Aquarium of the Americas

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When architects of Aquarium of the Americas went fishing for the latest coating technology, they succeeded in landing a selection of products from Tnemec that provided both long-term protection and outstanding aesthetics. “The architects were aware that Tnemec coatings had been used on other aquarium projects,” according to Tnemec coating consultant Bill Lomasney. “The importance of high quality coatings to the project was recognized early on and Tnemec was actively involved in preparing coating specifications for major exhibits, exterior steel and masonry, Life Support equipment, structural steel and piping.”

Wherever exposure conditions, aesthetics, service life or other demands required special coating systems, specifications were written around Tnemec products with specific preparation and dry film thickness (DFT) requirements. Such areas included:Aquarium of the Americas exteriorAquarium of the Americas building

• The Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River galleries where surfaces were prepared by abrasive blasting and voids were filled with Series 63-1500 Filler and Surfacer, a modified amine epoxy, followed by a finish coat of Series 104 H.S. Epoxy, a cycloaliphatic amine epoxy.

• Interior and exterior steel commercial blast-cleaned in accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE 3 was primed with Series 90E-92 Tneme-Zinc, an inorganic zinc-rich ethyl silicate, followed by an intermediate coat of Series 66 Hi-Build Epoxoline, a polyamide epoxy, and a topcoat of Series 70 Endura-Shield, an aliphatic polyester polyurethane.

• Interior concrete was cleaned, dried and filled with Series 130 Envirofill, a cementitious acrylic, followed by a coat of Series 83 Ceramlon II, a ceramic-like modified amine epoxy.

• Exterior masonry was cleaned, dried and primed with Series 151 Enviro-Prime, a waterborne modified polyamine epoxy, followed by two coats of Series 156 Enviro-Crete, a modified waterborne acrylate. “Enviro-Crete was selected because of its long-term durability,” Lomasney noted.

“The majority of these special coatings remain in service after nearly 20 years of exposure,” Lomasney added.

Located along the banks of the Mississippi River near the historic French Quarter, the Aquarium of the Americas opened in 1990. The Mississippi River gallery featured catfish, paddlefish and alligators; the Caribbean Reef featured a clear, 30-foot-long tunnel surrounded by aquatic creatures; and the Gulf of Mexico featured sharks, sea turtles and stingrays.

project information

Project Name

Aquarium of the Americas

Project Location

New Orleans, LA

Project Completion Date



Audubon Institute, New Orleans, LA


The Bienville Group, New Orleans, LA

Field Applicator

Custom Coatings, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA