Coating amusement park rides: How to protect steel structures in harsh environments

Author Tikkurila Oct 21, 2020 9:46:31 AM

Coating amusement park rides_How to protect steel structures in harsh environments

When it comes to amusement park rides, safety, reliability, and durability are essential. Plus, the rides need to look appealing to visitors despite extreme atmospheric conditions. Amusement parks in warmer climates are often open year-round, making it a challenge to protect the rides from corrosion. 

Metal paints and coatings play a crucial role in the long-term protection of these steel structures, and in ensuring high-quality aesthetics. But how can you best meet the challenges that come with coating amusement park rides? 

Choose correct coating systems that can withstand demanding conditions 

Amusement park rides need to withstand demanding environment conditions and look good in the long term. Plus, water rides are constantly exposed to wet and humid conditions and require another level of steel protection.

Individual rides often require different types of coatings in different vibrant colours and with metallic effects, which means different application techniques are also needed. Be sure to choose coating systems with strong quality and colour retention that provide long-lasting, high-quality corrosion protection. The products should also be thixotropic and fast drying. 

Additionally, ensure your paints meet ISO 12944, a fundamental international anti-corrosion protection standard.

Amusement rides need to withstand demanding environmental conditions, but we trust Tikkurila materials to provide long-lasting, high-quality anti-corrosion protection.”

- Alexander Anatolievich Novikov, Director of Karusel PC LCC

Consider the individual climate of the city where the ride will be installed 

Is the amusement park located in a city with a warm climate? Is the park open year-round? Choose structural steel protective coatings based on the individual climate pattern for the city where the ride will be installed.

To choose the correct coating system, follow the recommendations in part two of ISO 12944 standard, where atmospheric-corrosivity categories and examples of typical environments are described. You can also estimate corrosivity categories by considering the combined effect of the following environmental factors: yearly time of wetness, yearly mean concentration of sulfur dioxide, and yearly mean deposition of chloride.

When working with Karusel PC LLC to coat six amusement park rides in Russia, we made these city-specific paint choices:

In Gelendzhik, Novorossiysk, and Anapa, we used Temazinc 77 zinc-rich epoxy paint, barrier-type epoxy Temacoat SPA primer, and polyurethane high-gloss Temadur 90 paint (corrosion resistance class С5; 15–25 years (H), according to ISO 12944). The climate in these cities is subtropical dry, close to the Mediterranean. In winter, air masses of temperate latitudes dominate here. And in summer, tropical air masses dominate. Due to the proximity to the sea, together with the customer we chose a reliable three-layer coating system with cathodic protection.

In Voronezh, we used epoxy fast-drying Temacoat HS-F primer and polyurethane high-gloss Temadur 90 paint (corrosion resistance class С5; 15–25 years (H)). The climate in this city is located in the temperate zone. Seasonality is clearly expressed here, with hot summers and cold winters. Unlike cities on the sea coast, Voronezh doesn’t have big problems with salinity from the sea, so we chose a two-layer coating system.

Carry out all the paint application steps

To ensure the amusement rides look good for a long time and protect these steel structures, make sure to diligently carry out all the necessary steps for paint application:

  1. Eliminate any defects on the surface to be painted. Assess and inspect weld seams, sharp edges, gaps, corners, thickenings, and metal delamination. The degree of elimination of defects should correspond to grade P3 / P2, according to ISO 8501-3.
  2. Degrease and remove other contaminants, including grease, oil, salt, and dirt. If the concentration of water-soluble salts on the metal surface—determined by the Bresle method ISO 8502-6—is exceeded (more than 50 mg / m²), they should be removed by washing the surface with clean fresh water using high-pressure installations.
  3. Clean the surface to Sa 2½ according to ISO 8501-1, maintained in this condition until primer is applied. The roughness of the cleaned-to-metal surface should be evaluated using a “grit” comparator (G) and characterized as “average” (between segments 2 and 3) or determined with a profilometer. Optimal roughness Rz = 40-60 microns.
  4. Apply the first layer of the coating system to the surface—either zinc rich or another primer, depending on the operating conditions. Use only recommended the system components, including hardeners and thinners, when carrying out the work.
  5. After the previous layer has dried, apply an intermediate and/or topcoat. Observe the overcoating interval for each product as indicated in the product data sheet (PDS). It’s important to comply with all the Tikkurila recommendations when carrying out painting work to ensure optimal durability, colour retention, and gloss of the finished formed coating.

Master the right spraying techniques

Airless spraying is the most common technique used to apply paints for metal. Application must be carried out in strict compliance with the recommended time intervals between subsequent coats and the pot life of the paint.

You want to ensure the required film thickness on welded seams, structural edges, and in hard-to-reach places. To do so, apply a stripe coat with a brush before or after applying the base coat by airless spraying. 

Spray equipment and gun nozzle sizes for each product should be used as recommended by Tikkurila. Make sure to only use a recommended thinner for paint thinning.

Aim for easy cleaning and maintenance

Amusement park operators don’t want their rides to require too much cleaning and maintenance. And when it is necessary, cleaning and maintenance should be easy. 

By choosing the right paint products and properly preparing the surface and applying the paint, you set up the amusement park operators for success.

Coating amusement park rides brings about many challenges. But by following these expert tips, you can ensure amusement park rides look great year-round. Do you have any questions about coating amusement park rides? Get in touch with us—we’re always happy to help. 


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Author Tikkurila

Topics: Metal coatings

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