Friday, January 15, 2010

Visual leverage from your big-business associates

At the 45th SIEO/NACE Sun Valley Symposium I heard Jessi Roberts from Northwest RCI, Inc. speak about coatings. The title of her presentation on January 7th was “Polyurea: The good, the bad, and mitigating the ugly.” She began by saying that she was extremely nervous, since this was her first PowerPoint presentation. However, if she had not told the audience we probably would not even have noticed. The lectern was ten feet from the first row, and she looked just fine.

Jessi described polyurea as being a flexible, high-build coating system that can be rapidly spray-applied at temperatures between about -20 and 150 F. She had images illustrating examples of large projects including lining of a canal, a flume, and a 14-acre irrigation pond. The good was that the coating can adhere to concrete, metal or fabric if the surface is properly prepared. The bad was that polyurea will not adhere to a wet surface.

The most dramatic part of her presentation was the last part, about mitigating the ugly. Her firm is certified to apply the entire polyurea blast mitigation line from Life Shield Engineered Systems, which is a division of Sherwin-Williams. Life Shield has spray-applied coatings, and also pre-cast liner panels for protecting both walls and windows.

She played an eye-popping video from Life Shield that contained several high-speed recordings of field tests. The last and most dramatic one was of a test by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). It showed views of how a clear Life Shield window liner first stretched inward drastically, and then rebounded to eject the fragments from the shattered glass. That was a wonderful illustration of the maxim: “don’t just tell me – show me!”

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