A Queensland Government Owned Corporation – SunWater have approached Wayne Edwards the Managing Director of Bundaberg Sandblasting to find an alternate design and Protective Coating System to improve the life of the shutters on the Ben Anderson Barrage. The Barrage is situated at the lower reaches on the Burnett River.
Bundaberg Sandblasting engaged Pacific Urethanes to develop the optimum high-performance polyurethane membrane system to extend the asset life of the Sun Water barrage shutters from the current 10-year coating life to 20 years. These critical assets are located in a flood prone area and have experienced coating failure from a number of issues including debris from flood waters. Adding to the complexity, the shutters separate salt water from fresh water and can at times be either fully or partially submersed.
After a detailed examination of the issues, Pacific Urethanes provided a specification of a product for better design life from the standard 7-10 years offered by most other coating manufacturers. This solution was a polyurethane coating system with superior wear and corrosion resistance properties. This product has the ability to handle difficult conditions where a more traditional coating system could not withstand.
This specially formulated coating also provides additional protection to the ‘dry side’ (Downstream side) of the shutter as it is exposed to intense sun light and a saltwater atmosphere. The other side of the shutter or the upstream side can experience significant algae growth as the shutters can be fully submersed from time to time. In addition, this product also successfully covers both Mild Steel and Stainless-Steel components from end to end.
After 3 years of case studies in cost comparisons, types of materials to use, an engineering re-design with new coating specifications, SunWater approved the fabrication of new shutters. This may set a new benchmark for future Water Utility Projects, changing from traditional coatings to more advanced, robust and longer lasting coatings.