Case Studies

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Project: Darling International - Exterior Tank, Piping & Building Painting

Darling International Inc., Newark, NJ 07105

1. Description of Work:

The overall Project, which was completed over a 6 week period and valued at over $375,000.00, consisted of cleaning, preparing, priming and painting the exterior of the various buildings & structures for both Protective and Aesthetic Reasons:

Darling International was so pleased with the results of our work that Alpine is currently completing more than $70,000.00 in additional work at their Newark, NJ location. Alpine prides itself on exhibiting high-quality workmanship. We are very thorough in our analysis of existing surface conditions and work closely with our paint manufactures to specify the most appropriate products for our customers needs. Besides our 33 years of protective coatings experience and the fact that we are a PDCA Accredited Contractor, Alpine employs two NACE Certified Coatings Inspectors (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), a SSPC Protective Coatings Inspector(Society of Protective Coatings), an SSPC Concrete Coatings Inspector and most importantly an SSPC Protective Coatings Specialist. We use these personnel to not only specify the correct coating systems but to also inspect our own work to ensure that all of the PDCA and SSPC standards that are referenced in our proposal are closely followed. The PDCA standards that applied to this project are P1 (touchup) and P8 (maintenance). None of the PDCA Craftsmanship Operating Procedures (COP’s) apply to this manufacturing industrial painting project.

The painting systems used are as follows:


Spot Primer: MAB Ply-Mastic 044 (Aluminum) 130 gallons

Full Intermediate: MAB Ply-Tile Rust Seal (Clear) 150 gallons

Full Finish: MAB Sea Shore Acrylic Latex Gloss (Foliage Green) 350 gallons

Pipes, Supports, Catwalks & Fire Suppression -

Full Prime: MAB Ply-Mastic 044 (White) 175 gallons

Full Finish: MAB Rust-O-Lastic Acrylic DTM (Safety Yellow/Red) 100 gallons

Rendering Building/Garage/Office –

Spot prime: Sherwin-Williams Kem Bond, Rust Inhibitive Primer (rusted metal surfaces)

Spot prime: Sherwin-Williams PrepRite Problock Stain Block/Sealer (all surfaces)

Full finish: Sherwin-Williams A-100 100% Acrylic Latex Flat (all surfaces)

2. Use of Color:

As per the customer’s request all structures were to be repainted to their existing colors. All piping & handrails were painted “Safety Yellow” for visibility (Picture 4B, 4C, 8C & 8D). All pipe supports and fire suppression pipes were painted “Safety Red” for contrasting visibility (Picture 8C& 8D). The “Foliage Green” (Tanks) (Pictures 4C, 5C, 7F, 8C & 8D) and “Blue” (Office, Garage & Rendering) (Pictures 3B) colors are a representation of Darling’s corporate color and image. This can be best demonstrated by viewing Darling’s corporate website at

3. Use of Special Painting (Surface Preparation) Techniques:

Darling International, Inc. specializes in the recycling of animal and food waste products. This presents a special challenge for surface preparation, in that when these materials solidify on the exterior of the structures, it can be extremely difficult to remove. Many degreasers & emulsifiers were tested in conjunction with 4,000 psi pressure washing to remove this residue, however due to the thickness of the buildup they were not effective. Alpine brought in a special in-house crew and our 36,000 psi Ultra-High Pressure Water Jetting unit (Picture 7C) to not only perform the removal of the heavy buildup, but perform the spot rust cleaning as well. It is estimated that this cleaning process was used on over 40% of all steel surfaces. During the cleaning process we found that previous painters had applied coating systems over this buildup of animal waste, most likely because they were unable to effectively remove the material prior to recoating. We anticipate that Darling International will see significant increases in the lifespan of the protective coatings in these areas. Additionally, they will have lower maintenance costs now that they can continue to successfully clean with degreasers and low pressure water spraying as a result of the heavy buildup being removed.

4. Unique Aspects of the Project:

Darling International, Inc. was in operation without delay or incident, during our daily work efforts. We continually moved our operations while truck loading and valve operations took place. Approximately 15 to 20 men worked daily to complete this project as quickly as possible, to minimize the impact to Darling’s normal operation.

Darling must keep their products in all the storage tanks heated to approximately 120 degrees F to maintain a flowable material. This presents special difficulties with respect to curing and recoating. Due to the high temperatures our allowable recoat window between the full prime coat and the finish coat was reduced to only 48 hours in these conditions. Alpine was forced to pay close attention to the next day’s weather prior to applying the prime coat; for fear that we might not have conditions to paint the next day and have to re-prepare those areas prior to the finish coat application.

5. Safety Compliance:

At the start of the project, as part of our “PDCA Safety Program,” a job specific hazard assessment was performed to identify specific areas of concern for this project. Specific safety precautions included fall protection during manlift and ladder use. All employees were issued and trained in the use of full body harnesses, lanyards, safety rope, rope grabs, and ladder safety. Hazard Communication was followed by making all MSDS’s available to workers for all of the products used during our work efforts. Talks on slips, trips & falls were performed, and regular inspection by Alpine’s project management staff reemphasized daily safety procedures.

6. How the Project Demonstrates Your Skill and Creativity:

Alpine Painting & Sandblasting Contractors prides itself on our expertise, customer service and attention to detail. We employed out of the box thinking and specialty know-how to perform UHP surface preparation to remove a specific (hard to remove) contaminant that is not commonly found on the exterior of a tank. We identified and worked with a specific coating procedure that allowed only short recoat windows and limited room for error. This procedure took into account the fact that Darling’s location is adjacent to the Hudson River (Picture 8D). Although spraying would have been much quicker the potential for damage to the environment eliminated it as an option. Finally, the customer being so pleased with the results contracted Alpine Painting to continue performing work for many interior portions of their facility.

Project Details

  • (21) - Tank Exteriors
  • (1) - Garage
  • (3) - Condensers
  • (1) - Office
  • (1) - Rendering Building
  • (1) - Truck Loading Unit
  • (Misc.) - Assorted Piping, Supports, Catwalks & Fire Suppression
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