The first winner at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, wasn’t a NASCAR driver or any other motor sports racer. It was the new race track’s 1 million gallon multi-column water tank which the Steel Plate Fabricators Association voted 2001 Tank of the Year in its category.
“It’s a unique tank with its ornamental steel and an interesting logo against a checkered flag background,” according to Tnemec coating consultant Erik Otten. “The original intent was for the tank to have advertisements and logos all over it, similar to a race car. The blue fins and red spires were to have billboards between them, but after the tank was coated, they decided to leave it as is and not hide it by putting up the billboards.”
Originally, three tank manufacturers were in the running for the speedway project, which went to Caldwell Tanks, Inc. Its winning design was a multi-column elevated water tank, which offers an economical means of providing elevated water storage capacity.
The speedway water tank, which was completed in September 2000, used Series 91-H2O Hydro-Zinc, a two-component, moisture-cured zinc-rich aromatic urethane, as the primer on both interior and exterior steel. The moisture-cured urethane primer offers superior bonding to both SSPC-SP10 (interior) and SSPC-SP6 (exterior) prepared steel and was the first organic, zinc-rich primer to be ANSI/NSF Std. 61 certified for use on potable water tanks. The interior prime coat was followed with two coats of Series 20 Pota-Pox, a polyamide epoxy, that was spray-applied. On the exterior, an intermediate coat of Series 66 Hi-Build Epoxoline, a polyamide epoxy, was roller-applied, followed by a finish coat of Series 73 Endura-Shield, an aliphatic acrylic-polyurethane, and a clear coat of Series 76 Endura-Clear.
“Endura-Shield was used to paint the gray and white checkerboard, along with the logo, blue fins and red spires,” Otten noted. “The tank had to be finished before they opened the track for the season, so they were racing the clock. But they didn’t cut any corners and it turned out to be a winner.”