Case Study: Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal

The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is one of the busiest ports in the world. It is the largest container port in the eastern United States and the third largest in the country. In addition to container operations there are many large warehouse buildings at the Port that were built in the 1950’s. The roofs of these buildings consist of aluminum corrugated panels.  Through years of exposure to extreme heat and biting cold and the constant expansion and contraction caused by these temperature fluctuations the roofs had developed extensive leaks. To solve the problem the Port Authority wrote a specification for coating these roofs with an elastomeric acrylic coating system.  Acrymax and one of our approved applicators won the first project in a competitive bidding process. The specification called for reinforcing all the panel seams and then spray applying a 30 mil elastomeric coating over the entire roof. This project was a resounding success and the Port put the next project out for bid.  Unfortunately, competitive bidding lead to a problem. To reduce costs and win in the competitive bid process the manufacturer of a different coating system that was used on the second project did not require reinforcing the seams and used a “seam sealer” instead. Unfortunately, this method was not appropriate for these types of roofs and after completion they continued to experience leaks.  Ultimately, the solution was to go back and reinforce the seams on this roof. At this point Acrymax approached the Port Authority with a proposal that would save money and still give them the leak-free performance they needed. The original specification written by the Port called for 30 mils of coating on the roof panels and 45 mils on the seam areas.  Acrymax proposed substituting a high-strength elastomeric coating as a finish coat instead of the standard elastomeric coating that was in the original spec. This would allow for reducing the dry film thickness of the coating system on the panels to 20 mils from the originally specified 30 mils. Less material would be required and the costs of the applied system would be reduced. The Port Authority liked what they heard and based on their prior experience with Acrymax decided to rewrite the specification for the roofs. To insure compliance with the specification it was clearly stated that no substitutions for the Acrymax coatings would be allowed. Since that time over 1,000,000 square feet of roofs at Port Elizabeth were successfully completed with the Acrymax system.