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Last Updated Sunday, October 4 2015

Hempel helps restore London's Tower Bridge

By Tim Wright

Published September 30, 2009

Tower Bridge is one of London's best-known landmarks. But years of exposure to the harsh city environment means that the bridge now needs a facelift. Coatings supplied by Hempel UK will protect Tower Bridge for 25 years, and make sure it retains its iconic look.

Built in 1894, Tower Bridge can be seen in Hollywood films, tourist brochures and picture postcards. But after years of exposure to the elements, the bridge has lost its sheen. A four-year renovation project costing £4 million is now underway.

Hempel UK is supplying the protective coatings, a total of 22,000 liters of paint, to ensure the bridge keeps its iconic blue and white colors for the next quarter of a century.

For this project, approximately 1,500 tons of abrasive material will be used to blast away old paint and reveal the original metal framework underneath. To protect the River Thames and the immediate environment, the bridge sections will be fully shrouded and the debris will be collected and safely disposed of.

Hempel UK is supplying a state-of-the-art high-performance coating system that will protect Tower Bridge for at least 25 years. A variety of coatings will be used on different areas and substructures, and the coating system will be touched-up after 12 years.

The coatings protecting Tower Bridge include: Shopprimer E 15280, a two-component epoxy polyamide primer containing zinc phosphate rust-inhibiting pigments; Hempadur Mastic 45880, a robust two-component high-build epoxy paint with a high-solid content; and Hempathane 55810, a low-VOC, two-component polyurethane topcoat with very good gloss and colour retention will ensure that the bridge looks its best when the work is done.

Pyeroy Ltd. is carrying out the restoration project on behalf of the City Bridge Trust, which maintains all five city bridges (London, Tower, Southwark, Blackfriars and Millennium Bridges). Hempel UK is also supplying Pyeroy with 13,000 liters of protective coatings for the £2.5 million facelift of Southwark Bridge.

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