The first hangar in what is now the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport was constructed in 1920 on land that had previously been Snelling Speedway – just to service airmail. The first passenger planes didn’t take off and land until nine years later.
In the more than 80 years since, the airport has undergone a number of renovations and changes – including construction of the Lindbergh and Humphrey terminals, a maintenance base, Northwest Airlines’ world headquarters, expanded roadways and parking, two automated airport trams, four runways and a development of a metropolitan light rail system connecting the airport with downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America in Bloomington. Today, the airport serves more than 35 million passengers annually, accommodating more than 500,000 landings and takeoffs.
Tnemec partnered with Central Sandblasting, Co., and American Structural Metals, Inc., to protect outdoor canopies outside terminals where passenger drop-offs occur. Because the canopies would be constantly exposed to the elements – ranging from harsh Minnesota winters to direct sunlight in summertime – it was imperative that the products chosen be able stand up to the conditions and retain their look for a long period of time.
Consultants working with the Metropolitan Airports Commission chose a Tnemec coating system to protect the structural steel canopies. Following surface preparation in accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning, Series 90-97 Tneme-Zinc, a two-component, moisture-cured, zinc-rich primer which is user friendly and rapid curing, was applied. Next, an intermediate coat of Series 161 Tneme-Fascure, a low temperature-cure, corrosion-resistant epoxy coating, was applied followed by a topcoat of Series 73 Endura Shield, a semi-gloss acrylic polyurethane coating highly resistant to abrasion, wet conditions, corrosive fumes, chemical contact and exterior weathering.
According to Tnemec coating consultant Randy Bartz, “although the canopies are affected by the weather and other corrosive elements such as treatments to road and walkways, they remain in excellent condition.”