Ignoring Infrastructure: The Future is Here

In a world that is controlled by budgets, needs often have to be prioritized and sometimes forgotten. Long-term corrosion needs of our nation’s infrastructure, such as water tanks, bridges, electrical transmission towers, power poles, waste water treatment plants and more are being ignored far too often. In this four-part series, we talk about why we think failing infrastructure should be at the top of the list and explore what we can do about it.

By Linc York

I recently read an article that stated that the federal government estimates it will cost more than $600 billion over the next 20 years to repair the water and sewer systems in the United States. My first thought was the enormity of the expected costs. Naturally, my second thought is that government estimates are predictably wrong and most often they are vastly underestimated. So what are we to do? Can these monies be spent wisely?

Many things have changed in the 40 years I have been in the industrial coatings business, and I want to write about two of them.

First, protective coatings have better corrosion resistance and are more efficient today. They are lower in volatile organic content and consequently higher in volume solids. If you are part of the “green” culture, and we all are to some extent, here is a relevant example:

I was recently involved in a waste water treatment project that required 1800 gallons of a 90% solids epoxy coating for protection against corrosive hydrogen sulfide fumes and condensation. That coating, Induron Ceramasafe 90, was spray applied in a single coat at dry film thicknesses ranging from 25 – 40 mils. Forty years ago that same thickness would have required about 3250 gallons using a 50% solids material, which was typical then. So what?

Today we used 290 fewer 5-gallon pails. Those same pails will not have to be put into a landfill, shipped, opened or mixed. Today, because of lower VOCs there was about 1200 pounds of solvents that evaporated into the atmosphere as compared to over 10,000 pounds back in the day. This means that in some ways the future is here. We can even provide identical protection at no additional cost with a product, PermaSafe 100, which has zero VOCs and therefore releases no solvent into the atmosphere.

Second, the coatings industry is constantly improving product portfolio’s and offering new product technology. There is seldom a year when the typical coatings manufacturer doesn’t introduce at least two or three new products. Why?

Coatings manufacturers are in a highly competitive environment that mandates we stay on top of our game or get left behind. These new products offer features and benefits that once were only a dream (i.e. almost unlimited color availability, higher film build, fewer coats required, less labor cost needed, faster return-to-service times and of course, longer service life).

There’s a message here. Kick your old habits, delete your old specifications, get out of your box and contact your Induron coatings specialist to hear about the newest technology to combat your corrosion problems.

Founded in 1947, Induron manufactures high performance coatings that serve a range of industrial applications, including the wastewater, transmission and distribution and groundwater storage industries. Learn more about us at www.Induron.com.

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