Service Life & Repair

Metalizing should be considered for all steel bridges, large and small, overpasses, and signature bridges. Why metalize? Bridges should be metalized because a sprayed-metal coating will provide the very long service life not available by painting.

Owners should not default to a standard paint system without first comparing the service life and life-cycle costs of metalizing versus painting. And don’t be sidetracked by paint manufacturers’ claims or overpromises about paint performance; promises of performance based on lab tests are not enough. Metalizing has earned its reputation for long service-life the hard way – by results in the field, not from a lab.

It almost goes without saying that contractor selection is the most important decision when awarding a work contract. Experience counts and contractor expertise will be reflected in the quality of the work performed on every metalizing job.

In this section, we address these and other questions

  1. What does BS 5493 mean by life to first maintenance?
  2. What is a very long service life?
  3. Is periodic, on-site coating maintenance a realistic consideration?

Service Life
BS 5493 - Life to first maintenance & Ten Service Environments

In BS 5493 life to first maintenance is defined as

. . . the life requirement of the initial protective coating is based on the time which can elapse before major or general maintenance of the coating becomes necessary. That time is known as the ‘life to first maintenance’ and its values, related to types of environment and coating systems, are given in table 3. . . .70