of rusted surfaces with chlorides. That procedure
was used to condition (corrode) the exposed steel surfaces on the Type I and Type II test panels.
The rusted area and a narrow strip of the existing coating were to be subjected to mechanical
surface preparation to the SSPC-SP 3 standard. The depth of overlap of the surface preparation
into the existing coatings was dependent upon when firmly adherent coating was encountered.
Candidate repair coatings were to be applied over the panel surfaces, cured, and subjected to
the aforementioned laboratory accelerated performance tests to evaluate their performance as
“repair” coatings for spot painting.

Exposed Test
Surface of
Existing

Spot 3 in.
Coating Weathered
over 1 in. SSPC SP 3 Cleaning
Overlap/Feathering
E i i over Existing Coating
6 in.
5 in. (max.)
Spot
Coating
Spot 3 in. Rusted Steel/
Coating over Mill Scale Cleaned
Rusted Per SSPC SP 3
Steel/Mill
Scale

4 in.

Figure 3. Accelerated Performance Type I Test Panel (0.25 in.-Thick ASTM A572 Steel)

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

The Type I test protocol was as follows:

A. A sufficient number of appropriate steel test panels for a total of 336 Type I tests were
prepared (Figure 4).
B. Half of the test panels were blast cleaned to a NACE 1/SSPC-SP 5, “White Metal Blast
Cleaning,” condition. The other half remained unprepared with the mill scale intact.
C. Prior to further preparation, a moisture cure urethane coating was sprayed on the back
faces of the panels to prevent them from corroding during the testing. The “existing”
coatings were applied to one-half of the face of test panels in each group providing 3
in. (7.62 cm) x 4 in. (10.16 cm) coated areas. Those coatings were spray applied, dry
film thicknesses (DFTs) measured and cured at minimum for 28 days prior to follow-
on surface preparation work. Each panel/set was given a unique alphanumeric
designation placed on the backside of the panels in indelible ink. That was done to
prevent mix-ups in follow-up operations with the panels that, in some cases, spanned
nearly two years.
D. The panels were subsequently conditioned per ASTM G85 Annex 5 for 250 hours of
exposure in accordance with ASTM D5894. The fog/dry chamber ran a 1-hour cycle
of fog spray at ambient temperature ~ 72o F (22.2o C) and 1-hour dry off at 95o F (35o
C). The fog electrolyte was an aqueous solution of 0.05 % sodium chloride and 0.35
% ammonium sulfate. Deionized water was used for the conditioning and the entire
test program (0-5 µS/cm conductivity). During conditioning, the exposed steel/mill
scale portion of the panels were positioned above the painted portion in the test
chambers which were affixed to the chamber mounting brackets. To prevent rust bleed
onto the “existing coatings,” the painted portions of the test panels were masked with
tape during conditioning.
E. Type I panels previously conditioned and cleaned per SSPC-SP 3 were tested for
chloride contamination in accordance with SSPC: TECHNOLOGY GUIDE 15 “Field
Methods for Retrieval and Analysis of Soluble Salts on Steel and Other Nonporous
Substrates” using the sleeve method 5.2.5.1, 5.2.5.3, and 5.2.5.4 for chlorides, nitrates
and sulfates respectively. The panels were tested for chlorides, sulfates and nitrates.
The results were:

Mill Scale Panels – chlorides 27 µg/cm2 (~227 µS/cm); sulfates 14 µg/cm2


(~116 µS/cm); nitrates 0 µg/cm2 (0 µS/cm)

Blast Cleaned Panels – chlorides 24 µg/cm2 (~200 µS/cm); sulfates 7 µg/cm2


(~58 µS/cm); nitrates 0 µg/cm2 (0 µS/cm)

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Figure 4. Test Matrix for Type I Panels

F. Mechanical surface preparation to an SSPC-SP 3 “Power Tool Cleaning” condition


was performed using a 4-inch (10.16 cm) grinder with a knotted wire brush on the
rusted portions of the panels (Figure 5). As no hazardous materials were involved, the
grinders were not shrouded. That helped in cleaning at the boundary between the paint
and metal substrate and minimized the unnecessary removal of adherent “existing”
coatings. After surface preparation, the panels were visually inspected using SSPC-
VIS 3 “Guide and Reference Photographs for Steel Surface Prepared by Power and
Hand Tool Cleaning” to ensure proper cleaning. The panels were also rag wiped to
ensure all loose material had been removed. KTC researchers completed power tool
cleaning work within a few days of the “repair” coating application to preclude the
possibility of the prepared surfaces flash rusting in the interim. At the boundary of the
existing coatings and SP 3-cleaned area, the “existing” coatings were feathered
manually using 100 grit sand paper (Figure 6). The cured “existing” coatings were hard
and it was difficult to obtain a smooth transition by hand sanding (Figure 7). Rather
than risk damaging those coatings by feathering with a power tool, the decision was
made to continue hand sanding and accept boundaries where the abrupt transition
between the “existing” coating and prepared surface had been blended without a
seamless transition. Consequently, the boundaries were visible once the panels
received the “repair” coatings. However, after the tests were completed, the hand
feathering was found to be acceptable.
Surface preparation evaluations included chloride remediation by chemical
treatment/washing on 48 Type I panels. The intent of this work was to determine
efficacy of soluble salt remediation methods that did not require pressure washing and
the generation of large quantities of wastewater. Two soluble salt remediation
treatments were investigated. Both consisted of liquid chemical treatments that were
applied on the SP 3 prepared surfaces using small hand sprayers. The surfaces were
thoroughly wetted with the treatments. Then, they were hand scrubbed with a stiff 2-
inch (5.08 cm) wide nylon bristle brush using four strokes to cover the exposed metal
substrates. After a short waiting period, the surfaces were flushed with water from a
wash bottle, applying sufficient water to rinse the treated surfaces. Those tests include
panels with both initial blast cleaned and mill scale substrates along with
epoxy/urethane “existing” coatings. They were coated with two liquid-applied “repair”
coatings, a grease, and a tape.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Figure 5. Surface Preparation of Conditioned


Panels to SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning,”
Standard.

Figure 6. Feathering Exposed


Figure 7. Type I Flat Panel Specimen Surface Prepared to SSPC-SP
Edge of Existing Coating on Test
3 with Feathered Existing Coating.
Panel by Hand Sanding.

G. Candidate liquid-applied “repair” coatings/systems were applied by brushing (Figure


8). The KTC researchers reviewed the product data sheets and safety data sheets
prior to painting. They observed mixing/agitation instructions, application surface
preparation requirements, acceptable ambient conditions for application, wet film
thicknesses, curing times and recoat times/windows.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

The painting work was performed in


the KTC paint shop. To perform the
painting, 8 ft. (2.44 m) x 4 ft. (1.22 m) sheets
of plywood were laid upon sets of saw
horses and the panels. The floor of the shop
was washed down to minimize the
possibility of any airborne debris settling on
the wet panels. Each group of panels being
painted with the same system were
grouped on the plywood sheets.
H. Temperature gages were placed on
several panels and atmospheric
temperature and relative humidity readings
were taken using a sling psychrometer to
determine the dew point. When the surface
temperature of the test panels was 5o F
(2.8o C) above the dew point, the painting
would commence. Ambient conditions
were monitored several times throughout
Figure 8. KTC Technician Brushing a Spot Coating on a the painting process. The test panels were
Test Panel. wiped down with lacquer thinner to prevent
any problems resulting from handling the
panels. The coatings were properly mixed and where needed for the epoxy, the proper
induction time was observed. KTC technicians applied the coatings on the panels
painting down-hand with the panels lying flat on the plywood sheets. They used 3-in.
(7.62 cm) wide brushes applying the coatings by brushing across the 4-inch (10.16
cm) width of the panels. As the panels required a 1 in. (2.54 cm) strip of the existing
coatings coating to remain uncoated, guide marks were placed on the existing coatings
to prevent excess application of the spot coatings using indelible ink. Immediately after
application of each coat, every panel in a group was inspected and tested with a tooth
gage to measure the wet film thickness (WFT). If bristles were lodged in the wet paint
or some other problem including improper WFT arose, the test panels were
immediately repaired and re-brushed as necessary. The tooth gage marks were
brushed out as well. After the first coat was applied, the panels were cured about 18
to 24 hours prior to receiving the finish coat. The only issue encountered was rust
bleeding through the acrylic primer which was addressed by a second primer
application.
The grease and tape were applied shortly before the onset of the performance
testing as they did not require curing. Prior to their application, the test panels were
wiped with lacquer thinner. Electrician’s tape was placed around the edges of the test
panels prior to the grease application to prevent rusting and rust bleed onto the
specimen test surfaces (Figure 9). Application conditions were monitored as with
liquid-applied coatings with applications being performed when the surface
temperature of the specimens was 5o F (2.8o C) above the dew point to ensure that
these coatings were not applied over moist substrates. The grease was applied with a
spatula and the thickness measured with a tooth gage. The grease was applied at
thicknesses between 20-40 mils (500-1,000 microns) with the wide range related to
the difficulty in closely controlling the thickness with the spatula. In the field, grease
applications have typically been less sophisticated with the grease slathered on
bearings by hand resulting in variable coating thicknesses. The 34-mil (850 micron)
thick tape was applied from a roll and cut-to-fit each test panel. The tape was self-

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

bonding and readily attached to the existing coatings and the SSPC-SP 3 substrate.
A small wallpaper roller was run over the applied tape to ensure that it adhered and
that no air pockets were present at the tape/substrate interface. Edges around those
test panels were covered with electrician’s tape to prevent rust bleed. The only
problem with the tape application was that the test face of the tape smudged easily
during application (Figure 10). However, that did not pose a performance problem
during testing.

Figure 9. Test Specimens with Grease “Repair” Coatings Ready for Testing.

Figure 10. Tape Specimens Prepared for Testing (Note the Smudges on the Tape).

I. After the liquid-applied coatings had cured sufficiently (dry to handle), dry film
thicknesses (DFTs) of the “repair” coatings were measured on each panel per ASTM
D7091, “Standard Practice for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry Film Thickness of
Nonmagnetic Coatings Applied to Ferrous Metals.” For each panel, five readings were
taken over the SSPC-SP 3 cleaned portion of the test panels - one near each corner

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Figure 11. Polyurethane over Epoxy Sealer “Repair” Coating System Tested over Test
Panels with an Alkyd/Alkyd Existing Coating on a Test Panel.

of the spot coating and one in the center. As was anticipated, the calcium sulfonate
alkyd coating did not harden sufficiently to permit testing. KTC had to rely on previous
WFT readings taken with the tooth gages during painting to ensure that coating was
properly applied. After the panels were approved for testing, they were cured under
ambient/room temperature conditions - 72o + 2o F (22.2o+1oC) for 28 days. The edges
of the panels were covered with electrical tape and the panels were photographed to
track their condition (Figure 11). The panels were not scribed as KTC researchers did
not feel scribe creep was a valid test especially for barrier coatings. Experience
showed that accelerated laboratory tests of barrier coatings yield poor scribe
performance, yet those coatings worked well in the field on overcoating projects.
J. On 144 panels, accelerated performance testing was conducted to replicate direct UV
exposure with condensation/evaporation. Three panels of each combination of
“existing” coating type/“repair” coating type were tested for 15 two-week-long cycles
(5,040 hours) using ASTM D5894-10, “Standard Practice for Cyclic Salt Fog/UV
Exposure of Painted Metal (Alternating Exposures in a Fog/Dry Cabinet and a
UV/Condensation Cabinet).” The panels were placed in QUV chambers and subject
to one-week (168 hours) of exposure in accordance with ASTM D 4587-11, “Practice
for Fluorescent UV-Condensation Exposures of Paint and Related Coatings.” The
QUV chambers were equipped with UVA 340 bulbs that replicated sunlight. Those
were calibrated to operate at a normal irradiance (0.89 µm). Standard test panel
mounting brackets were modified with the exposure windows removed. The panels
were placed with “repair” coatings closest to the bulbs for maximum UV exposure. The
QUVs were set to operate on a repetitive cycle of UV exposure at 140o F (60o C) for
four hours alternated with a four-hour condensation cycle at 122o F (50o C) using
potable water. Thereafter, the test panels were rotated to fog/dry chambers for a one
week exposure per ASTM G 85. The test panels were mounted with the existing
coatings end of the panels inserted in the chamber mounting brackets allowing the
”repair” coatings to receive the greatest exposure to the cyclic salt fog during the
condensation cycle. The cyclic exposure consisted of one-hour of condensation of fog
sprayed from a single nozzle located in the center of the chamber. That was followed

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

by one hour of evaporation (drying) at 95o F (35o C) with moisture being exhausted
from the chamber. Once the cyclic salt fog testing was completed, the panels were
returned to the QUV chambers for further testing or temporarily removed for panel
evaluation before testing continued. Each two-weeks of QUV-fog/dry exposures
constituted a block of testing.
K. At 3-cycle (1,008-hour) intervals, the panels were temporarily removed from the test
chambers for nondestructive evaluation of “repair” coating performance and photo
documentation. Coating performance was evaluated according to ASTM D610-08,
“Standard Practice for Evaluating Degree of Rusting on Painted Steel Surfaces,” and
ASTM D-714-02, “Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Blistering of Paints.”
Failure was set at a rust grade of 5 or less (1-3% without classifying type) and blistering
at a “dense” rating. Those ratings were based upon visual references in the ASTM
standards. Those levels were based upon the assumption that spot coatings would
experience some level of deterioration during their service lives which would be
acceptable as long as it did not expose the repair area to significant corrosion due to
a large-scale coating breakdown. One technician performed all evaluations throughout
the project to provide consistent ratings. After 5,040 hours of total exposure, the testing
was complete and the final evaluations were performed.
L. After the ASTM D5894 testing was completed, accelerated performance testing was
conducted on the other 192 Type I panels to replicate high TOW/deicing salt exposure
in sheltered locations. The panels were subjected to ASTM B117-11, “Standard
Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus,” for 5,040 hours. That included
exposure to a 5% aqueous salt solution continually fogged in the same chambers used
for the ASTM D5894 testing. The testing was performed at 92o - 98oF (33.3o – 36.7o
C)) during the test program measured by data loggers placed in the test chambers.
The salt solution was replenished in the test chamber spray tanks on a weekly basis
and periodic measurements were made of pH and spray volumes.
M. The test panels were temporarily removed from the B117 test chambers at 6-week
intervals (1,008-hours) for nondestructive evaluation of coating performance and
photo documentation. As with the ASTM D5894 tests, coating performance was
evaluated according to ASTM D 610-08 and ASTM D 714-02. After 5,040 hours of
total exposure, the testing was complete and the final evaluations were performed
(Figures 12 and 13). Unlike the ASTM D5894 testing, KTC researchers elected to
remove test panel groups from the B117 testing once the panels in the group had
failed in accordance with the KTC criteria. This was done to limit problems
encountered in the test chambers due to rust deposits on some components in the
chambers that were proving problematic.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Figure 12. Polyurethane over MIO-Epoxy “Repair” Coating System Tested over Test
Panels with an Epoxy/Urethane Existing Coating on a Test Panel after 5,040 Hours of
ASTM B117 Testing.

Figure 13. Moisture Cure Polyurethane (2 Coats) “Repair” Coating System Tested over
Test Panels with an Epoxy/Urethane Existing Coating on a Test Panel after 5,040 Hours
of ASTM B117 Testing.

Type II-Shaped Panel Tests – At the direction of the project review panel, KTC developed shaped
panels to be used to evaluate spot coatings placed over irregular surfaces. The Type II shaped
panels were made from two-6 in. (15.24 cm) x 4 in. (10.16 cm) x 1/4 in.(0.64 cm) flat plates also
used for the Type I test panels. The plates were blast cleaned to SSPC-SP 5 (See Figure 14). An
“existing” coating was applied to 2 in. (5.08 cm) of the test surface of each panel with the
remainder of the surface left exposed. The panels were drilled to accept 1-in. (2.54 cm) diameter
bolts/nuts meeting ASTM A325. The panels were lapped and bolted together. That created a
faying surface and exposed edge on the top plate which were also part of the test features of the
test panels. The test panels were conditioned with the same procedure used for the Type I panels

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

to rust the heads of the bolts and unpainted test surfaces. The rusted areas were subjected to
mechanical surface preparation to the SSPC-SP 3 standard using a needle gun. Candidate
“repair” coatings would be applied over the panel surface and subjected to accelerated
performance testing per ASTM B117 to replicate spot coating performance on typical steel details
under conditions of sheltered performance with high TOW/deicing salt exposures. The test matrix
is shown in Figure 15.

Figure 14. Accelerated Performance Type II Test Panel (0.25 in.-Thick Steel).

Figure 15. Test Matrix for Type II Panels.

The actions for the Type II test protocol are as follows:

A. Ninety-six - 6 in. (15.24 cm) x 4 in. (10.16 cm) x 1/4 in.(0.64 cm) steel plates were used
to create 48 test panels for the Type II Tests.
B. The test panels were blast cleaned to the NACE 1/SSPC-SP 5 “White Metal Blast
Cleaning” standard.
C. The epoxy/urethane coating was applied to 48 Type II panels each to 2 in. (5.08 cm)
strips as shown in Figure 14 as “existing” coatings.
D. The panels were subsequently conditioned per ASTM G85 Annex 5 for 250 hours of
exposure to replicate spot coating failures, salt contamination and degradation of
existing coatings on bridges.
E. The panels were subsequently conditioned per ASTM G85 Annex 5 for 250 hours of
exposure in accordance with ASTM D5894 to replicate spot coating failures, salt

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

contamination and degradation of


existing coatings on bridges.
F. Mechanical surface preparation to an
SSPC-SP 3 “Power Tool Cleaning”
condition was performed on the rust
exposed areas of the Type II panels
using a needle gun (Figure 16). The
surfaces were wiped with a cloth after
cleaning to ensure that no loose
material remained on the cleaned
surfaces.
G. Two-candidate conventional liquid-
applied “repair” coatings were applied
to the test panels by brushing using the
procedure for the Type I test panels.
Figure 16. Surface Preparation of Complex Shape (Type The grease and tape were also used on
II) Test Specimen to SSPC-SP 3 Standard Using a Needle those panels (Figure 17). The coatings
Gun. were applied in accordance with Type I
procedure G. After a 28-day of curing,
spot coating thicknesses for each panel using liquid applied coatings were evaluated
per ASTM D7091 “Standard Practice for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry Film
Thickness of Nonmagnetic Coatings Applied to Ferrous Metals.” The panels were
photo-documented for condition tracking.
H. To replicate high TOW exposure in sheltered locations the Type II panels were
subjected to ASTM B117-11 “Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog)
Apparatus” for 5,040 hours per Type I panel test protocol K. The initial intent had been
to mount the panels in the test chambers with the edge of the outer panel facing
upward. However, when condensate was observed ponding on the edge early in the
testing, KTC researchers became concerned that this condition was more severe than
anticipated and that it would result in early failures of the Type II panels. They elected
to turn the panels with that edge facing downward to prevent the ponding.
I. The panels were temporarily removed from the B117 test chamber at 6-week intervals
(1,008-hours) for nondestructive evaluation of coating performance and photo
documentation. As with the Type I B117 tests being performed concurrently with the
Type II panels, coating performance was evaluated according to ASTM D 610-08 and
ASTM D-714-02. The testing program ran 5,040 hours.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Figure 17. Grease Coated Type II Specimen Prepared for Accelerated Corrosion
Testing per ASTM B117.

2.3 Results of Accelerated Laboratory Performance Testing

The results of the accelerated testing for the Type I flat panel specimens are provided in Tables
1-4 below. If no panels in a group failed after a 1,008- hour evaluation by rusting or blistering, that
result was noted as a “0” indicating no failures up to that point. If one panel failed out of the three
panels tested for each category, it would be noted as 1/3 meaning one of the three panels failed.
After the 1/3 there will be a –R or a –B noting that the panel failed by rusting or blistering
respectively.

The Type I specimen results for ASTM D 5894 testing are provided in Tables 1 and 2.
The Type I specimen results for ASTM B117testing are provided in Tables 3 and 4. The Type II
specimen results for ASTM B117 testing are provided in Table 5. The test durations are shown
rounded to the nearest 1,000 hours.

For the Type I panels that used steel originally with a mill scale finish (Table 1), two of the
liquid-applied coating “repair” systems passed the 5,000-hour (nominal) ASTM D5894 tests
regardless of the “existing” coating system - the moisture cure urethane (2 coats) and the MIO-
epoxy/polyurethane systems. Both the grease and the tape also passed the tests over all
“existing” coating systems. The next best performing “repair” system was the epoxy
sealer/polyurethane system that passed 3,000 (nominal) exposure hours for the acrylic and
epoxy-polyurethane “existing” coatings and 4,000 hours for the alkyd “existing” coatings. In order
of performance from best to worst the “repair” coating performances were: moisture cure urethane
(2 coats) = MIO-epoxy/polyurethane = tape = grease > epoxy sealer/polyurethane > calcium
sulfonate alkyd (2 coats) = alkyd (2 coats) > acrylic (2 coats).

For the Type I panels that used steel originally with a blast cleaned finish (Table 2), one
liquid-applied “repair” coating system, MIO-epoxy/polyurethane passed the 5,000-hour ASTM
D5894 tests over all “existing” coatings systems. Both the grease and the tape also passed the
tests over all “existing” coating systems. There was a near tie for the next best performing system
- the epoxy sealer/polyurethane passed 4,000 exposure hours over the “existing” coatings and

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NCHRP Project 14-30

moisture cure urethane (2 coats) passed 5,000 hours over the acrylic “existing” coating; 4,000
hours over the alkyd “existing” coating; and 3,000 hours over the epoxy-polyurethane “existing”
coating. In order of performance from best to worst the spot coating performances were: MIO-
epoxy/polyurethane = tape = grease > moisture cure urethane (2 coats) = epoxy
sealer/polyurethane > calcium sulfonate alkyd (2 coats) = alkyd (2 coats) > acrylic (2 coats).

For the Type I panels that used steel originally with a mill scale finish (Table 3), one of the
liquid-applied “repair” coating systems, the MIO-epoxy/polyurethane, passed the 5,000-hour
ASTM B117 tests regardless of “existing” coating system. Both the grease and the tape also
passed the tests for all “existing” coating systems (with and without chemical treatments). The
next best performing “repair” system was the epoxy sealer/polyurethane which passed 5,000
exposure hours over the alkyd and epoxy-polyurethane “existing” coatings and 3,000 hours over
the alkyd “existing” coating. The chemical soluble salt treatments did not show significant
performance improvement in 3 of the 4 coatings tested. One of the treatments improved the
performance of the moisture cure urethane “repair” system from 2,000 hours to 4,000 hours. In
order of performance from best to worst the “repair” coating system performances were: MIO-
epoxy/polyurethane = tape = grease > epoxy/polyurethane sealer > moisture cure urethane (2
coats) > calcium sulfonate alkyd (2 coats) = alkyd (2 coats) > acrylic (2 coats).

For the Type I panels that used steel originally with a blast cleaned finish (Table 4), none
of the liquid-applied “repair” coating systems passed the 5,000-hour ASTM B117 tests for all
“existing” coating systems however, the MIO- epoxy/polyurethane “repair” system did when
chemically treated to reduce soluble salts. Both the grease and the tape also passed the tests
over all “existing” coating systems (with and without chemical treatments). The epoxy
sealer/polyurethane passed 5,000 exposure hours over the epoxy-polyurethane “existing” coating
system, but only 1,000 hours over the acrylic and alkyd “existing” coatings. The moisture cure
urethane (2 coats) “repair” coating system lasted only 2,000 hours over the acrylic “existing”
coatings but 1,000 hours over the alkyd and epoxy-polyurethane “existing” coatings. The chemical
soluble salt treatments did show significant performance improvement in the moisture cure
urethane and over MIO-epoxy polyurethane “repair” systems which were tested over the epoxy-
polyurethane “existing” coating. The chemical treatments provided increased durability from 1,000
to 2,000 hours compared to tests over untreated surfaces. In order of performance from best to
worst the “repair” coating performances were: MIO-epoxy/ polyurethane (treated) = tape (all) =
grease (all) > MIO-epoxy/polyurethane (untreated) > epoxy sealer/polyurethane > moisture cure
urethane (2 coats-treated) > calcium sulfonate alkyd (2 coats) = moisture cure urethane (2 coats-
untreated) > alkyd (2 coats) > acrylic (2 coats).

For the Type II panels that used steel originally with a blast cleaned finish (Table 5), none
of the liquid-applied “repair” coating systems passed the 5,000-hour ASTM B117 tests. Both the
grease and the tape passed the tests for all “existing” coating systems. The next best performing
liquid-applied “repair” coating system was the MIO-epoxy/polyurethane that passed 3,000
exposure hours for the alkyd and epoxy-polyurethane “existing” coatings. None of the other liquid-
applied “repair” coatings lasted more than 2,000 hours. In order of performance from best to worst
the spot coating performances were: tape = grease > MIO-epoxy/polyurethane > calcium
sulfonate alkyd (2 coats) > epoxy sealer/polyurethane > moisture cure urethane (2 coats) = alkyd
(2 coats) > acrylic (2 coats).

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NCHRP Project 14-30

Table 1. Type I Test Results for Mill Scale Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM D5894 Test Durations in
Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
“Existing” Coating System||“Repair” Coating
System
Acrylic||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 1/3-R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Acrylic||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 0 0 0 0
Acrylic|| Epoxy Sealer Polyurethane 0 0 0 1/3 - R 2/3 - R
Acrylic|| MIO-Epoxy Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Acrylic||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 1/3 - R 1/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Acrylic||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 1/3 - R 2/3 - R 2/3 - R
Acrylic||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Acrylic||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 1/3 - R
Alkyd|| MIO-Epoxy /Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Alkyd||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Alkyd||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R 3/3 - R
Alkyd||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd
(2 - Coats) 0 3/3-R -------- -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane
(2 - Coats) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane|| Epoxy
Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 1/3 - R 1/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-Epoxy/
Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Epoxy Polyurethane||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 1/3 - R 1/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 1/3 - R 1/3 - R 2/3 - R 3/3 - R --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Grease 0 0 0 0 0

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

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Table 2. Type I Test Results for Blast Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM D5894 Test Durations
in Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
“Existing” Coating System||“Repair” Coating
System
Acrylic||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3||3 - R -------- --------
Acrylic||Moisture Cure Polyurethane (2 -
Coats) 0 0 0 0 0
Acrylic|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 2||3 - R
Acrylic|| MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Acrylic||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 2||3 - R 2/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Acrylic||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 1/3 - R 1/3 - R 2/3 - R
Acrylic||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Acrylic||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 0 0 0 1/3 - R
Alkyd|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 1/3 - R
Alkyd|| MIO-Epoxy /Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
1/3 - B,
Alkyd||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Alkyd||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R
Alkyd||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd
(2 - Coats) 0 0 0 0 3/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane
(2 - Coats) 0 0 0 1/3 - R 2/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane|| Epoxy
Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 1/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-Epoxy
/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
1/3 - B, 1/3 - B, 2/3 - B, 3/3 - B,
Epoxy Polyurethane||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 2/3 - R 2/3 - R 2/3 - R 2/3 - R 2/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Grease 0 0 0 0 0

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Table 3. Type I Test Results for Mill Scale Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM B117 Test Durations in
Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
“Existing” Coating System||“Repair” Coating
System
Acrylic||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 1/3-R 3/3 - R -------- --------
1/3 - B, 1/3 - B,
Acrylic||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
3/3 - B,
Acrylic|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R
Acrylic|| MIO-Epoxy /Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Acrylic||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
Acrylic||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Acrylic||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Acrylic||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd|| MIO-Epoxy/ Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Alkyd||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
Alkyd||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 R -------- --------
Alkyd||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape (Treatment 1) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape (Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Grease (Treatment 1) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Grease (Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 0

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Table 3 Cont. Type I Test Results for Mill Scale Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM B117 Test Durations
in Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
“Existing” Coating System||“Repair” Coating
System
Epoxy Polyurethane||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd
(2 - Coats) 0 2/3-R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane 3/3 - B,
(2 - Coats) 0 0 1/3 - B 1/3 - R 2/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane 3/3 - B,
(2 - Coats, Treatment 1) 0 0 1/3 - R 1/3 - R 2/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane 3/3 - B,
(2 - Coats, Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 3/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane|| Epoxy
Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-Epoxy
/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-
Epoxy/Polyurethane (Treatment 1) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-
Epoxy/Polyurethane (Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Epoxy Polyurethane||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- ------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

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Table 4. Type I Test Results for Blast-Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM B117 Test Durations
in Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
Existing Coating System||“Repair” Coating
System
Acrylic||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Acrylic||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
2/3 - B, 2/3 - B,
Acrylic|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 1/3 - R 2/3 - R 3/3 - R --------
Acrylic|| MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Acrylic||Acrylic (2 - Coats) Water Based 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
2/3 - B, 3/3 - B,
Acrylic||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 2/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Acrylic||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Acrylic||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
1/3 - B, 2/3 - B, 2/3 - B,
Alkyd|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 1/3 - B 1/3 - R 1/3 - R 2/3 R
Alkyd|| MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Alkyd||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
Alkyd||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3||3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Grease 0 0 0 0 0

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

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Table 4 Cont. Type I Test Results for Blast-Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM B117 Test
Durations in Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
Existing Coating System||“Repair” Coating
System
Epoxy Polyurethane||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd
(2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure 2/3 - B, 3/3 - B,
Polyurethane (2 - Coats) 0 1/3 - B 1/3 - B 2/3 - R 2/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane
(2 - Coats, Treatment 1) 0 0 0 2/3 - R 2/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane
(2 - Coats, Treatment 2) 0 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R --------
Epoxy Polyurethane || Epoxy
Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-
Epoxy/Polyurethane 0 0 0 1/3 - R 1/3 - R
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-
Epoxy/Polyurethane (Treatment 1) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-
Epoxy/Polyurethane (Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 0
3/3 - B,
Epoxy Polyurethane||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 3/3 - B -------- -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Urethane||Tape (Treatment 1) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Urethane||Tape (Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Urethane||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Urethane||Grease (Treatment 1) 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Urethane||Grease (Treatment 2) 0 0 0 0 0

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

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Table 5. Type II Test Results for Blast-Cleaned Plates Tested for 5000 Hours per ASTM B117 Test Durations
in Hours vs. Performance*
Test Duration 1000 Hrs 2000 Hrs 3000 Hrs 4000 Hrs 5000 Hrs
Existing Coating System||||“Repair” Coating
System
Alkyd||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Moisture Cure Urethane (2 - Coats) 0 3/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Alkyd|| Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane 0 3/3 - B -------- -------- --------
Alkyd|| MIO-Epoxy /Polyurethane 0 0 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R
3/3 - B,
Alkyd||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
2/3 - B, 3/3 - B,
Alkyd||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Alkyd||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Alkyd||Grease 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd
(2 - Coats) 0 1/3 - R 3/3 - R -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Moisture Cure Urethane
(2 - Coats) 0 3/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane|| Epoxy
Sealer/Polyurethane 0 0 3/3 - R -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane|| MIO-Epoxy
/Polyurethane 0 0 0 2/3 - R 3/3 - R
3/3 - B,
Epoxy Polyurethane||Acrylic (2 - Coats) 3/3 - R -------- -------- -------- --------
3/3 - B,
Epoxy Polyurethane||Alkyd (2 - Coats) 0 3/3 - R -------- -------- --------
Epoxy Polyurethane||Tape 0 0 0 0 0
Epoxy Polyurethane||Grease 0 0 0 0 0

*0 denotes no failures at specific test durations. 1/3 through 3/3 denote one to three of three panels in a
category have failed based upon KTC criteria. – R denotes failure due to rusting. –B denotes failure due to
blistering.

2.4 Laboratory Coating Testing Discussion

Tests using the Type I flat test panels were conducted without any problems related to the basic
specimen design or test protocol. The aforementioned problem with the Type II test specimens
ponding of water on the edge created by lapping the two panels and bolting them together was
detected early in the testing. It was considered problematic as it constituted an immersion
situation which SSPC-SP3 surface preparation was not designed to address. As noted, those
panels were inverted to avoid premature failures. In retrospect, the situation might have been also
addressed by tilting the specimens in the mounts, but that might introduce another a test variable
that would be difficult to account for. If the Type II tests are to be used in the future, the top lapping
plate should have its upper edge beveled or cut at an angle to prevent ponding on the edge.

The accelerated laboratory performance testing for spot coatings has produced results

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

that were anticipated by KTC researchers based upon published field and laboratory performance
tests of those generic types of coatings and KTC experience with experimental overcoating
projects on over 200 bridges and extensive in-house laboratory testing. The liquid-applied coating
rankings were especially instructive. The moisture cure polyurethane (2 coat) “repair” system
performed well in the ASTM D5894 accelerated weathering/corrosion testing replicating bold
exposure service. It performed worse in the ASTM B117 test that replicated sheltered bridge
exposures with high TOW and soluble salt contamination. That reflects past KTC findings on
many overcoating projects using aluminum-pigmented moisture cure primers and intermediate
coatings. The best overall performing liquid-applied “repair” coating was the over MIO-
epoxy/polyurethane. For spot painting (touch-up), the recently developed MnDOT Maintenance
Manual (2017) specifies the use of a coat of polyamide epoxy as a one-coat spot repair or a
polyurethane over a polyamide epoxy for a two-coat spot repair, both applied over hand- or power
tool-prepared substrates with feathering of the existing coatings. Epoxy coatings are commonly
used by state highway agencies as repair coatings over marginally prepared steel substrates. The
epoxy sealer/polyurethane “repair” coating performed well despite being thin 1-2 mil (25-50
microns) and not providing significant barrier protection. The polyurethane top coat was expected
to provide weathering resistance, but contribute little to the corrosion protection. The epoxy sealer
contained inhibitors which may have been beneficial to the system performance

The surface preparation of the Type II specimens was problematic due to the poor
performance of the liquid-applied coatings. That was probably due to the needle gun surface
preparation causing salt contaminated residue to be embedded in the steel surface prior to
painting resulting in premature failures. In retrospect, it would have been desirable to use power
wire brush cleaning to remove as much salt-contaminated rust as possible on the Type II
substrates prior to using the needle gun. That issue should be noted when using a needle gun to
clean complex rusted details on bridges. The use of rotary power tools for cleaning prior to using
impact tools to create profiles is noted in SSPC-SP 11 and SSPC-SP 15.

As anticipated, most coatings that relied on inhibitive properties (alkyds and acrylics) did
not perform as well overall as the barrier-type coatings (moisture cure urethanes and
epoxy/polyurethanes). That was due to the soluble salt contamination that remained on the test
panels prior to painting. When calcium-sulfonate alkyds are subjected to accelerated laboratory
testing over salt-free steel substrates, they typically perform well - often better than three-coat
systems employing zinc primers. The conventional alkyd did not perform as well as the calcium
sulfonate alkyd for most KTC tests. The poorest performer was the acrylic coating system. During
application in both the laboratory and the field, the primer showed rust bleed through. In every
test, the acrylic failed in less than 1,000 hours. The tape and grease performed excellently
providing protection throughout all of the Type I and Type II tests. When several samples of each
were stripped of coating after the tests were completed, the existing SSPC-SP 3 surfaces were
present. The substrates of the tape-covered test panels were found to be black indicating the
presence of Fe3O4 rust, which is a stable corrosion layer produced by corrosion in a low oxygen
environment. The performance of those non-traditional coatings reflects previous findings of KTC
researchers on experimental field projects.

Several observations were made during the tests. There were no incompatibilities
between the “existing” coatings and the experimental “repair” coating systems during the tests.
Indeed, where the “repair” coatings lapped the “existing” coatings, they provided protection in
cases where the exposed portions of the “existing” coatings were beginning to fail towards the
end of some tests. There did not appear to be discernable differences between the test panels
conditioned with either the mill scale or blast-cleaned substrates in terms of soluble salt
contamination or follow-on performance of the coated panels. While the conditioning step is

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NCHRP Project 14-30

considered important in obtaining good correlations between candidate “repair” coating systems,
it is likely that one of those substrate options can be eliminated – preferably the mill scale surface.
A problem encountered in the laboratory tests was rust bleed from the taped edges of the test
panels. Apparently, the edges of the test panels should have been better protected by coating
them prior to applying the experimental spot coatings.

The liquid-applied “repair” coatings all performed poorly on the Type II panels. The best
performing of those, the MIO-epoxy/polyurethane lasted 3,000 hours. Those had surface
preparation in the rusted areas by use of needle guns. KTC did not measure soluble salt
contamination on needle gun-treated surfaces and it may have been considerably higher than
that obtained by power wire brushing on the Type I panels. That might have been the cause of
the poor performance of those coatings. The good performance of the grease and tape on the
Type II specimens probably indicates that they are more tolerant of soluble salt contamination
than any of the six liquid-applied “repair” coatings.

Several of the accelerated corrosion tests involving liquid-applied coatings revealed that
the low-water-use soluble salt remediation treatments employed by KTC could provide tangible
improvements in coating performance when used over mildly contaminated SSPC-SP 3
substrates.

The non-traditional coatings, the grease and tape performed well in the laboratory tests,
passing the 5,000-hour protocols for both the Type I and Type II test panels for both the ASTM D
5894 and B117 tests.

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CHAPTER 3
Field Spot Painting Work

3.1 Background

To address the fourth element of the KTC research, candidate bridges were sought for field
spot painting. This work employed processes presented in the guidance document including
coating assessments, the SSPC-SP 3 “Power Tool Cleaning” specification (using vacuum
shrouded tools to reduce airborne particulate exposure), and conformance with worker safety
and environmental regulations. The field work incorporated spot repairs/test patches using the
same experimental “repair” coatings/systems employed in the KTC laboratory test program. The
field testing was necessary to validate the KTC approach to spot painting that employed dry
wiping in place of pressure washing to eliminate the need for waste water collection and
disposal, and the extra time needed for washed substrates to dry. The field work was to address
typical coating failures on highway bridges that were potential candidates for spot coating
repairs.

3.2 Bridge Selection and Field Coating Assessments

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) assisted this research effort by providing KTC
researchers access to its bridges for performing field spot painting tests. KTC initially inspected
six bridges to find several candidates that might match the KTC test requirements. Three
bridges were selected for the spot painting tests, the KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over
US 60 and the KY 922 Newtown Pike Twin Bridges over KY 4 both in or near Lexington,
Kentucky (Figures 18 and 19).

Figure 18. Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60 Near Lexington, KY.

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Figure 19. KY 922 Southbound Bridge over KY 4 in


Lexington, KY.

3.2.1 KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60

The Bluegrass Parkway Bridge was constructed in the mid-1960s. The bridge was originally
painted with the basic lead silico-chromate alkyd primer and leafing and non-leafing aluminum
alkyd intermediate and finish (top) coats respectively. The bridge was experimentally
overcoated in 1993 using an aluminum-pigmented moisture cure urethane spot primer over
hand-tool cleaned rust/mill scale with two full overcoats consisting of a tie-coat of two-
component polyurethane and a high-gloss aliphatic polyurethane finish coat. There were leaking
deck joints at the abutments and two piers resulting in corrosion of the beams and cross-bracing
at the end of the spans. In 1991, prior to the overcoating work, KTC performed extensive
adhesion tests on the existing alkyd coatings and found them to be poorly adhered to the mill
scale substrate with the lead alkyd primer also prone to low-strength cohesive failures. At that
time, the adhesion test values for the alkyd coating system prior to overcoating varied between
about 50 to 250 psi.

The overcoating remained in very good condition for about 20 years with a few areas of
localized coating failures and corrosion re-occurring at the beam ends under the deck joints.
KYTC efforts to keep the joints sealed during that period were only partially successful and
several joints continued to leak, pouring deck runoff onto the beams (Figure 20). The bridge
began to experience localized sheet-type disbonding failures at random areas throughout the
structure from 2013-2015 (Figure 21) due to cold winters. At those locations, local failures
consisted of the entire coating disbonding down to the mill scale.

This bridge was selected as it exhibited: 1) a brittle coating that was not amenable to
repeated overcoating, 2) disbonding failures that could possibly be arrested by locking down
the existing coating at the failure boundaries, and 3) corrosion under leaking deck joints where
significant soluble salt concentrations were possible from deicing salt runoff. While this bridge
might be a better choice for total coating removal and replacement, if funds for that work were
not immediately available, spot painting could be used as a stopgap treatment to prevent
corrosion damage until the bridge could be completely repainted.

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Figure 20. Corrosion on Beam Ends and Cross- Figure 21. Disbonding of Existing Coating on
Bracing under Leaking Deck Joint on the Girder near East Abutment (Area 1).
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge at Pier 1 (Area 2).

3.2.2 KY 922 Twin Bridges over KY 4

The KY 922 twin overpass bridges were continuous multi-span bridges with joints over the
abutments. The bridges were built in the
1960s. In 1989, they were blast cleaned and
repainted with an inorganic zinc primer with a
vinyl topcoat. That system was beginning to
deteriorate with rusted patches on the
exterior faces of the fascia girders due to salt-
contaminated aerosols kicked up by traffic
under the bridges. At the abutments, the
beam ends and diaphragms were corroding
due to leaking deck joints. That deterioration
was accentuated by rust bleeding from the
deck joints (Figure 22). From the visual
inspection, these bridges appeared to be
good candidates for spot painting or
Figure 22. Corrosion and Rust Staining on Beam overcoating (including localized overcoating
Ends and Diaphragm at the KY 922 Southbound of the exterior faces of the fascia girders if
Bridge South Abutment. spot painting was to be used elsewhere).

3.2.3 Field Coating Assessments

Prior to that work, initial field assessments of existing coatings on the subject bridges were
performed by KTC researchers using procedures identified in the literature review (Figure 23).
Those tests included measurement of existing coating thicknesses using a Tooke gage (per
ASTM D4138 “Standard Practices for Measurement of Dry Film Thickness of Protective Coating
Systems by Destructive, Cross-Section Means” ) and a magnetic gage (per ASTM D7091,
“Standard Practice for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry Film Thickness of Nonmagnetic
Coatings Applied to Ferrous Metals and Nonmagnetic Nonconductive Coatings Applied to Non-
Ferrous Metal,”) , measurement of coating adhesion (per ASTM D3359 “Standard Test Methods
for Rating Adhesion by Tape Test” using an X-cut) and (per ASTM D4541, “Standard Test
Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers,”), soluble salts (per

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SSPC Technology Guide 15: “Field Methods for Extraction and Analysis of Soluble Salts on
Steel and Other Nonporous Substrates,” using the patch and sleeve methods - Methods 4.2.2
and 5.2.5 respectively). Heavy metal analysis was performed using a portable dispersive x-ray
fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer (Figure 24).

Figure 23. Coating Assessment Area on the Figure 24. XRF Testing the KY 922 Bridge
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge at Pier 1. Coating for Lead.

On the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge, tests were performed near the east abutment on three
beams and on beam ends at the west pier. The test results are provided in Tables 6 and 7. For
the KY 922 bridges, eight test locations were designated with Test Area 1 on the northbound
bridge at beam ends on the south abutment and Test Areas 2-8 on the southbound bridge at the
south abutment. Test Areas 1, 3, and 7 were given coating tests as provided in Table 8.

Table 6. Coating Assessment for Beams 1, 3 & 4 Near East Abutment on KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60.
Test Method Maximum Test Value Minimum Test Value
Existing Coating Thickness Primer-3.5 mils (88 microns), Primer-3 mils (75 microns),
(ASTM D4138) Intermediate-3.5 mils (88 Finish Coat-4 mils (100
microns), Finish Coat-5 mils (125 microns)*
microns)*
Existing Coating Thickness 12.9 mils (323 microns) avg. 9.1 mils (228 microns)avg.
(ASTM D7091)
Soluble Salt Test (SSPC- 57 µS/cm 46 µS/cm
Guide 15 Method 4.2.2)
Soluble Salt Test (SSPC- 40 µg/cm2 15 µg/cm2
Guide 15 Method 5.2.5)
Tape Adhesion (ASTM 2A 1A
D3359)
Tensile Adhesion (ASTM 550 psi (3.79 MPa) Failure 450 psi (3.10 MPa) Adhesion
D4541) location not recorded between Primer and Topcoat
XRF Reading for Heavy Metal Pb 64.46%**
*Could not identify individual coats readily
**Percent by weight of all elements analyzed.

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Table 7. Coating Assessment for Beams 1, 2 & 3 Over Pier 1 (West) on KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge over US 60.
Test Method Maximum Test Value Minimum Test Value
Existing Coating Thickness Primer-5 mils (125 microns), Primer-1.5 mils (38 microns),
(ASTM D4138) Finish Coat-5 mils (125 microns)* Intermediate-3 mils (75
microns), Finish Coat-4 mils
(100 microns)*
Existing Coating Thickness 12.9 mils (323 microns) avg. 9.1 mils (228 microns) avg.
(ASTM D7091)
Soluble Salt Test (SSPC- 99 µS/cm 34 µS/cm
Guide 15 Method 4.2.2)
Soluble Salt Test (SSPC- 40 µg/cm2 0 µg/cm2
Guide 15 Method 5.2.5)
Tape Adhesion (ASTM 1A 1A
D3359)
Tensile Adhesion (ASTM 656 psi (4.52 MPa) 40% 448 psi (3.09 MPa) Adhesion
D4541) Cohesion-Primer; 60% Adhesion between Primer and Finish Coat
between Primer & Intermediate
Coat
XRF Reading for Heavy Metal Pb 64.46%**
*Could not identify individual coats readily
**Percent by weight of all elements analyzed.

Table 8. Coating Assessment for Test Areas 1, 3 & 7 Near the South Abutment on KY 922 Bridge over KY 4.
Test Method Maximum Test Value Minimum Test Value
Existing Coating Thickness 10 mils (254 microns) Total* 8 mils (200 microns) Total*
(ASTM D4138)
Existing Coating Thickness 11.5 mils () avg. 5.6 mils () avg.
(ASTM D7091)
Soluble Salt Test (SSPC- 187 µS/cm 46 µS/cm
Guide 15 Method 4.2.2)
Soluble Salt Test (SSPC- 15 µg/cm2 7 µg/cm2
Guide 15 Method 5.2.5)
Tape Adhesion (ASTM 5A 5A
D3359)
Tensile Adhesion (ASTM 254 psi (1.75 MPa) 100% 174 psi (1.20 MPa) 100%
D4541) Cohesion in the Finish Coat Cohesion in the Finish Coat
XRF Reading for Heavy Metal Pb 0.20%** 0.11%**
*Could not identify individual coats readily
**Percent by weight of all elements analyzed.

The field coating assessments indicated that the existing coating thicknesses for both
bridges were on the order of about 10 mils and excessive coating thicknesses would not be a
factor. The tape adhesion tests per ASTM D3359 indicated that the original alkyd primer on the
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge was brittle. However, the tensile adhesion testing values were greater
than 450 psi indicating that application of the spot coatings would probably not result in
disbonding. Adhesion properties on the KY 922 Bridges did not appear to pose a problem for spot
painting. Most of the soluble salt readings were relatively low despite the presence of corrosion
under the deck joints at the piers and abutments of the two bridges. Based upon KTC tests, it was

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NCHRP Project 14-30

determined that in most of the spot painting areas, the residual soluble salt levels would be
sufficiently low to mirror those used in the KTC laboratory tests.

The XRF testing revealed that lead was the only heavy metal present in the three bridges.
The Bluegrass Parkway Bridge was known to have a lead primer that might cause the waste paint
residue from power tool cleaning to be a hazardous waste. The coatings on the two KY 922
bridges contained lead, probably from the zinc dust used in the inorganic zinc primer applied in
1989. From the XRF tests, the lead concentrations on the KY 922 Bridges were probably too low
to result in the creation of hazardous wastes, but the concentration of lead in the coating system
would require protection for and monitoring of workers involved in surface preparation activities.
Therefore, all three bridges were treated as deleading projects. The KYTC Division of
Environmental Analysis was contacted for assistance with coating disposal issues.

All three bridges showed signs of localized corrosion in beam end areas under deck joints.
However, none of the corrosion appeared to be sufficient to pose concerns about significant
section loss of the steel.

3.3 Field Work Protocol

Based upon the field assessments, a work protocol was developed for applying the spot
painting tests. This protocol was similar to work standards a state highway agency would prepare
for in-house spot painting or specifications/special notes for contractor work. It was based on
procedures provided in a companion document “Guidelines for Spot Painting to Extend Highway
Bridge Coating Life” (Hopwood et al. 2018). KTC technicians were provided with a list of tasks
with general guidance on executing them. Additionally, the KTC principal investigator reviewed
those items in detail with the technicians and periodically visited the bridges to inspect the work
in progress.

3.3.1 Selection of Test Areas

KY 9002 Bluegrass Parkway Bridge Tests

• Fly over from west US 60 to west BG Parkway, 3 spans, approximately 230 ft. (70.1
m) long with four 48-inch (122 cm) deep beams.
• Eight repair locations were selected at the east abutment (Area 1) that addressed the
disbonded areas on the web portion of the beams.
• Eight repair locations were selected at the west Pier 1 that included a combination of
beam ends, gusset plates, and angle bracing of the diaphragms that addressed
corroded areas (Area 2).
• Each location had a repair area selected with a minimum of 2 ft2 (0.19 m2).

KY 922 (Newtown Pike) over KY 4 (New Circle Rd)

• Twin bridges, 4 spans, approximately 220 ft. (67.1 m) long with seven 30-inch (76 cm)
deep beams per span.
• Eight repair locations were selected at the southern abutments of the two bridges that
included a portion of the beams and a portion of the diaphragm (Area 3).
• Location 1 was at the southern abutment of the north bound bridge.
• Location 2 through 8 were at the southern abutment of the southbound bridge.
• Each location had a repair area selected with a minimum of 2 ft2 (0.19 m2).

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3.3.2 KTC Training Relative to the Field Work

The KTC technicians assigned to the spot painting tests had the following training: OSHA 10-
Hour Construction Training, lead awareness and fall protection training, SSPC PCI Level I coating
inspector (one technician) and man-lift training. The principal investigator had taken the SSPC C3
Supervisor/Competent Person Training for Deleading/Hazardous Coating Removal on Industrial
and Marine Structures, but had not maintained that certification. KTC researchers contacted the
KYTC Division of Environmental Analysis which assisted with the disposal of the coating residues
generated on the project.

3.3.3 Field Spot Painting Work

The field work was performed as follows:

• Proper personal protection equipment was worn by KTC technicians performing the
field tests. They had mask-fit testing and were provided with half- and full-face
respirators as required. They were provided with disposable full body suits and
booties, protective eyewear and hearing protection. Hand washing provisions were
provided in the form of a portable sink, a potable water source and hand soap.
• Ground tarps were used in the work areas to contain debris removed from the bridge.
• All hand-held power tools used to provide the SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation were
shrouded and attached to vacuums equipped with HEPA filters. KTC possessed an
electric needle gun, a rotary flapper and a 7-inch (17.78 cm) right angle sander and
several small 1-gallon (3,785 cm3) capacity electric vacuums equipped with HEPA
filters to be used with single shrouded power tools. Several pneumatic and electric
power tools were obtained on loan from a manufacturer of power tool equipment.
Those tools included: a pneumatic a 2-inch (5.08 cm) grinder, two 7-inch (17.78 cm)
right angle sanders (electric and pneumatic), a pneumatic rotary flapper and a
pneumatic needle gun. KTC ordered an extra set of needles for both the electric and
pneumatic needle guns and extra non-woven Clean ‘N Strip™ type discs for use with
the grinder and sanders.
• Each area was cleaned to: SSPC-SP 1, “Solvent Cleaning” (where necessary), SSPC-
SP2, “Hand-Tool Cleaning” to remove peeling paint, and SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool
Cleaning.” Surfaces to be painted were wiped with burlap prior to painting. A solvent
was provided for cleaning but was not needed at the test locations. Existing paint at
the boundaries were to be feathered approximately one to two inches using the 2-inch
(5.08 cm) grinder equipped with a non-woven pad.
• At each general location, ambient conditions were monitored and the coatings were
not applied until proper conditions were met, with the surface temperature of the steel
at least 5o F (2.8o C) above the dew point. The experimental spot coatings were applied
per manufacturer’s recommendations.
• KTC researchers took pictures of representative paint-related activities on both
bridges KTC researchers also took digital video-recordings of the use of the power
tools during surface preparation.
• KTC researchers performed wet film tests during application of the six liquid-applied
coatings and the grease to ensure proper coating thicknesses and make necessary
repairs while the coatings were in a wet state.

KTC arranged with KYTC for the disposal of the lead paint residue, used disposable
clothes and respirator filters from the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. Other wastes generated

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including any solvents were disposed of by KTC as part of its routine in-house painting
procedures. KTC researchers determined that testing of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge at the
West Pier 1 required the use of a man-lift. To perform the work, KTC rented a 45-foot (13.72 m)
articulating man-lift for $550/week plus a delivery and pick-up charge to the bridge of $310 each
way. A 185 CFM (5.24 CMM) @ 100 psi (0.69 MPa) diesel-powered portable air compressor
was also rented for the project at $325/week including hoses. The compressor needed to be
equipped with a water separator to be used with the power tools. KTC had a 6,500-Watt
portable generator that was used to supply electric power for mixing and use of the electric tools
and vacuums. Cans, brushes, solvent, disposable suits, trash bags, tarps, air filters, power tool
consumables, hand tools and other miscellaneous supplies all came to less than $1,000 for all
three bridges. KTC researchers used two pick-up trucks to take the equipment from the KTC
laboratory to the job sites daily.

The KYTC District Office in Lexington supported the research by providing a parking lane-
closure on the westbound traffic lane of US 60 under the Bluegrass Parkway bridge during the
work days from about 8:30 am to 3:00 pm allowing sufficient time for surface preparation and
painting of Test Area 2.

Work on the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge began in early October, 2015 with follow-up work
on the KY 922 Twin Bridge worked started the following week.

On the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge, the surface preparation work was initiated on beams
near the east abutment that had experienced disbonding problems (Area1). The work set up area
was located to the side of the road behind the east Pier 2. It was completely blocked from traffic
by a guardrail running between the pier and the roadway. Most of the disbonding spots on Area
1 occurred in sheltered portions of beams under the deck near the abutment. The test areas
chosen were readily accessed from the embankment without the need for ladders or scaffolding.
Electrical cords and pneumatic hoses were run from the truck-mounted generator and towed
compressor to power the vacuums and tools to the work sites. KTC technicians fabricated a
manifold for the compressor, enabling the crew to operate two pneumatic power tools
concurrently. Prior to the onset of surface preparation, ground tarps were laid to collect any paint
chips that fell during the surface preparation. Peeling paint was removed with hand scrapers prior
to power tool cleaning and the paint chips were collected daily (Figure 25).

Figure 25. A Ground Tarp Placed under the Bluegrass


Parkway Area 1 to Collect Leaded Paint Chips.

The test locations were marked to identify where the specific repair coatings were to be
used. During surface preparation, KTC encountered a problem with poor adhesion and brittle
coating failures that resulted in areas requiring painting that were 3-5 times larger than originally

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anticipated. The progress of the power tool cleaning was rapid in these areas as there was little
surface rust to be cleaned and the existing coating readily came off in most areas. Most of the
corners, stiffeners and edges of the flanges were power-tool cleaned using electric or pneumatic
vacuum-shrouded needle guns (Figure 26). The flatwork on the webs was typically power-tool
cleaned using pneumatic or electric 7-in (17.78 cm) vacuum shrouded right angle sanders with
non-woven pads (Figure 27). A 2-inch (5.08 cm) vacuum shrouded pneumatic grinder was also
used for cleaning in smaller areas such as stiffeners and faces and edges of flanges using a non-
woven pad. After the cleaning, the boundaries of the existing coating were probed with dull
scrapers to ensure that the surface preparation extended into adherent existing coating. Then,
the edge of the existing coating was feathered using the 2-inch (5.08 cm) grinder. That proved
much quicker than manually feathering the existing coatings with sandpaper. The prepared
surfaces were visually inspected to ensure they were properly cleaned. After the laboratory work,
KTC technicians had experience in preparing SSPC-SP 3 substrates and did not rely on the VIS
3 standard to determine when the surface preparation was acceptable (Figures 28 and 29). Prior
to coating application, each test spot was thoroughly wiped down using a coarse burlap to remove
any residual dust or soils.

Figure 26. Surface Preparation to SSPC-SP 3 Figure 27. Surface Preparation to SSPC-SP
Standard Using a Pneumatic Needle Gun. 3 Standard Using an Electric Sander.

Figure 28. Area 2 Test Location on the Figure 29. Test Location on the KY 922
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge with SSPC-SP 3 Southbound Bridge with SSPC-SP 3 Surface
Surface Preparation. Preparation.

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NCHRP Project 14-30

An electronic digital dew point meter was used to measure air temperature, surface
temperature of the steel, the relative humidity and the dew point (Figure 30). Once suitable
ambient conditions were met, the repair coatings were applied. The liquid-applied coatings were
provided in one-gallon kits for the two-component MIO-epoxy, epoxy sealer and two-component
polyurethane and one-gallon cans for the single-component alkyd, acrylic and moisture cure
urethane coatings. The calcium sulfonate alkyd coating was provided in a five-gallon bucket. It
was resealed and coating from the container was used in subsequent applications. The coatings
were mixed or agitated at the staging area. None of the coatings were thinned during either the
laboratory or field work though a small amount (10%) was recommended for some coatings when
brush-applied (Figure 31). The liquid-applied coatings were applied using 3-inch (7.62 cm)
brushes.

Figure 30. Dew Point Meter Used to Monitor Figure 31. KTC Technician Brushing an Alkyd
Ambient Conditions on the Bluegrass Parkway Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge.
Bridge Prior to Coating Application.

The grease was wiped on by hand using rubber gloves and smoothed out using a scraper
(Figure 32). For all of the liquid-applied coatings, WFT measurements were used to ascertain
proper film thicknesses during application. Those were to conform to recommended WFT values
in the coating manufacturers’ product data sheets. DFT readings were subsequently obtained
using a Tooke gage. The grease was applied at an approximate thickness of 20 mils (500
microns). The tape was supplied in a 9-inch (22.86 cm) wide roll. Due in part to the large repair
area created by the SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation, KTC technicians ran short on tape. They
were unable to get additional material in time for the field work and substituted a similar (green)
product made by the same manufacturer (Figure 33). Both tapes were applied in a manner similar
to hanging wall paper. They were self-adherent on one face with protective cover that was peeled
off prior to application.

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Figure 32. KTC Technician Applying Grease Figure 33. Green Tape Used to Supplement
Coating with a Glove before Smoothing It out Beige Tape Due to a Shortage.
with a Scraper.

Measurements were taken to determine the widths of the repair area to be covered with
each application of the tapes. The tapes were cut into strips and placed over the repair area
lapping the existing coating at the repair boundary by about two inches. Care was taken to
completely press down the tape strips to eliminate air pockets between the tapes and the
substrates and bond the overlapping strips together.

While the tapes did not pose any significant application issues, the beige material picked
up grime from handling. The same problem was encountered in applying the material in the
laboratory on test specimens. While that detracted from its cosmetic appearance, that did not
impact its overall performance in terms of corrosion protection. Problems were encountered in
applying the acrylic 2-coat system (Coating 7). Rust bleed occurred through the primer as had
been encountered in the laboratory tests during application of that coating system on the test
panels (Figure 34).

Figure 34. Rust Bleed Problem with the Direct-to-Metal Acrylic


Primer.

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In addition to the spot coating repairs performed under the deck, a spot repair was made
to a badly peeling area on the external face on a fascia girder near the east abutment (about 20
ft2). Surface preparation was performed using a pneumatic rotary flapper for the flat work and
needle gun for the corners. The area was painted using the calcium sulfonate alkyd applied with
a small battery-powered airless hand sprayer. The sprayer applied the coating much faster than
brushing to achieve the total required film build using wet-on-wet application which was permitted
by the coating manufacturer. The resulting total dry film thickness was measured at 10 mils (250
microns) which was within the coating manufacturer’s prescribed tolerance.

Area 2 above the west Pier 1 was located on the other end of the bridge from Area 1. The
two work areas were separated by US 60, a four-lane divided roadway. The test areas for spot
painting chosen by the KTC technicians were typically located on angle cross-bracing between
girders under the deck and attachment gussets or at beam webs/stiffeners riveted/bolted to the
cross-braces. The test areas were marked with indelible ink. Those areas were more corroded
than those in Area 1 at the east abutment. Surface preparation was slow due to the irregular
shapes being cleaned. The existing paint was more adherent in Area 2 and the repair areas were
smaller. The surface preparation and coating application processes was the same as that
performed on Area 1 with the 8 “repair” coatings applied. In that case, the liquid-applied coatings
were mixed in the staging area adjacent to Area 1 and hand carried across the road for application
on Area 2 in one-gallon cans.

Fir field spot painting tests on the KY 922 Bridges, a staging area was located adjacent to
the south abutment of the southbound bridge behind a guardrail. As work was performed under
the abutments, no traffic control was required. KTC technicians accessed the work areas on
paved berms running up to the abutments. There were no problems in routing the electric chords
and air hoses from the staging area to the work sites. The spot painting process was identical to
that used on the two test areas of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. As previously noted, the test
locations were on adjacent abutments of the two bridges. Each test location was in a different bay
and consisted of a portion of a beam end that was corroded (on both the web and faces of the
upper and lower flanges), the face of a stiffener with fasteners, and about a one-foot length of the
outer face of a channel diaphragm connecting the beams in each bay. The 7-inch (17.78 cm)
vacuum shrouded angle sanders were used for the flat work on the faces of the webs and
channels and vacuum shrouded needle guns were used for the corners, edges and bolted
connections. The work was completed without incident and the test areas were painted the
following two days. For the tape test, the substitute tape from the manufacturer had to be used
as the tape employed for the laboratory tests had been consumed and additional material could
not be obtained in time for the completion of the field work.

Painting of each bridge took a three-person crew about three days to complete (Figures
35-38). No weather delays were encountered. The sites were cleaned of all waste materials. The
waste paint residue from the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge was provided to KYTC for disposal with
waste paint debris from another larger project. Other wastes generated during the field tests were
collected at the jobsites were collected and properly disposed.

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Figure 35. Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd Repair Figure 36. MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane Repair Coating
Coating (2 Coats) on Area 1 of the Bluegrass on Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge.
Parkway Bridge.

During the field work, one KTC technician was fitted with an air monitor to determine his
respirable lead exposure during an 8-hour period when conducting surface preparation using
needle guns and sanders and grinders. He was monitored working on the three bridges while
wearing a half-face respirator by a certified industrial hygienist who routinely performed similar
tests for paint contractors working in Kentucky. For the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge, the respirable
lead exposure level was determined to be 120 µg/m3 for 8 hours which is above the personal
exposure level of 50 µg/m3. With the half-face respirator protection factor of 10, his effective
exposure level is 12 µg/m3 which is considered acceptable. For the KY 922 Bridges, the respirable
lead exposure level was determined to be 13.44 µg/m3 for 8 hours which would be acceptable
without a respirator. However, it is good practice to use one to limit inhalation of nonhazardous
airborne particulates generated during surface preparation.

Figure 37. A Moisture Cure Urethane Repair Figure 38. A Grease Repair Coating on the KY
Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge. 922 Southbound Bridge.

After the coatings had cured, DFT measurements were taken of the six liquid-applied
“repair” coatings in Area 1 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge and the KY 992 Bridges. Those are
provided in Table 9. In one case, the epoxy sealer/polyurethane on the Bluegrass Parkway

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Bridge, had been applied at an excessive paint thickness (the polyurethane top coat). On the KY
922 Bridge, the thickness of the MIO-epoxy primer in the MIO-epoxy/polyurethane was several
mils under the manufacturer’s recommended thickness.

Table 9. Dry Film Thicknesses for Liquid-Applied Coatings on KTC Field Tests (Topcoat/Primer)
Test Area – Coating Types Product Data Sheet Bluegrass Parkway KY 922
(Topcoat/Primer) mils (microns) Bridge Area 1 Bridges
mils (microns) mils (microns)
Area 1 – Alkyd/Alkyd 2-3/2-5 5 (125) Total 7 (175) Total
(50-75)/(50-125)
Area 2 – Polyurethane/Epoxy Sealer 3-5/1-2 7/2 4/5
(75-125)/(25-50) (175)/(50) (100)/(125)
Area 3 – MCU/MIO-Al MCU 2-3/2-3 2/4 3/2
(50-75)/(50-75) (50/100) (75)/(50)
Area 4 – Calcium Sulfonate Alkyd (2 5-6/5-6 12 (475) Total 12 (475) Total
coats) (125-150)/(125-150)
Area 7 – Acrylic/Acrylic 2.5-4/2-4 5 (125) Total 7 (175) Total
(63-100)/(50-200)
Area 8 – Polyurethane/MIO-Epoxy 3-5/5-10 5/10 5/3
(75-125)/(125-250) (125)/(250) (125)/(75)

3.4 Follow-up Evaluations off Field Work

Approximately 14 months after the “repair” spot coatings were applied on the Bluegrass Parkway
and KY 922 Twin Bridges, KTC researchers went to the bridges to perform follow-up evaluations
of the coatings. In Area 1 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge, the alkyd 2-coat system (Coating 1)
generally was performing well with one small disbonding location. No rust was evident on the test
area. The epoxy sealer/polyurethane (Coating 2) also appeared to be in good condition with one
small rust spot visible on the web-to-flange fillet weld, but there was no disbonding. The moisture
cure urethane 2-coat system (Coating 3) also appeared to be in good condition with no sign of
rust or disbonding (Figure 39). The calcium sulfonate alkyd 2-coat system (Coating 4) was
performing well with no sign of rust or disbonding. The tape (Coating 5) was intact with no signs
of rust or disbonding (Figure 40). The grease (Coating 6) was intact with no signs of rust or
disbonding. However, the tacky coating had picked up a significant amount of airborne debris.
The acrylic 2-coat system (Coating 7) generally was in good condition with some spot rusting
starting at the lower flange, but no signs of disbonding. The MIO-epoxy/polyurethane (Coating 8)
was in good condition with no sign of rusting or disbonding. The spot repair to the exterior fascia
girder was performing well with a small spot of rust near a vertical stiffener.

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Figure 39. The Moisture Cure Urethane Spot Figure 40. The Tape Spot Coating in Good
Repair in Good Condition on the Bluegrass Condition on Area 1 of the Bluegrass Parkway
Parkway Bridge. Bridge.

In Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge, alkyd 2-coat system (Coating 1) generally was
performing well with one small rust spot at the bottom of the test patch where there had been
significant corrosion pitting prior to the spot painting (Figure 41). The epoxy sealer/polyurethane
(Coating 2) also appeared to be in fair-to-good condition with several small rust spots visible on
fasteners, the edge of the cross-bracing gusset plate, the web-to-flange fillet weld, and random
spots on the face of one angle and the gusset plate where the repair surface had been severely
pitted by corrosion. The moisture cure urethane 2-coat system (Coating 3) was performing poorly
with rust on fasteners and on a cross-bracing angle and gusset plate. The calcium sulfonate alkyd
2-coat system (Coating 4) was performing well with one small rust spot. The tape (Coating 5) was
intact with no sign of rust or disbonding. The grease (Coating 6) was intact with no signs of
corrosion or disbonding. However, the tacky grease had picked up a significant amount of
airborne debris. The acrylic 2-coat system (Coating 7) was performing poorly with several failed
and corroded spots and severe rust bleeding through the test patch in many locations (Figure 42).
The MIO-epoxy/polyurethane (Coating 8) was in generally performing good condition with a small
rust spot at the bottom edge of the test patch, on the edge of two cross-bracing angles and on
the gusset plate. No disbonding was observed on any spot coating test patch in Area 2.

On the KY 922 Bridges, alkyd 2-coat system (Coating 1) was in fair condition exhibiting
spot failures on the upper flange-to-stiffener fillet weld area, the lower flange, and on the painted
portion of the diaphragm. The epoxy sealer/polyurethane (Coating 2) was in better condition than
Coating 1, but rust was observed on the lower flange adjacent to the stiffener and rust spotting
was visible on the face of the diaphragm especially adjacent to the edge of the stiffener which
also exhibited rust spotting (Figure 43). The rust spotting appeared to be related to areas where
the steel had been severely pitted. The moisture cure urethane 2-coat system (Coating 3)
appeared to be in similar condition to Coating 2. The worst corrosion was on the lower flange
adjacent to the stiffener. The calcium sulfonate alkyd 2-coat system (Coating 4) was fair condition
with rusting on the lower flange adjacent to the stiffener and on the gusset plate (that also
exhibited rust bleed from coating failures at the top of the diaphragm). The tape (Coating 5) was
intact with two small spot failures and rust bleed at the end of the test patch. Apparently, the rough
surface at this location had been pushed through the tape causing it to fail. Otherwise, no
problems were observed with the tape. The grease (Coating 6) was in fair condition with corrosion
evident on the lower flange adjacent to the stiffener, along the web-to-flange fillet weld, and on
the edge of the stiffener with no signs of corrosion or disbonding. Those appeared to be due to

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cleaning problems in tight areas combined with insufficient thickness of the grease coating in the
rusted areas. The grease was tacky and had picked up a significant amount of airborne debris.
The acrylic 2-coat system (Coating 7) generally was in poor condition with large-scale failure on
the face of the stiffener, the lower flange of the girder and the face of the diaphragm. The MIO-
epoxy/polyurethane (Coating 8) was in good condition with rusting on the lower flange of the girder
adjacent to the stiffener and along the top of the diaphragm (Figure 44). The coating was
disbonding adjacent to one fastener. There were no other signs of disbonding on any of the test
patches.

Figure 41. The Alkyd Spot Coating in Area 2 of Figure 42. The Acrylic Spot Coating in Area 2 of
the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge in Good the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge in Poor Condition.
Condition.

Figure 43. The Epoxy Sealer/Polyurethane Figure 44. The MIO-Epoxy/Polyurethane Repair
Repair Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge Coating on the KY 922 Southbound Bridge in
in Fair-to-Good Condition. Good Condition.

3.4.1 Work Times for Spot Painting Tasks

After the field work was completed, the KTC technicians provided the following
information/judgements concerning the work performed. In terms of manpower requirements, it
took a total of two person-days to conduct the preliminary field coating assessments on the two
locations on the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge and one person-day on the KY 922 Bridges. The

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Bluegrass Parkway Bridge required the use of a ladder in assess the existing coatings in Area 2
of the bridge steel over Pier 1. The abutment locations on the bridges were accessed at ground
level. Mobilization for both bridges took a total of two-person days to make all purchases and
arrange for KYTC traffic control on the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. One-and-a-half person-days
were required for deployments at the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge while one-half person day was
required on the KY 922 Bridges. That time was minimized by good preparation of the KTC
researchers at the shop prior to travelling to the jobsites and aided by technician familiarity with
the sites gained during the coating assessments. The SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation at each
test spot on all bridges averaged about one person-hour. The larger test areas (approximately 8-
24 ft2) were in Area 1 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. They consisted primarily of flatwork only
requiring limited coating removal and substrates that were primarily mill scale with very little
corrosion. Those were rapidly cleaned primarily using the 7-inch angle sanders with non-woven
pads and needle guns to clean the corners. The 2-inch grinder with a non-woven pad rapidly
feathered the edges of the existing coating.

The test areas on Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge were smaller with total test
areas of about 2-3 ft2 having irregular surfaces that were pitted and corroded which slowed the
surface preparation work. The KY 922 Bridges had test areas estimated at about 4-5 ft2 with more
flatwork than Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge. However, the KY 922 Bridge test sites
had some irregular surfaces (fasteners) and pitted, corroded surfaces that proved difficult to clean.
Mixing and applying the liquid-applied coatings took less than one person-hour per coating for
Area 1 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge and the KY 922 Bridges. It took slightly longer to paint
Area 2 of the Bluegrass Parkway Bridge due to the need to transport the coatings to the opposite
side of the road after mixing. The tape took two person-hours to apply to a test location with the
irregular surfaces requiring more time to properly coat than equivalent flat areas. The grease took
about one-half person-hour per location as no mixing/agitation was required prior to application.
The clean-up and demobilization took about one-person day each for the Bluegrass Parkway and
KY 922 Bridges.

3.4.2 KTC Technician Ratings of Power Tools and Coatings

The KTC technicians were asked to provide subjective ratings of the performance of power tools
and coatings. The power tools were rated on a simple three-point scale as shown in Table 10.
None of the tools presented any problem with set-up or duty cycles. The latter was due to the
small test areas cleaned during the field testing. The pneumatic needle gun was considered the
best all-around tool for cleaning work being used on corners and smaller steel surfaces such as
gussets, stiffeners, and angles. While not normally used as an SSPC-SP 3 power tool, the
pneumatic rotary flapper rapidly stripped the fascia girder web of paint and no attempt was made
to use it to remove the mill scale or cut a profile in the underlying steel. The 7-inch (17.78 cm)
angle sanders required the operator exert force to push them against the work piece as well as
support the weight of the tool. The KTC technicians found those units to be fatiguing if used for
more than a few minutes. The 2-inch (5.08 cm) grinder was convenient for cleaning tight areas
and feathering existing paint.

The KTC technician ratings of the coatings also used a simple three-point scale (in
additional to a rating of ‘0’ for “not applicable”) as shown in Table 11. The small areas painted and
the close proximity of the painting operations to the staging/mixing area did not pose a pot-
life/recoating issues with the epoxies due to the generally ideal temperatures encountered during
the field work. Mixing/agitation was performed with electric or pneumatic drills with mixing blades
and usually did not take more than 10 minutes to complete.

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Table 10. KTC Ratings of Power Tools


Tools \ Rating Category Set Up Ease of Use Duty Cycle Effectiveness Comments
Needle Gun (Electric) 1 2 1 1 Unit heavy and difficult to use
in tight areas
Needle Gun (Pneumatic) 1 1 1 1 Considered the most effective
power tool
7-Inch Angle Sander 1 2 1 2 Hard to use due to force
(Electric) necessary to use shroud.
Could not see the work while
using the tool
7-Inch (17.78 cm) Angle 1 2 1 2 Same comments for electric
Sander (Pneumatic) grinder
2-Inch (5.08 cm) Grinder 1 1 1 1 Easy to use. Good for tight
(Pneumatic) places. Good for feathering
existing paint.
Rotary-Flapper 1 2 1 1 Worked well on flat surfaces.
(Pneumatic) Heavy.
Rating: 1 – good, 2 – fair, and 3 – poor

Table 11. KTC Rating of Coatings


Coating\Category Mixing Application Pot Life Clean Up Comments
Acrylic/Acrylic 1 2 0 1 Rust bleed through primer. Difficult to get
coating thickness
Alkyd/Alkyd 1 1 0 1 Difficult to apply specified coating thickness
(primer)
Polyurethane/MIO- 1 2 1 1 Pot life not an issue. Difficult to get coating
Epoxy thickness (primer)
Polyurethane/Epoxy 1 1 1 1 Pot life not an issue.
Sealer
MCU (2 coats) 1 1 0 1 Easy coating to apply.
Calcium Sulfonate 1 1 0 1 Easy coating to use. Difficult to get coating
Alkyd (2 Coats) thickness with brush – easier with airless
sprayer
Grease 0 2 0 1 Messy if care not taken during application
Tape 0 3 0 1 The tape is difficult cut to apply properly
Rating: 1 – good, 2 – fair, 3 – poor, 0-not applicable

3.5 Field Work Discussion

The field testing work followed the general process presented in the NCHRP 14-30 spot painting
guidance document beginning with preliminary visual assessments to identify candidate spot
painting bridges. That was followed by field coating assessments of candidate bridges to:

• Assess site conditions, identify test locations for spot painting tests
• Determine the properties of the existing coatings/substrates for spot repairs using
SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning”
• Identify whether soluble salt treatment was needed
• Determine if special conditions existed (e.g., lead in existing coatings) that warranted
special worker safety or environmental actions.

Thereafter, a test (work) protocol was developed to perform the work. The KYTC Division
of Environmental Analysis was engaged to dispose the lead paint residue. KTC technicians

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performing work had the appropriate worker safety training and fitting of respirators. The
necessary equipment and supplies (as previously noted) were obtained. Traffic control required
coordination with the KYTC district office. The field work test protocol was followed for both
surface preparation and coating application including verification of conditions suitable for
painting. Coating thicknesses were addressed as a quality control measure using tooth gages
and subsequently verified after curing using a dry film thickness measuring instrument. The work
was monitored after completion to determine worker and protocol performance and to identify
problems that could be addressed in future spot painting work. Work times, and experiences with
power tools and coatings were obtained from field that could prove useful for planning follow-on
spot painting projects. The approach to the laboratory and field work was consistent with the type
of low-technology spot painting work that would be expected from state highway agency in-house
forces.

The one-year inspection indicated that the KTC spot painting procedure would work well
where soluble salts and pitting were not major problems. In the areas where appreciable corrosion
was present, the procedure did not prevent some local failures though rust bleeding made the
extent of coating failures appear greater than they really were. Those areas were located under
joints on both the Bluegrass Parkway and KY 922 twin Bridges. The MnDOT, “Bridge
Maintenance Manual Field Guide-Chapter 8,” (2017) noted that with SSPC-SP 3 surface
preparation, one-coat (polyamide epoxy) spot repairs would provide 5 years of service at 3%-5%
failure and 7.5 years to 5%-10% failure. Two-coat (polyurethane over polyamide epoxy) would
provide 7 years of service at 3%-5% failure and 10.5 years at 5%-10% failure. Those will be
yardsticks for measuring the success of the KTC spot painting process. Unfortunately, the
Bluegrass Parkway Bridge was completely painted in the fall of 2017 using removal and
replacement and those test patches were lost. Only the KY 922 Bridges will remain as test beds
for long-term evaluation of the experimental spot painting work.

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CHAPTER 4
Overview of Project Tasks/Conclusions

4.1 Laboratory Testing

One primary requirement of this project was to develop a test method to qualify coatings for use
in spot painting repairs over typical existing coatings on bridges. This was addressed by using
specially prepared test panels that replicated typical substrates encountered in spot painting (e.g.
failed areas, boundaries and existing coatings). Common bridge coating types - acrylics, alkyds
and epoxy with a polyurethane top coat were applied to the test panels to replicate “existing”
bridge coatings. Both flat panels and complex shapes were developed for those tests using simple
steel plates, and in the case of the complex shapes, the use of bolted plates. A key to the testing
was the conditioning of exposed steel/mill scale surfaces by initially corroding them in a test
chamber which both created rusted substrates and charged them with typical levels of chlorides
found on bridges (excluding more severe exposures) to simulate the types of substrates
encountered in the field. A surface preparation and painting protocol were developed to replicate
the types of spot painting activities that could be adopted by most state highway agencies,
eliminating the use of pressure washing operations which posed environmental obstacles to some
state highway agencies for employing spot painting and required painting crews to spend extra
time on site, waiting for washed surfaces to dry sufficiently for follow-up work. The panels were
partially coated with six types of common liquid-applied coatings and two non-traditional coatings
– a grease and a tape used as spot “repair” coatings. Brushing was used for the application as it
is probably the one that would be most commonly used in the field for smaller projects. Several
standard coating accelerated weathering and corrosion tests were used to test the coated panels
- ASTM D5894 to replicate portions of bridges where coatings had bold exposures and ASTM
B117 to replicate sheltered bridge locations with extended TOW. A nominal 5,000-hour test period
was used as this was typically the standard test duration used by industry. The ASTM B117 tests
proved more severe failing most of the liquid-applied coatings.

One indicator of the success of the laboratory test protocol is the fact that it stressed the
conventional liquid-applied coatings sufficiently to cause many of them to fail during the test
procedures. This was due in part to the conditioning process that left soluble salts on substrates
prior to painting and provided realistic conditions under which those coatings would have to
perform. The use of SSPC-SP 3, “Power Tool Cleaning” represents a relatively low level of
cleaning and restricts the use of coatings to barrier and inhibitive types that can provide good, but
not optimal service compared to systems employing zinc primers. Of those systems, the best
performing ones for the KTC test protocol were the barrier systems. Those KTC laboratory test
results are supported by previous laboratory and field tests by KTC and others. The best overall
performing liquid-applied coating system was the MIO – epoxy/polyurethane.

It should be noted that the spot coatings that withstood the 5,000-hour test durations for
both tests are probably well-matched to the durability of the existing coatings they were applied
over. Unlike real bridges, the “existing” coatings used in the KTC tests were not weathered prior
to the spot coating tests and had only experienced a short 250-hour exposure in a salt fog test
used to corrode the unpainted areas of the test panels. After the 5,000-hour tests, a number of
the “existing” coatings, where not covered by the experimental repair coatings, had begun to fail
by either blistering or rusting while the areas where they were top coated by the “repair” coatings
remained intact.

The low water consumption salt remediation tests using chemical treatments showed that

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it is possible to improve the performance of liquid-applied coatings with a minimal amount of effort
and generation of wastewater. KTC researchers now wish they had that procedure on more spot
coatings. Both soluble salt treatments showed some improvement in performance for several
conventional coatings. Their benefit on the non-conventional coatings -the grease and tape -
proved inconclusive as those coating passed the performance tests on both the chemically treated
and untreated substrates. That approach might be beneficial in reducing or eliminating
wastewater capture and disposal requirements that are problematic for some state highway
agencies.
A related task was to assess the potential service lives of those coatings. Service lives of
spot coatings will depend upon the level of surface preparation including remediation of soluble
salts. There is no widely accepted correlation between accelerated laboratory testing and
subsequent service performance. However, KTC experience has generally indicated that test
coatings remaining in good condition after 5,000 hours of either ASTM D 5894 or B117 will
probably provide at least 10 years of service if applied over salt-free/low salt contamination
substrates for atmospheric exposures in mild or moderate service environments. Most substrates
found on bridges, even with soluble salt remediation, will have residual soluble salts, sometimes
concentrated in pits that are difficult to eliminate. That can lead to lower service lives and,
depending upon the type of bridge exposure, spot painting as set forth in the KTC method with
conventional coatings will probably result in service lives of 5 to 10 years at some level of
corrosion damage – probably in the range of 5%-10% for locations with significant initial rust and
extended TOW. KTC has had limited experience with tapes, but the results are very promising.
For spot repairs, they may be able to double or triple the service performance of conventional
liquid-applied coatings with very little corrosion. Greases have provided good service for several
highway agencies and are typically used to protect bridge bearings. If properly applied with
sufficient film build and no missed spots, the grease tested should provide at least 5 years of
service for atmospheric exposure in mild or moderate environments.

Any suitably equipped coatings laboratory can conduct the tests as previously outlined.
After performing the work, KTC researchers believe that the most cost-effective test of spot
coatings is applying candidate coatings over flat panels that have been conditioned using either
mill scale (for simplicity) or abrasive blasted steel that has been conditioned for 250 hours in a
cyclic salt fog spray. Our preference would be for abrasive blasted steel for consistency in initial
substrate condition. Use of flat test panels would significantly reduce testing costs compared to
the additional testing of complex shapes (e.g. the Type II) panels. “Existing” coatings can be used,
as in this test program, if a state highway agency wishes to evaluate a specific coating
combination and a coating system comparable to those currently in service is available with the
caveat that the test results may no reflect what will occur in the field.

The grease and tape performed excellently in the laboratory and were the only coatings
that survived for 5,000 hours of B117 testing on both the Type I and Type II specimens. This is
reflected in actual highway service. Several highway agencies use greases to protect bearings
and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has used them successfully since 2013. KTC
researchers has four years of successful experience with the same generic type of tape in an
aggressive environment under a leaking bridge joint on an interstate bridge.

The pass/fail criteria used during the laboratory testing were based upon practical
assumptions relating test panel performance to coating evaluations in the field. However, those
are laboratory criteria. Use of the laboratory findings state highway agencies to adopt or reject
coatings based upon the test results would be dependent on their evaluations of the test results.
Some agencies might elect to perform testing for durations of 2 to 3,000 hours to reduce costs of
laboratory testing.

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There may be significant differences in coatings that can impact their performance.
Coating approvals obtained under the laboratory test protocol should be for specific products, not
generic classes of coatings.

4.2 KTC Field Testing

KTC performed an extensive literature review to identify factors pertaining to the selection of spot
painting as a maintenance painting option, along with proper handling of coatings, cleaning of
repair areas, remediation of soluble salts, mechanical surface preparation, identification and
verification of acceptable ambient conditions for painting, coating application, worker safety and
environmental compliance – all within the scope of work performed using SSPC-SP 3, “Power
Tool Cleaning.” As previously noted, KTC has prepared a guide for state highway agencies to use
spot painting that addresses those factors and provides latitude for state highway agency
determination of criteria for selecting, and methods for applying spot painting over a range of
circumstances focusing on the SSPC-SP 3 method (though not exclusively). The elements of that
guide can be used by agencies to develop procedures (work standards) for spot painting with in-
house crews or to prepare specifications/special notes for spot paint work to be performed by
contract.

KTC researchers developed a field test protocol for using spot painting without washing.
The KTC field work validated the guide’s criteria and methods to perform successful spot coating
work on bridges with damaged coatings and corrosion. The field work also determined a limited
correlation between the laboratory results and the field work. The field work was successfully
completed using SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation with a variety of power tools and applying the 8
experimental “repair” coatings at three locations on the Bluegrass Parkway and KY 922 twin
Bridges. Fortunately, the progress of the laboratory testing was slowed sufficiently to permit a 14-
month performance evaluation of the field spot coatings. Presently, only a few correlations have
been discerned between the laboratory test results and the field performance of the spot coatings.
The acrylic (2 coat) system (Coating 7) performed poorly on bridge areas that previously were
corroded and exposed to continuing moisture from leaking deck joints. The tape was performing
well at several locations. The grease was failing slightly at one joint location though it performed
well elsewhere. The other liquid-applied coatings were performing well where not exposed to
leaking joints or applied over rough pitted surfaces. At locations under leaking joints, the liquid-
applied coatings showed some degree of failure, but the service duration did not allow a long-
range determination of which coatings would perform satisfactorily. KTC researchers recorded
their experiences in performing the field work and provided ratings for the equipment and coatings
that may prove useful to state highway agencies seeking to perform spot painting work with in-
house crews.

The NCHRP 14-30 spot painting guidance document and this report contain sufficient
information for a state highway agency to:

• Identify potential spot coatings and conduct field assessments


• Select spot painting as a maintenance painting option
• Identify issues that must be addressed to employ spot painting either by in-house
crews or by contract
• Prepare necessary standards or specifications to perform spot painting

If a state highway agency wants to perform laboratory qualification testing to create or add
coatings to a spot coating approved products list, it can adopt the KTC laboratory test protocol in

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whole or part, as discussed above, to conduct accelerated tests to screen candidate coatings.
The test protocol is fully described in Appendix B

Spot painting is a valuable tool for state highway agencies to use in extending the service
performance of existing bridge coatings. This report and the accompanying guide may prove
useful in promoting wider use of the method and achieving its potential benefits. Moving forward,
KTC researchers intend to disseminate these findings at conferences and meetings to promote
the wider use of spot painting by highway agencies.

4.3 Conclusions

The following conclusions are based on the KTC laboratory and field research:

1. The Type I test protocol developed under this project is suitable for identifying coating
systems for spot painting repairs on bridges prepared using the SSPC-SP 3, “Power
Tool Cleaning” standard. This includes substrates that are corroded due to moderate
contamination by soluble salts and which are subject to a range of bridge micro-
environments for mild and moderate atmospheric exposures.
2. The Type II-shaped test panels may prove useful if modified to prevent ponding of salt
spray. Use of needle-gun power tool cleaning must be preceded by another cleaning
process to remove excess contaminated rust which will prevent that material from
embedding in the steel substrate. A modification to the test panel design is needed to
eliminate the ponding issue. Due to project constraints, further work on this specimen
type was not pursued beyond the initial laboratory testing and evaluation (i.e. no test
protocol will be prepared for this type of specimen).
3. The best performing liquid-applied coating system for both test panel designs and test
methods was a MIO-pigmented epoxy primer with a polyurethane top coat. Both non-
traditional coatings — the grease and tape performed excellently for both types of test
panels.
4. For the two test conditions obtained using ASTM D5894 and B117 testing, there were
differences in test coating systems’ performance indicating that both test methods
should be used unless actual field conditions strongly favor either direct UV exposure
with condensation/evaporation for the ASTM D5894 tests or extended time of wetness
with inconsequential UV exposure for the B117 tests.
5. The field spot painting tests incorporating the procedures in the accompanying guide
were successfully used to apply the 6 liquid-applied coatings and two non-traditional
coatings evaluated in the laboratory testing phase on three bridges. A 14-month follow-
up evaluation of those applications revealed that they were generally performing as
anticipated based upon the laboratory tests.
6. Both conventional liquid-applied and non-traditional coatings can function over SSPC-
SP 3 prepared substrates with moderate soluble salt contamination in mild to moderate
environments. Based upon KTC experience with similar laboratory testing and field
evaluation of coating systems applied over SSPC-SP 3 substrates, it is likely that
coatings passing or performing well in the KTC laboratory test protocol can last a
minimum of 5 years with acceptable levels of deterioration and minimal corrosion of
the coated steel substrates. Additional time is required to correlate the laboratory
results with the remaining field samples on the two KY 922 Bridges which should
remain in service for sufficient time to complete the laboratory/field correlations.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

REFERENCES

Hopwood, T., Palle, S., Meade, B.W., Wells, D.L., Younce, R. and Goff, C., 2018, NCHRP Web-Only
Document 251: Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life, Vol. 1: Guidance, TRB,
National Research Council, Washington, DC Transportation Research Board of the National
Academies, Washington, DC.

Minnesota DOT, Bridge Maintenance Manual Field Guide – Chapter 8 Painting Manual, February,
2017.

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS, INITIALISMS AND SYMBOLS

~ Approximately
µg/cm2 Micrograms per Square Centimeter
µS/cm Microsiemens per Centimeter
ASTM ASTM International
B Coating Failure due to Blistering
CFM Cubic Feet per Minute
cm Centimeter
CMM Cubic Meters per Minute
DFT Dry Film Thickness
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
ft. Foot
hr Hour
in. Inch
KTC Kentucky Transportation Center
KYTC Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
m Meter
micron One-Millionth of a Meter
mil One-Thousandth of an Inch
MIO Micaceous Iron Oxide
MnDOT Minnesota Department of Transportation
NACE National Association of Corrosion Engineers
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
nm Nanometer
°C Celsius (Degrees)
°F Fahrenheit (Degrees)
Pb Lead
psi Pounds per Square Inch
R Coating Failure due to Rusting
RFP Request for Proposal
SSPC The Society for Protective Coatings
TOW Time of wetness
UV Ultraviolet
W/(m2· nm) Watts per Square Meter per Nanometer
WFT Wet Film Thickness

56

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

APPENDIX A

Mill Certification for ASTM A 572 Steel

A-1

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview
NCHRP Project 14-30

A-2
Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
S p o t P a i n t i n g t o E x t e n d H i g h w a y B r i d

NCHRP Project 14-30

APPENDIX B

Laboratory Test Protocol for Repair Test Coatings

B-1

C o p y r i g h t N a t i o n a l A c a d e m
Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Recommended Practice for Testing and Evaluating Spot Coatings over Substrates
with both Previously Corroded Steel Prepared by SSPC-SP 3 Power Tool Cleaning
and Existing Coatings Using Flat Panel Specimens

1.0 Scope

1.1 This practice covers specific procedures for using cyclic salt fog/UV exposure and salt fog
testing to evaluate coatings applied on power tool cleaned corroded steel and existing coatings.
The former test method is intended to determine the suitability of coatings for repair service in
spot painting operations involving conditions of bold exposure (direct UV exposure and
condensation/evaporation). The latter test method is intended to determine the suitability of
coatings for repair service in spot painting operations involving conditions high exposure to
chlorides, extended time of wetness and inconsequential UV exposure.

This test procedure is intended to identify suitably performing coatings/systems for use in
spot repairs of existing coatings on bridges. The two test methods, when performed together will
provide a good indication of the ability of coatings/systems to perform over specific coating types
on corroded, salt-contaminated steel given minimal surface preparation. The testing is intended
for spot repair coatings applied to bridges for atmospheric exposure in mild or moderate
environments. Existing coatings on bridges may have compatibility issues with test coatings not
revealed in these tests even if the “existing” coating used in laboratory is of the same generic type
and performed satisfactorily with the test “repair” coatings. The use of field test patches per ASTM
D5064, “Standard Practice for Conducting a Patch Test to Assess Coating Compatibility” is
recommended to address that possibility.

1.2 This practice addresses the methods of obtaining, measuring, and controlling exposure
conditions as well as specimen preparation and evaluation of results. It does not address
qualification of coatings based upon test results.

1.3 The values in this document include both English and SI units based upon their conventional
use.

1.4 This method does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with
its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and
health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

2.0 Referenced Documents

2.1 ASTM Standards

ASTM A572 Specification for High Strength Low-Alloy Columbium-Vanadium Steel


B117 Standard Practice of Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus
D610 Standard Practice for Evaluating Degree of Rusting on Painted Steel Surfaces
D714 Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Blistering of Paints
D4587 Standard Practice for Fluorescent UV-Condensation Exposures of Paint and Related
Coatings
D5064 Standard Practice for Conducting a Patch Test to Assess Coating Compatibility
D7091 Standard Practice for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry Film Thickness of Nonmagnetic
Coatings Applied to Ferrous Metals
G85 Standard Practice for Modified Salt Spray (Fog) Testing

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

G154 Standard Practice for Operating Fluorescent Light Apparatus for UV Exposure of
Nonmetallic Materials

2.2 SSPC Standards

SSPC PA-15 Material and Preparation Requirements for Steel Test Panels Used to Evaluate the
Performance of Industrial Coatings
SSPC-SP 3 Power Tool Cleaning
SSPC-SP 5 White Metal Blast Cleaning
SSPC Technology Guide 15 Field Methods for Retrieval and Analysis of Soluble Salts on Steel
and Other Nonporous Substrates
SSPC-VIS 3 Guide and Reference Photographs for Steel Surfaces Prepared by Power and Hand
Tool Cleaning

2.3 Other Documents

Coating manufacturer product and safety data sheets

3.0 Summary of Practice

3.1 Cyclic corrosion/UV exposure shall be performed per ASTM D5894. The test specimens are
exposed to alternating periods of one week in a fluorescent UV/condensation chamber and
one week in a cyclic salt fog/dry chamber. The fluorescent UV/ condensation cycle is 4-hr
UV at 0.89 W/(m2· nm) at 340 nm at 60°C and 4-hr condensation at 122o F (50° C), using
UVA-340 lamps. The fog/dry chamber runs a cycle of 1-hr fog at ambient temperature and
1-hr dry-off at 95o F (35° C). The fog electrolyte is a relatively dilute solution, with 0.05 %
sodium chloride and 0.35 % ammonium sulfate.

3.2 Salt fog shall be performed per ASTM B117. The test specimens are continuously exposed
to a spray of fog electrolyte with 5.0% chloride. The temperature in the test chamber will be
maintained at 95 + 3o F (35 + 1.67° C).

4.0 Significance and Use

4.1 Typical bridge spot painting requires the application of repair coatings on surfaces with failed
areas consisting of rusted steel, existing coatings and failure boundaries. Prior to applying
repair coatings, the repair area receives cleaning treatments including mechanical surface
preparation performed on the rusted area with some overlap past the failure boundary into the
existing coating. The transition area is typically feathered to facilitate proper application of the
repair coatings. The repair coatings are applied over the prepared substrate. SSPC-SP 3 is a
common method for surface preparation prior to application of repair coatings used for
atmospheric exposure. The exposure conditions for spot painting bridges vary between direct
UV exposures with condensation/ evaporation cycles to sheltered locations with
inconsequential UV exposure and high time of wetness. This practice is intended to provide
realistic simulations of the interaction of those factors including the presence of moderate
soluble salt contamination (after surface preparation).

4.2 Results obtained from this practice can be used to compare the relative durability of coating
materials in typical bridge environments. They can also be used to establish thresholds for

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

acceptable coating performance.

4.3 The practice includes the use of selected coating systems to replicate existing coating
systems on bridges. The selection of those coating systems is left to the user. It should be
noted that spot coating repairs are typically applied to coatings that have been in service for
extended periods. Even if identical samples of existing coatings would be available for use in
this practice, service-related deterioration and other factors may interact to provide different
results in the field from those obtained in the laboratory. This practice is not intended to
provide final proof of compatibility between the candidate repair coatings and existing coatings
on bridges. That issue should be addressed by the use of test patches as noted in Section
1.1.

4.4 Coatings passing this test protocol are anticipated to exhibit good durability as spot repair
coatings compared to those which fail to exhibit comparative durability during testing. It should
be noted that field applications involve complex interactions and laboratory results may not
be reflected in field performance.

4.5 Comparisons in performance of coatings between test runs can be difficult. In those instances,
it is desirable to use a control repair coating system (and existing coating system) to ensure
a relative comparison in coating performance between the test runs.

5.0 Apparatus

5.1 Fluorescent UV-Condensation Exposure Chamber, complying with Practice G154 with
modified mounting brackets (with the exposure windows removed)

5.2 UVA-340 Fluorescent Lamps

5.3 Salt Fog/Dry Cabinet complying with Practice G85

6.0 Test Specimens

6.1 The testing should use hot-rolled steel panels made from ASTM A572 high-strength low alloy
columbium-vanadium steel (50 grade). A minimum of six panels will be required for the testing
with a sufficient number of additional panels used for salt contamination testing during test
panel conditioning. The steel panels should measure - 6 in. (15.24 cm) x 4 in. (10.16 cm) x
1/4 in. (0.64 cm).

6.2 Workers performing surface preparation and coating application work should be equipped
with the proper personal protection equipment.

6.3 Test panels, including those used for salt contamination testing, shall have the mill-scale
removed from the test face by blast cleaning to an SSPC –SP 5 condition. The back faces
and edges of the panels should receive a protective coating to prevent rust staining during the
panel conditioning and testing. Coatings replicating existing coatings on bridges should be
applied to half of the test surface of each panel (per manufacturer instructions) with the
remainder of the surface consisting of blast-cleaned steel uncoated as shown in Figure 1. The
panels used for salt contamination testing should not have their test faces coated. Those
coatings should be cured in ambient conditions for 28 days at ambient/room temperature
conditions 72 + 2° F (22.2 + 1° C).

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

Exposed Test Surface


of Existing Coating

Spot Coating over 3 in. Weathered


Existing Coating Existing Coating
1 in. SSPC SP 3 Cleaning
Overlap/Feathering over
6 in. REF. Existing Coating (max.)
5 in. Spot
Coating
Spot Coating 3 in. Rusted Steel/
over Rusted Mill Scale Cleaned
Steel/Mill
Scale Cleaned Per SSPC SP 3
Per SSPC SP 3

4 in. REF.

Figure 1. Test Panel Layout (0.25 in.-Thick Steel)

The panels should be conditioned per ASTM G85 Annex 5 for 250 hours of exposure in
accordance with ASTM D5894. The fog/dry chamber runs at a 1-hour cycle of fog spray at ambient
temperature ~ 72o F (22.2o C ) and 1-hour dry off at 95o F (35° C). The fog electrolyte was an
aqueous solution of 0.05 % sodium chloride and 0.35 % ammonium sulfate. Deionized water
should be used for panel conditioning and the entire test program (0-5 µS/cm conductivity). During
conditioning, the exposed steel portion of the test panels should be positioned above the painted
portion which should be affixed to the mounting brackets. The painted portion of the test panels
should be masked during the condition process to prevent staining from rust bleeding. Care
should be taken to prevent rust bleeding from damaging components in the dry/fog chamber.

After 100 hours in the test chamber, the salt contaminated panels should be inspected. If
the panels do not have a continuous rust film, condition them for an additional 50 hours. If they
have a continuous rust film, the panels should be inspected for initial condition per SSPC-VIS 3
(Conditions C or D). The condition should be noted and three salt-contamination panels extracted
for evaluation. Then, the rusted surfaces should be prepared to SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation
by power wire brush cleaning to SSPC VIS 3 end condition SP 3/PWB.

The surfaces of the three panels should be tested for soluble salt contamination pursuant
to SSPC: TECHNOLOGY GUIDE 15 using either sleeve methods 5.2.5.1, 5.2.5.3 and 5.2.5.4 for
chlorides, nitrates and sulfates respectively or the patch method 4.2.2. The results can be
reported in µg/cm2 or µS/cm depending on the testing method used. If the chloride contamination
is less than 20-30 µg/cm2 (~166 to 250 µS/cm), the conditioning should be continued and testing
of additional test panels repeated every additional 50 hours until the specified chloride

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

contamination range is achieved.

If the chloride contamination is in the range of 20-30 µg/cm2 (~166 to 250 µS/cm), the
conditioning process should be stopped and the masking tape removed from the boundaries and
existing coating. SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation should be applied to the rusted portion of the
panels slightly overlapping the existing coating. The prepared surface should be visually
inspected per SSPC-VIS 3. The boundary between the existing coating and prepared surface
should be feathered by hand abrading using 100 grit sand paper. The combination of power tool-
cleaning and feathering should extend over approximately 1-inch of the existing coating as shown
in Figure 1. Store the cleaned panels in a dry environment prior to applying the test coatings.

If the user intends to perform salt remediation treatments on the rusted surfaces in the
field prior to or after SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation, additional salt contamination test panels
can be added to the conditioning process. The rusted surfaces can be treated either prior to, or
after SSPC-SP 3 surface preparation. If this step is added, all the test panels should be treated
in a similar manner prior to application of the test repair coatings including initial salt contamination
testing to ensure the appropriate level has been achieved. After treatment, the salt levels should
be tested on the treated contamination test panels and recorded as noted previously. This is an
optional step for the user.

Application of the test repair coatings can be performed on the test panels in either the
horizontal or vertical position at the option of the user. Prior to painting, the prepared surface
should be inspected to ensure that it has not rusted back. The test face should be wiped with a
solvent (lacquer thinner) to serve as a final cleaning step and remove any oils from handling.
Measurements should be taken of ambient temperature, relative humidity, coating temperature
and surface temperature of the test panels. Application conditions should be per the coating
manufacturer’s product data sheets. At a minimum, the surface temperature of the test panels
should be 5o F (2.8o C) above the dew point for painting to commence. Painting conditions should
be monitored and recorded at the beginning and throughout the painting process at 2-hour
intervals. The coatings should be mixed or agitated per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Application of the test repair coatings can be performed by brushing, rolling or airless spraying. If
spraying is used a 1-in. (2.54 cm) strip of the existing coating should be masked to prevent it from
being painted. During application of each coat of the repair coating (if multiple coats are applied),
the coating thickness should be measured using a wet film thickness gage to verify the application
is within the manufacturer’s guidelines. Any surface coating imperfections can be repaired by
brushing.

After the liquid-applied coatings cure to the dry-to-handle condition, dry film thicknesses
should be measured on each panel per ASTM D7091. For each panel, five readings should be
taken over the SSPC-SP 3 cleaned portion — one near each corner of the repair test coating
and one in the center. For coatings that do not hardened sufficiently to permit testing, the user
can rely on wet film thickness readings taken with the tooth gages during painting to ensure that
coating was properly applied. After the panels are approved for testing, they should be cured
under ambient/room temperature conditions 72 + 2o F (22.2 + 1o C) for 28 days. The edges of the
panels should be covered with electrical tape or dipped in epoxy and the panels photo-
documented for condition tracking.

Application of non-traditional coatings (greases or tapes) can be occur shortly before the
onset of the performance testing as they do not require cure times. Prior to their application, the test
panels should be wiped with lacquer thinner. Electrician’s tape should be placed around the edges
of the test panels prior to the grease application to prevent rusting and rust bleed onto the specimen

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

test surfaces. Application conditions should be monitored — as with liquid-applied coatings — with
applications being performed when the surface temperature of the specimens is 5o F above the dew
point to ensure that these coatings are not applied over moist substrates. Greases can be applied
using a spatula and the thickness measured with a tooth gage. If no guidance exists for application
thicknesses, greases should be applied at thicknesses between 20-40 mils (500-1,000 microns) as
measured by wet film thickness gages. Tapes need to be cut to size from parent rolls or sheets.
They should be applied according to manufacturer instructions. A small wallpaper roller can be run
over the applied tape to ensure firm adherence, and that no air pockets are present at the
tape/substrate interface. If spray-on adhesives are used, some curing time may be necessary for
the adhesive to set. Prior to testing, the panels with these coatings should be photo-documented
for condition tracking.

7.0 Procedure

7.1 For accelerated performance testing using cyclic salt fog/UV exposure, three panels of existing
coatings/repair test coatings should be tested for 15 two-week-long cycles (5,040 total hours)
using ASTM D5894. The panels should be initially placed in fluorescent UV-condensation
exposure chambers and subject to one-week (168 hours) of exposure in accordance with ASTM
D4587. The chambers are to be equipped with UVA 340 bulbs and calibrated to operate at a
normal irradiance (0.89 µm). Standard test panel mounting brackets should to be modified with
the exposure windows removed. The panels should be placed with the repair test coatings
closest to the bulbs for maximum UV exposure. The test chambers should be set to operate on
a repetitive cycle of UV exposure at 140° F (60° C) for four hours alternated with a four-hour
condensation cycle at 122° F (50° C) using potable water. Thereafter, the test panels should be
rotated to fog/dry chambers for a week-long exposure per ASTM G85. The panels should be
mounted with the existing coatings end of the panels inserted in the chamber mounting brackets
allowing the repair test coatings to receive the greatest exposure to the cyclic salt fog during the
condensation cycle. The cyclic exposure consists of one-hour of condensation of fog sprayed
from a single nozzle located in the center of the chamber. This is followed by one hour of
evaporation (drying) at 95° F (35° C)with moisture being exhausted from the chamber. Once the
cyclic salt fog testing is completed, the panels should be returned to the fluorescent UV-
condensation exposure chambers for further testing or temporarily removed for panel evaluation
prior to continued testing. Each two-weeks of fluorescent UV-condensation exposure
chambers-fog/dry exposures constitute one cycle of testing.

7.2 For accelerated performance testing using salt fog exposure, three panels of existing
coatings/repair test coatings should be tested continuously for 5,040 hours (except for periodic
evaluations) using ASTM B117. A 5% aqueous salt solution is to be continually fogged in
appropriately equipped fog chambers. The testing should be performed at ambient temperature
measured at 92°- 98°F (33.3°-36.7° C) during the test program by data loggers placed in the
test chambers. The salt solution should be replenished in the test chamber spray tanks in a
timely manner and periodic checks need to be made for solution pH and spray volume.

8.0 Duration of Exposure/Evaluations

8.1 At 1,008-hour (6-week) intervals, the panels should be temporarily removed from the test
chambers for nondestructive evaluation of repair test coating performance and photo
documentation. Coating performance should be evaluated for rust according to ASTM D610
and for blistering according to ASTM D714. Failure is to be set at a rust grade of 5 or less (1-
3% without classifying type) and blistering at a “dense” rating. A repair test coating that fails by
either of those methods/criteria is considered to have failed and the duration of the repair testing

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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

NCHRP Project 14-30

coating in 1,008-hr intervals will be reported along with performance of the set of test panels up
to failure. A repair test coating that is found to fail in the 3,024-hour evaluation is deemed to
have performed for 2,016 hours without failure. After 5,040 hours of total exposure, the testing
is complete and the final evaluations are performed. Repair test coatings that pass the final
evaluation with no failures are deemed to have passed the test protocol. Any test panel
failures/mechanisms should be noted for reporting/evaluation purposes. The user can elect to
apply different failure criteria.

9.0 Reporting

9.1 Reporting of repair coating test performance should address the following:

1. The conditioning of the test panels prior to coating application


a. The dates of the work (beginning-ending)
b. The existing coatings applied (manufacturer and product/safety data sheets)
c. The steel used (type, panel dimensions and mill certification)
d. Conditioning hours prior to achieving the target chloride surface contamination
e. The surface preparation used (SSPC type and power tool(s) used)
f. The soluble salt surface contamination (concentrations/types)
g. The use of a salt remediation treatment (when used/method/resulting soluble salt
concentrations)
2. The coating application and condition of the applied repair test coatings
a. The date(s) of the work (beginning-ending)
b. Types of repair test coatings used with specific existing coatings (manufacturer &
product/ safety data sheets)
c. Application environmental conditions
d. Method of application
e. Thicknesses of each applied coat of the repair coating system
f. Curing time and conditions
g. Pictures of the prepared panels prior to testing
3. The coating test program and periodic evaluations of the repair test coatings
a. The dates of the initiation and conclusion of the test procedure
b. Information about the test chambers used and last calibration dates
c. Descriptions of consumable materials including salts and water
d. Descriptions of any equipment stoppages or other interruptions occurring during the
test program
e. Descriptions of any problems/unusual observations encountered during testing
(Note that failure of an exposed existing coating does not reflect on the performance
of the repair test coating)
f. Results of test periodic test evaluations and pictures of test panels at each
evaluation
4. A summary of the final test results
a. Identification of the existing/repair test coatings evaluated
b. Tabularized summaries of those systems noting the test method used, the number
of test cycles passed, and the number and types of repair coating failures within
each 1,008-hr test cycle
c. Comparative ranking of repair test coatings (if performed) and listing of any of those
coatings that passed the 5,040-hr test program (including the types of any failures
that were encountered)

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