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SPOTLIGHT


was operated from a maintenance barge with the gate in the top position, so the flat face was in the air (like a ceiling) immediately above the maintenance barge. This enabled the vacuum unit to progress


across the surface of the flat face at a rate of approximately 8 square metres per hour and at 42,000 psi. The complete coating system, along with any rust and unsuitable contaminants, were removed to reveal the original steel profile prepared by Jack Tighe Ltd some 20 years before. The recent maintenance trials from the gate


arms enabled the selected coating, Zip Coat E, to be applied to the flat face of the Foxtrot gate by spray application to the cleaned exposed profile after the surfaces had been dried out. Since this was a revolutionary new methodology involving both the surface preparation and coating application, the Environment Agency was concerned at the risk of premature failure. It was decided to put into place a realistic, Insurance Backed Guarantee, which would cover the Environment Agency in the event of a premature coating failure. This painting insurance backed guarantee, which meant that neither the applicator nor the coating supplier would be liable in the event of a premature failure, was put forward by Managed


Risk Solutions Ltd (MRSL). Following the success of this whole refurbishment programme, the MRSL insurance backed guarantee for paint and painting is now available through the Correx subsidiary of the Institute of Corrosion, using ICATS registered companies. It can be used on any structures when using registered ICATS contractors qualified staff. Martin Earlam concludes that the painting


and paintwork on the Thames Barrier had been an outstanding success. The coatings and methodology has been adopted for many similar structures, not only in the UK but also overseas on other major flood gates and barriers in different parts of the world.


22 PCE APRIL-JUNE 2013


Further testing being carried out using rope access


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