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Coatings reach great heights at Sydney Cricket Ground

Coatings reach great heights at Sydney Cricket Ground

The light towers at the Sydney Cricket Ground have illuminated some iconic moments in Australian sport, from Buddy Franklin's 1000th AFL goal this year to Michael Bevan's match-winning four off the last ball against West Indies in 1996. Soaring 70 metres into the sky, these giant green poles keep the ground functional after dark. But given their extreme exposure to the elements, what keeps the towers looking good?

Dulux Protective Coatings collaborated with specifiers from Arup and Freyssinet Australia’s Protective Coatings Division to design a powerful system for the towers' internal and external surfaces.

Project challenges

In Sydney's highly exposed environment, lasting protection from corrosion, UV radiation and abrasion were all required.

Of the six towers, four required the full removal of existing coatings, followed by a new system. Two needed spot repairs and a coatings refresh.

To minimise dust and aggregate exposure in this busy location, a wet abrasive blast was selected to prepare the steel. Brush and roller application was favoured over a spray system to reduce emissions, with the applicators using rope access to scale the towers.

Technical sales representative Jack Jaber worked with all requirements to design a coatings system. Duremax GFX was applied to protect the base of each tower before the bases were immersed in concrete. Surface tolerant epoxy Durebild STE and colour-retaining topcoat Weathermax HBR were the key ingredients, with the Micaceous Iron Oxide (MIO) versions of both coatings used on the external surfaces.

"We selected a system that could be safely applied on ropes, while also ensuring maximum durability performance," Jack says.

External coatings

Primer: Durebild STE

Second coat: Durebild STE MIO

Topcoat: Weathermax HBR MIO

All products offer excellent brush and roller characteristics. The addition of MIO pigmentation provides improved weatherability properties.

"A bonus of this high build system is the smooth glossy finish, which can be hard to achieve by brush and roller, especially on ropes," Jack says. "The MIO will help protect the towers for the long haul and offer excellent colour retention under the hot Sydney sun."

Internal coatings

Primer: Durebild STE

Topcoat: Durebild STE

Durebild STE is an ideal maintenance coating to protect asset value. It can help reduce costs by extending service times. "For steel that has been prepared with wet abrasive blasting, Durebild STE is the best choice to ensure maximum adhesion and corrosion protection," explains Jack.

Application skills

Credit must go to the skilled Freyssinet Australia applicators, Jack says.

"Application by rope access saved the client significant cost. It removed the need for complete encapsulation of the towers. The client is thrilled with restoration works to both the internal and external walls as it far exceeded their expectations. The outstanding result is testament to their careful work at great heights."

The soaring light poles at this iconic stadium look brand new again. They are standing proud, ready to shine a light on memorable sporting moments for years to come.

Get in touch with Dulux Protective Coatings for a tailored solution for your next project. We can help you meet all specification and application challenges.

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