The $876 million Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion features a floor-to-ceiling glass curtainwall with striking views of Philadelphia’s cityscape and a structural steel canopy protected from corrosion by advanced technology coatings from Tnemec. “The architect and owner wanted a coating system that would preserve the color and gloss and provide extended life for the highly visible steel supports that surround the building,” Tnemec coating consultant Ed Enoch recalled. “The architect selected a system that included a zinc-rich primer, epoxy intermediate coat and two finish coats of polyurethane to ensure proper color and hiding.”

All of the steel was prepared and coated by the fabricator, leaving only weld seams and sections damaged during transportation to be touched up in the field. The steel was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning and primed with Series 90-97 Tneme-Zinc, an advanced technology zinc-rich urethane applied at 2.5 to 3.5 mils dry film thickness (DFT). The primer is rapid curing so chemical- and corrosion-resistant topcoats could be shop-applied the same-day.

An intermediate coat of Series 161 Tneme-Fascure, a corrosion-resistant polyamide epoxy, was applied at 4.0 to 6.0 mils DFT, followed by two finish coats of Series 1075 Endura-Shield II, an aliphatic acrylic polyurethane, at 2.0 to 3.0 mils DFT. “After the steel was moved to the site and erected, it was touched up with brush and rollers,” Enoch noted. “Overall, the project required several hundred gallons of coatings.”

In addition to offering exceptional aesthetics, the coating system is highly resistant to abrasion, wet conditions, corrosive fumes and exterior weathering. “The architect and owner understood that access to the steel would be very difficult after construction was completed, which is why they specified a long-lasting, high-performance coating system,” Enoch added. “The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and the architect have received numerous compliments on how well the steel members complement the newly renovated sections.”

Upon completion, the Convention Center Annex achieved Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. The expansion makes Philadelphia home to the country’s 14th-largest convention center with one million total square feet of sellable space.