By: Kendall Smith, Induron Power Market Manager
In North America, there are a million steel transmission structures fighting corrosion issues. While several thousand of those are being addressed from a corrosion standpoint, there is still more work to be done. The Induron approach to asset protection is the lowest applied cost per square foot per year, and we can calculate the cost based on experience and proven results.
These methods have been sole-sourced since the late 1950s with only one major shift in the coatings themselves: The lead pigments were removed more than 40 years ago, key barrier pigments were introduced, and the ability of the coating to build 8-10 mils DFT (200-250 microns DFT) was engineered.
Since then, nearly 100,000 T&D structures and substations have been protected with these coatings, which is proven to be the most cost-effective solution for coating T&D assets. The realities of limited surface preparation require the most surface-tolerant, excellent wetting, and low-stress coating system available. If abrasive blasting was cost-effective, and even possible, other coatings would be specified, but that is not the case!
The utilities have tried using coatings that require more surface preparation, but the results were marginal at best. Likewise, many 2k coatings have been used with mixing and pot life issues and failed to yield favorable results. In most cases, high-build, low VOC 1k barrier coatings have maintained their position as the most frequently specified coatings systems, along with a selection of specialized rust penetrating sealers, traditional primers, and other custom-formulated coatings.
Induron Protective Coatings offers utility owners around the world a solution to extend the life of transmission and distribution structures. In this video, you can see that Induron has invested time and money in helping electric utilities abroad build asset management programs.
For example, Russell Hicks and myself made two major trips to India. We spent several weeks showing India how we clean and coat a lattice tower. As you can see, we demonstrated both the below-grade/transition zone coatings and the above-grade materials. We fully expect the demo tower to look great for at least a couple of decades despite its challenging environment, which is wet, hot and polluted.
I have also had the privilege of working with T&D utilities in Columbia, Peru, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and speaking with people from several other countries about their T&D corrosion issues. After 39 years in the coatings industry in the United States, these opportunities have made this portion of my career truly rewarding. Plus, because many of these countries have realized that the Induron way cuts costs while saving time, they plan to continue with asset management coatings programs based on Induron’s expertise and assistance. That’s the Induron difference!