Pivoting to Bridge Paints

St. John's bridge in Portland, OR.  Photo by vitpho/iStock / Getty Images

St. John's bridge in Portland, OR.  Photo by vitpho/iStock / Getty Images

Despite ongoing safety improvements, anti-corrosion bridge coatings are still plagued by chemicals, such as solvents and heavy metals, that are toxic to humans as well as the environment and degrade air & water quality during application, use, and removal.  As many bridges are approaching their final lifespan and numerous replacements and improvements will soon be necessary, now is an ideal time to identify preferred alternatives.

Novel coating systems, including ceramic and nanotechnology-based systems, have emerged into the marketplace in recent years.  However, these novel systems have not been systematically assessed for human or environmental health hazards.

NGC is embarking on an Alternatives Assessment of Anticorrosion Solutions for Bridges, pivoting from our experience researching antifouling solutions for recreational boats.  We will survey and assess both existing and emerging technologies, considering the inherent hazards of the coatings to humans and aquatic life as well as cost, availability, performance, and exposure. 

The results will be freely and openly disseminated to help local, regional, and federal governments select high-performing cost-effective coating systems that protect our infrastructure, our own human health, and the health of the environment around us all.  The criteria developed will be measurable and transparent and designed to support both product design and procurement.

Decisions about the technologies to be evaluated and the depth of analysis will be iterative and made in collaboration with pending funding partners and their organization priorities.  If you are interested in joining this funding collaboration, please contact Dr. Lauren Heine.