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Tropical marine environment no match for high performance coatings

Tropical marine environment no match for high performance coatings

When it comes to Darwin’s climate, it’s survival of the fittest. High temperatures, humidity and harsh UV radiation are a challenge for painted surfaces in the tropical city.

For new steel canopies shading the Cullen Bay waterfront precinct, Dulux Protective Coatings was called in to devise a robust coatings system for the C-5M environment.

A three-product system of Zincanode 402, Duremax GFX and Luxathane SPX delivered a low-gloss satin finish that will protect against corrosion over time.

"C-5M describes the highly corrosive marine environment. The elaborate steelwork needed superior protection and an attractive, uniform finish," explains Joel Boucher, Dulux PC's Technical Sales Representative for South Australia and the Northern Territory.

"A PUR 5 equivalent system was really the only choice for long-term performance."

Joel and the Dulux PC team worked with with Platt Consultants to help the council protect its new asset.

Firstly, the applicators Siroccos Industrial Blast prepared the steelwork off-site with an Abrastic Blast Clean to AS1627.4 Sa 2 ½. Next, they primed with Zincanode 402, a zinc-rich two pack epoxy formulated specifically for corrosive environments. Duremax GFX was sprayed as an intermediary coat, boosting the anti-corrosion properties of the primer. This high solids, high build, glass flake reinforced epoxy creates an excellent barrier for both immersion and splash zones in marine settings.

“Both 402 and GFX have proved themselves in Territory projects for years and have very good flexibility in how they can be used for different project types and environments,” Joel explains.

Luxathane SPX, our two-component acrylic polyurethane, was sprayed to build a smooth, satin topcoat, with Joel on hand for technical support. “We had some issues with the spray of the SPX, mainly due to the structures themselves being complex with shapes and angles,” Joel explains. “We trialled the new Duthin 511 thinner and it was very effective, not only for the off-site works but also the on-site brush and roller touch-ups by Roy Stanton Painting.”

“This was our first major project using Luxathane SPX in Darwin, and the council was extremely pleased with the result,” Joel says. “It was also great to work with a network of local companies to complete the project. A big success all round.”

The canopy is part of Darwin's Cullen Bay Revitalisation Project. With shops, cafes and restaurants lining the waterfront, the precinct is a magnet for tourists, locals and boating enthusiasts. The council installed the steel shade canopies, along with new seating, landscaping and artwork, to entice visitors to linger and enjoy the sea breeze in comfort.

Get in touch with our technical experts to devise a protective coatings system for your asset.

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