At the University at Albany, N.Y., a 320,000-gallon standpipe water tank is hiding in plain sight underneath a landmark carillon and an advanced fluoropolymer coating system from Tnemec. “It’s a gorgeous water tank,” explained Carl Bye of Performance Coatings New York, Inc. “I’ve worked in the area for more than three decades and have never seen a sculptured steel standpipe that plays music from an organ in an adjacent building.”
Built in the late 1960s, the 251-foot-high architectural landmark was in jeopardy of being lost to corrosion when the university initiated a major renovation that included the replacement of lead-based exterior paint and a failing interior lining with advanced technology coatings systems.
Scaffolding enclosed in plastic sheeting contained sandblasting debris in accordance with strict OSHA regulations governing lead-based paint removal while low-decibel compressors were used on sandblasting equipment to suppress noise levels and minimize disruption of students and faculty attending class in adjoining buildings.
Both exterior and interior steel received a prime coat of Series 94-H2O Hydro-Zinc, a single-component zinc-rich urethane coating with outstanding long-term corrosion resistance. Exterior steel received an intermediate coat of Series 1075 Endura-Shield II, an aliphatic acrylic polyurethane highly resistant to abrasion, wet conditions, and exterior weathering.
The standpipe’s exterior steel received a finish coat of Series V701 HydroFlon, a low-VOC fluoropolymer with outstanding resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light degradation and unprecedented long-term gloss and color retention. Steel comprising the carillon above the water tank received a finish coat of Series 1078 Fluoronar Metallic, a high-solids fluoropolymer coating.
The tank’s interior steel was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP10/NACE No. 2 Near-White Blast Cleaning before being primed. The interior was then coated with Series FC22 Epoxoline, an advanced generation, 100 percent solids epoxy that offers high-build edge protection and allows for application at a wide range of temperatures. Series FC22 is certified in accordance with NSF/ANSI Std. 61 for use on interior potable water tanks.
“New York has an extremely low tolerance for VOCs in drinking water,” Bye observed. “After application, VOCs were undetectable in water samples taken from the renovated University of Albany water tank, which was returned to service providing water pressure to the university campus.”
Following its original construction in 1968, the project was awarded “Tank of the Year Standpipe” by the Steel Plate Fabricators Association. After its renovation, the project was voted a finalist in Tnemec’s 2013 Tank of the Year contest.