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Our Company Blog Importance of Structural Steel Painting

Importance of Structural Steel Painting

Painting structural steel beams is an asset-preservation based project. The importance of these beams cannot be overstated, as they ensure the overall structural integrity of any given building.

As steel begins to corrode, it thins and gradually loses strength. Everyone has seen rusted doors and railings that corrode to the point of having to be replaced. Needless to say, one doesn’t want such a thing happening to that which holds their entire building together.

The first step in refurbishing structural steel beams, depending on the severity of the corrosion, is usually to sandblast them. Sandblasting, as its name implies, is a cleaning technique in which high-abrasive sand is blasted at a contaminated surface. In this instance, sandblasting the structural beams wasn’t necessary. The building’s proactive owners ensured that the structural steel required only hand and power tooled preparation.

The first part of the preparation process begins with power grinding the metal to remove any loose paint, rust, or mill scale. This creates a fresh surface profile for the new coating system to adhere to.
The next and final step in the preparation process is solvent cleaning the metal. If you look closely in the video, you can see the immediate impact that this step makes.

For the prime coat, we are using a two-component epoxy mastic industrial primer. This primer chemically converts Iron Oxide (rust) into a solid, paintable surface. You can observe that we pour the A & B components together followed by thoroughly mixing with a drill. Under normal circumstances, we would then spray-apply the prime coat. For this job though, site conditions required us brush/roll instead. Regardless of the method, all of the manufacturer’s application specifications are strictly followed.

Lastly, we apply the finish coat, a two-component industrial urethane. The same catalyzing system is used for this coat as with the prime coat. This particular finish coating is abrasion resistant, has excellent adhesion, can be used for water immersion applications, and possesses long-lasting color/gloss retention qualities. We apply two coats of this product to ensure good mil thickness protection on all of the horizontal members of the structural steel.

After the implementation of our coating system, the structural steel beams look great and are guaranteed to be rust-free for years to come. View our video below to see the entire process:

McCahill Painting is an ISNetworld Member Contractor, underscoring our commitment to safety, training and sound business practices.