Exploration Tower Observation Deck

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With its bird’s-eye view of Port Canaveral, Florida, the outdoor observation deck on the top of Exploration Tower has visitors flocking to take in the scenic views of passing cruise ships and rocket launches from nearby Kennedy Space Center. To keep the viewing area looking its best for many years, the project’s designers specified a fluoropolymer coating system from Tnemec.

“They were looking for long-term color and gloss retention,” explained Bill Langer of Florida Protective Coatings Consultants, Inc. “Recoating the elevated steel would be incredibly difficult, so they wanted to avoid having to do maintenance painting for many, many years.”Exploration Tower Observation Deck Image 1Exploration Tower Observation Deck Image 2

Langer worked closely with Todd Guntner of Mid-Atlantic Coatings in Baltimore, Maryland, where the project’s architect is located. “The architect has been specifying Tnemec for more than 30 years,” Guntner shared. “They recognize that high-profile projects like this call for reliable technical support and knowledgeable coating consultants throughout all phases.”

The entire coating system was shop-applied by the steel fabricator, Met-Con, Inc. “The arches above the observation deck were brought out to the site preassembled and lifted into place with a large crane,” Langer recalled. “The fabricator did a very good job with the coating system.”

The four-coat system was spray-applied over steel that was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP10/NACE No. 2 Near-White Metal Blast Cleaning. A prime coat of Series 90G-1K97 Tneme-Zinc, an aromatic zinc-rich polyurethane, was followed by an intermediate coat of Series 27WB Typoxy, a water-based epoxy with exceptional durability and corrosion resistance.

A coat of Series 1075 Endura-Shield II, an aliphatic acrylic polyurethane that is highly resistant to abrasion and exterior weathering, and a finish coat of Series 1071 Fluoronar, a fluoropolymer coating that provides outstanding color and gloss retention, completed the specification. A custom off-white color was specified for the topcoat.

Tnemec coatings have been used at Port Canaveral for more than a decade, according to Langer. “Currently, the port is expanding to include more shops and resturants, and Exploration Tower will be the centerpiece of this expansion.” Langer added.

In addition to its rooftop observation deck, the 7-story Exploration Tower features exhibits that explore the area’s history, sea battles, wildlife and geologic environment, as well as interactive displays that allow visitors to ride a wave, operate a pilot boat, or explore the Moon or Mars.

project information

Project Location

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Project Completion Date

November 2013


Canaveral Port Authority


GWWO Inc. Architects, Baltimore, Maryland

Structural Engineer

Thornton Tomasetti, Washington, D.C.

Shop Applicator

Met-Con, Inc., Cocoa, Florida