Evaluating Corrosion Protection Methods for Riveted and Bolted Construction

Project ID: 1717
Principal Investigator: Allen Skaja
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017, 2018 and 2019
Keywords: None

Research Question

What is the fastest, most effective method for protecting difficult to coat features, such as riveted construction, from corrosion on Reclamation structures?
Traditional coatings do not provide sufficient corrosion protection across crevices and other non-continuous surfaces. In some cases the coating does not completely penetrate the crevice. In other cases the coating will bridge the gap and then crack shortly after return to service. These observations prompted the following questions:
Why are recent recoating jobs failing at rivets, back-to-back plates, etc., when industrial standard practices were followed? How can we improve and implement revised best practices for coating projects?
This project investigates commercially available products and practices for spot-treating construction features such as rivets. Potential materials include a variety of industrial polymeric fillers and silicone or similar caulks. The project outcome is best practices for Reclamation facilities performing coating maintenance or developing specifications for contract work.

Need and Benefit

Recent coating applications experienced premature failures at features such as rivets, back-to-back plates, etc. All regions have similar infrastructure and require occasional recoating. The average recoating exceeds $1 Million for many structures. The research is needed to ensure the best application procedures and materials are specified, particularly at the difficult to coat features. The industry's standard practices have proven insufficient for Reclamation's unique structures.
All of Reclamation will benefit from improved methods to coat structural features, prevent premature failures, and minimize maintenance. The goals of the research are to reduce maintenance, identify faster application procedures, and determine which materials should be specified for riveted construction and similar fastening methods.
If this research is not funded, the Reclamation will continue to follow industrial standard practices and products. As a result, premature failures will continue to occur, often within a few years of investing in recoating projects. Some materials could be investigated experimentally through specifications; this delays the time to discovery and lacks the information dissemination provided through a research product.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

Please contact research@usbr.gov about research products related to this project.

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Last Updated: 4/4/17