Project: Exterior Asphalt Plant Painting, Haledon, N.J. Client: Braen Stone
Getting the Job Done: Alpine Completes a Large Area Exterior Asphalt Plant Painting Project in Record Time
The Braen Stone client first contacted Alpine Painting and Sandblasting on June 25 with a request to complete an elaborate project with an aggressive timeline of only four days, all over a holiday weekend. The client explained that the timing of the project would need to take place during 4th of July weekend because it was the only time the entire plant would be shut down.
The very next day, Alpine went to the site to assess the project and feasibility of completion. Within one week, Alpine not only created the plan of action needed for a project of such scope, but also identified a highly qualified and sizable crew willing to sacrifice their weekend plans and commit to long work shifts in order to get the job done. In addition, the company secured all the equipment that was needed to successfully complete the project.
A Multilayered Assignment
The assignment consisted of cleaning all steel surfaces and then applying an overcoat (fresh coat of paint). The objective of the project was two-fold: (1) to increase the aesthetic appeal of an overly rusted surface and (2) to provide a protective coating to a steel surface that would protect the equipment from rusting and other wear for years to come. The structure, built in the 1980’s, had only been painted a few times since its erection. The steel was showing signs of heavy rust and some scaling.
Alpine needed to prepare the surfaces prior to coating which had a lot of asphalt debris and sand up against the substrates. There were also sensitive items that could not be painted so a substantial amount of mask covering took place to protect these areas. Because of the massive amount of rusting on surfaces, this portion of the project was more laborious and time consuming than normal. The tight time frame and customer’s budget meant Alpine had limited options regarding the surface preparation and coating system. The team determined that pressure washing with 5000 psi and preparing the surfaces via SSPC-SP2 (Hand Tool Cleaning) was the most effective method to meet the customers’ expectations. The crew also used some of the newest surface preparation equipment such as Mi-T-M’s Belt Driven Gas Powered, 5000 PSI Power washers, with a zero-degree, rotary nozzle. This allowed them to provide a higher level of cleaning prior to coating.
The Heat is On
The facility’s heat stacks, and other equipment, could get up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore these areas needed a high temperature coating that could resist this heat. Alpine used a high temperature coating system because of the limited options in the marketplace suitable for what the site required: a surface tolerant coating, resistant to rust and able to tolerate substrates reaching high temperatures. The coating system used for this assignment was a high temperature epoxy that enabled the crew to load the film thickness substantially enough to one heavy protective coat that could perform properly under very high temperatures.
Alpine identified the correct and highly specialized coating (a heavy one-coat system) by partnering with coating manufacturer PPG. Alpine worked closely with PPG’s Technical Coating Representative to specify a coating that met the project’s unique requirements. Alpine applied 10-15 mils of PPG Amerlock 400 GF (glass flake), which is a reinforced polyamine cured epoxy. This particular coating can be applied to steel surfaces at continuous temperatures of 420 degrees Fahrenheit and intermittent temperatures of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The steel surfaces included heat stacks, silos, crushers, conveyors, and various other catwalks and safety rails.
A Safety Plan That Takes Center Stage
The project was OSHA and MSHA (mining safety) compliant given that the project was completed in an active quarry were large construction vehicles drove around the work area on a regular basis. Alpine needed to set up a work perimeter to ensure the crew knew the safety boundaries. The teams were trained for OSHA safe work practices and some of the crew members were Nace Level coating inspectors.
In order to ensure further safety measures, workers used high visibility apparel, hard hats, safety glasses, steel toe boots, respiratory and hearing protection, and fall protection when working on articulated booms. Face coverings were used at all times to adhere to Covid-19 precautions; spraying applicators utilized a half face respirator with organic vapor filters. Alpine used True QC to track the quality and safety on the projects to ensure all parties were aware of hazards and the scope of the work.
Restrictive Timing is Not a Deterrent
The project required that an aggressive timeline be met making it essential that everything run efficiently with no room for error. Communication during the pre-job walk-throughs and kickoff meeting with the team was essential so everyone would know what success looked like. Furthermore, shifts in crews overlapped for two hours so the first crew could help transition and onboard the next crew to ensure efficiency and not repeat completed work. This was a unique strategy implemented by Alpine to ensure the project’s success given its aggressive timeline.
As with all Alpine projects, the number one priority was safety and with this project this was paired with meeting the completion deadline. Attention to details and modifications were made in order to complete the work during second shift hours ensured Alpine’s success and the client’s distinct pleasure with the outcome of the project.
A Happy Client is What Alpine Lives For
The long-term outcome of the project will provide the client with substantial monetary savings by maintaining and protecting the structural integrity of their facility and one of their company’s most valuable assets.
"From the moment you contact Alpine Painting, they treat you like their most important customer. They set up site meetings to make sure everyone is on board with the entire scope of the project so there are no surprises once work begins. They are extremely knowledgeable on paint systems, and will recommend different solutions that will help the customer choose the best mix of performance and cost. Once work begins, everyone works safely and efficiently. The finished product looks great. 100% would recommend these guys for your next painting project.” — Michael Kalinowski, PE, PMP