Jotun, one of the global market leaders in Protective Coatings for Marine and Offshore structures, has focussed its years of expertise to develop a range of cutting-edge coating solutions for UK Bridges
Extending maintenance intervals on steel structures through coatings innovation and implementing new technology has been a key goal for Jotun Protective Coatings. This work combined with existing coating systems already holding successful track records on projects around the world, robustly protecting steel from corrosion in the harshest environments, has led Jotun to be the primary coatings solution selected for the protection of UK bridges. In conjunction with the drive for high performance, extended corrosion protection, Jotun also have a strong focus on minimising the environmental impact of its coatings. This article will specifically highlight two of the latest innovations for the protection of rail bridges.
Jotun work closely with all stakeholders in the rail industry for the planning, newbuild and maintenance stages of infrastructure projects. A common theme/problem arising for discussion is in those areas where rail structures are immersed and/or subjected to tidal fluctuations.
Currently, these fall outside the scope of the NG/GN/CIV/002 ‘The use of protective coatings and sealants’ specifications, with ‘Consult Specialist’ advice recommended. This has historically caused frustration for project managers and frequently results in non-tested systems being selected, with little to no supporting performance test data.
Jotun have many coatings systems to solve the coatings challenges in these areas, but until now, these fell outside of the wide range of coatings approved by Network Rail. Jotun, alongside Network Rail, have now approved a suitable system for the challenges of immersion in both newbuild and maintenance settings. Extensive testing allows contractors to confidently use a Network Rail fully tested and approved system on all areas of a structure, including tidal and immersed areas.
The toughest universal high build epoxy with surface tolerance
Marathon 550 is a high build, highly abrasion resistant, surface tolerant two component epoxy coating. It is ideally suited for structures exposed to harsh environments which require an extra solid barrier to their surroundings.
Marathon 550 allows for application of up to 550 microns in one coat. It can be applied on hydro-blasted and slightly damp surfaces, continuing to cure under water after application. Suitable for both maintenance and new construction, a wide range of colours are available through Jotun’s leading MCI tinting system.
The rail industry can now benefit from the simplicity of a one coat anti-corrosive suitable for all areas of metal structures. Reducing the complexity and quantity of product required on site and allowing contractors to improve application efficiency. The ability to fully cure underwater shortly after application means that structures in tidal areas can be protected from corrosion in one tidal cycle.
Two pack performance in a single pack product Hardtop One represents innovation of coatings technology in the purest form. It is a one component, moisture curing, acrylic polysiloxane coating. Hardtop One has excellent colour and gloss retention and ensures a beautiful finish by brush, roller and airless spray.
Historically the Rail industry has traditionally utilised two pack polyurethane topcoats to provide decorative finishes for Bridges. This traditional, widely used coating technology has provided good colour and gloss retention to maintain the aesthetics of bridge between maintenance cycles for decades. However, the main issue with two pack polyurethane products is that the curing agent contains harmful isocyanate chemicals. Until now isocyanate free solutions have compromised with poor colour and gloss retention, extended curing times and application complexity.
The development of Hardtop One provides an acrylic polysiloxane Finish Coating, with much improved colour and gloss retention over traditional two pack finishes, in a single pack product, with the massive added bonus of being far less harmful to the environment and the applicators applying it. Improved rheology provides the additional benefit that any touch up work on new coatings can be completed by brush and roller without significant visual difference from the original spray applied coating. This reduces re-work time and cost during installation.
Jotun have been supplying protective coatings to Network Rail’s assets since 2007, protecting thousands of assets from stations to prestigious structures across the network. The manufacturing facility in Flixborough, Lincolnshire, has an annual paint production capacity of 30 million litres. The factory is ISO 9001 accredited, ISO 14001 compliant for its environmental management and ISO 45001 certified. This enables Jotun to be highly flexible when supplying to the Rail industry. They are able to utilise batch manufacture for specific projects, provide call off orders and next day delivery to keep applicators supplied, meeting even the tightest possession deadlines.
Using their approved coating systems, you can expect longevity in performance and aesthetics, with options for innovative high performance solutions to reduce maintenance programs, all supported by a multi-skilled technical service team covering the UK & Ireland. Systems are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the latest technology being tested & approved is available for use.
Future plans and ambitions
Jotun is continually investing in innovation and the operation within the UK. Current plans include a further extension of the UK’s advanced Intumescent R&D facility, to not only further develop new products for the market, but also speed up the launch to market with significantly increased test furnace capacity.
There is a constant drive to improve quality, efficiency and environmental impact across the global business, and Jotun are rolling out a new ‘Journey to Excellence’ program. The initiative relates to operational excellence and supports the ambition of the UK’s manufacturing facility to become best in class. It provides the tools for employees to get involved in a variety of projects, all aimed at driving the business forward across all functions. Ongoing examples include safety, cost, quality and efficiency.
Whilst previously, improvements have been heavily management led, the Journey to Excellence programme empowers every employee to make improvements in their work area. With everyone on the same journey and moving forwards together, those small improvements soon add up to big results with benefits seen right across the supply chain!
The constant striving for innovation and development, combined with UK based manufacturing and R&D allows Jotun to focus on the needs of the local market and tailor solutions specifically to the Rail Industry. For further information on all the other Jotun Protective Coating solutions get in touch with them via the contact information below.