120 Years of non-stop painting to end
The painting of the Forth Rail Bridge – a job famous for never being finished – is finally to come to an end, thanks to a specialist coating system developed by BCF Member Leighs Paints.
After 10 years and an investment of over £130m, contractors are set to finish the project ahead of schedule on Friday 9 December 2011.
The glass flake epoxy coating being used on the project was developed by Leighs Paints and is expected to last at least 25 years, ending the tradition of continuously painting the bridge.
Old layers of paint have been removed using an abrasive blasting technique and steelwork requiring maintenance was repaired before the new paint was applied in three protective layers.
Dave Bottomley, Technical Manager at Leighs Paints comments:
“Leighs Paints is delighted to have played a part in the restoration of such an iconic structure as the Forth Rail Bridge.The Paint system used on the structure has primarily being used in the offshore industry. Its glass flake epoxy formula bonds with the metal to keep moisture out.
“The whole team is now looking forward to seeing the bridge completed later this year, and restored to its former glory.”
David Simpson, route managing director, Network Rail Scotland commented:
“Network Rail is the proud steward of our railway history, which the Forth Bridge exemplifies. Since 1890 it has been a working monument to the genius of British railway engineering. Over the last decade, the bridge has been restored to its original condition and its new paint will preserve the steelwork for decades to come.
Engineering firm Balfour Beatty has been restoring the structure since 2002, blasting the 53,000 tonnes of steelwork back to bare metal before applying the tough coating.
Managing Director for Balfour Beatty, Marshall Scott comments:
“The now fully restored Forth Bridge will continue to operate for many decades to come and it will provide the world renowned image that Scotland can be rightfully proud.”
The Forth Rail Bridge
Painting area: 230,000 sq metres
Volume of paint used: 240,000 litres
Weight of steel in bridge: 53,000 tonnes
Established in 1860, Leighs Paints is a leading manufacturer of high performance coatings employing over 260 people worldwide. Operating on a global basis to serve a variety of demanding markets in the Steel, Energy and Fire protection industries, Leighs Paints’ vision is to be its ‘Customers first choice’. From its UK based international head office, Leighs Paints designs, develops and manufactures specialist coatings that include the world class FIRETEX® range. Leighs Paints forms part of the Protective and Marine Coatings Division of the Sherwin-Williams company. Sherwin-Williams is the #1 paint and coatings company in the U.S. and #3 in the world, with sales of £4.75 billion.
For further information please contact:
Lisa Usher, Communications Co-ordinator, Leighs Paints Tel: +44 (0) 1204 521771,