By Les Boulton ACA New Zealand

The Auckland meeting was held at a new venue called One Bistro in Ponsonby on 16 August. The meeting was addressed by Ash Arya, Director of CSP Coatings Ltd, on the topic of
A look back at the Panmure Rail Interchange upgrades – the good, the bad, and the rusty.

CSP Coatings Ltd is the largest integrated galvanising operation in New Zealand.

The meeting commenced with Ash giving an overview of the $M17.5 upgrade of the rail-bus
interchange station at Panmure in Auckland carried out in 2014.

Most of the infrastructure installed was working well. However, the major project included installation of large segments of painted balustrades on the electric rail-busway pedestrian plaza. After only two years in service the steel balustrades, that cost over $K500 showed premature corrosion damage.

The corrosion due to a poor coating system on the steel was severe – the balustrades had to be completely removed for extensive restoration work. It transpired that the balustrades were inadequately specified and poorly coated for the service environment.

The remedial treatment on the balustrade structures involved a full garnet blast, application of a hot-dip galvanised coating (150 microns zinc), sweep blasting of the HDG, followed by application of a high-quality polyester powder coating.

The reinstated balustrades are now performing well in the service environment. However, the remedial work to rectify the corrosion damage cost over $K300. The poor design and lack of QA cost the contractor a very substantial amount of their profit from the project due to re-work of avoidable corrosion.

The Q&A session that followed Ash’s presentation was interactive and extensive. Many attendees bemoaned similar types of corrosion issues with infrastructure projects, that occurred due to poor coating specifications, lack of good QA, inadequate inspections and dealing with contractors/asset owners who had little knowledge and no interest in corrosion avoidance on major projects.

The Auckland Chairman, Raed El Sarraf, then thanked Ash for his interesting and thought-provoking presentation.