Saturday, 7 April 2012

Forth Bridge and Nanotechnology paint

A few years ago our eldest son and family lived in the far North of Scotland. Often we would fly up to see them catching a commuter plane from Birmingham. One of the advantages of travelling in a small plane is that they normally fly at a lower altitude, thus enabling good views of the countryside below. If the weather was clear we could easily pick out landmarks we recognised. The cluster of large cooling towers in the Midlands, Blackpool tower, and then the glorious Lake District. The plane at this stage turns to the east, crossing over Emperor Hadrian’s Wall, and then up to the borders of Scotland. We always knew we were well over the Scottish border when we caught a glimpse of the Forth Bridge, looking like a giant red necklace strung out across the neck of the Firth of Forth, below which it's waters plunge off to the North sea.
Since its construction in 1890 it has required a permanent maintenance crew. In fact, “Painting the Forth Bridge”, is a colloquial expression for a never-ending task, coined in the belief that at one time bridge repainting was required and commenced immediately upon completion of the previous repaint. 
Now for the first time in its history it will be free of workmen and scaffolding as the last paint commission has recently been completed. The repaint started in 2002 for a schedule of work which was expected to continue into 2009. It was, however, completed in December 2011. Before the repaint commenced all the previous paint had to be removed down to the original steel. The new coat of paint has been specially developed and is expected to have a life of at least 25 years and perhaps as long as 40, thus removing the need for constant repainting. New technology keeps on expanding our horizons, the paint essentially binds with the metal to stop moisture getting through.
This nanotechnology paint has previously only been used in the offshore oil business, and   
now the latest use of the paint is on London's Olympic
Stadium for the games this summer

 images courtesy wikipedia

20 comments:

  1. Brilliant images of the bridges, thanks Rosemary.

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    1. Thanks Bob - but alas I cannot claim credit for the bridges, they came from Wikipedia.

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  2. Great post, Rosemary.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mette

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    1. Dear Mette - glad you enjoyed seeing it.

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  3. Hello Rosemary

    Thank you for this informative post. I certainly learned from this and find it fascinating. Did Farrow & Ball provide the winning solution for the paint.
    I would love too see this bridge and onto my list it shall go
    Thanks again for a brilliant piece of information

    Helenxx

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    1. Dear Helen - I am not sufficiently knowledgable about these nanotechnologies to know the full facts. I understand that Germany is one of the leading countries in the nano field and also India. As far as I know the paint is not currently available for domestic paints.
      I am so pleased that you found it interesting.

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  4. my goodness. clever!
    i can't imagine flying in a small aeroplane though, either...
    it must be thrilling!

    now, may i invite you to the drawing challenge on the weekend of april 14-15th?
    would very much like you to join.
    come and have a peek at this.
    in the meantime,
    n♥
    and happy sunday!

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    1. Dear Nadine - thanks for your visit.
      It is kind of you to invite me, but you do realise that I do not really draw, photos are my thing. If I have time I will give it a try, but I am going away soon, so I may run out of time. Enjoy the rest of Easter♥

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  5. Super bridge, you have a lovely blog.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Dear Filip- thanks for your visit, and also for your very kind comments. Glad you enjoyed seeing the bridge.

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  6. An interesting story about long-lasting paint. I don't think the folks in San Francisco have gotten the word — my understanding is that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of those that's continually painted. I enjoyed the aerial views of Scotland, too. When I fly across the United States, I'm always amazed to rediscover how much of the country is still undeveloped; one doesn't expect that ...

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    1. This nanotechnology seems to be quite a revolution. No doubt word will get to the powers that be in San Francisco in time.
      I always find it rather reassuring when I fly over countries and see so much that is untamed, and undeveloped. When you hear the latest population statistics it can be quite frightening.

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  7. This is very interesting and the photographs are spectacular! I saw a piece of Hadrian's wall on a short visit to Edinburgh and have never forgotten about it and him. In fact I met Hadrian again in the British Museum! Hope you had a relaxing Easter with your Mars bar! Christa

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing this Christa - the Romans were incredible, and Hadrian really left his mark on Britain. Did you know that Hadrian built the Pantheon in Rome after the previous building was struck down by lightning? He was a very busy man. We enjoyed our Mars Bars, the only treat we had in the house, having given everything else to the grandchildren.

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  8. Dear Rosemary, How interesting. Love your photographs from the plane. I only fly to get to places when I have no other choices. Flying in a small plane takes too much courage, of which I don't have much anymore.

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    1. It is difficult if you do not like flying Gina - I actually love flying in a small plane and being able to see what is below, or even a large plane flying over the snow covered Swiss Alps as we did on our return from Sicily. Once we had to 'stack' in a plane when coming into Naples, and we flew round and round Mt. Vesuvius, it was really exciting being able to look down into the heart of the crater!

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  9. Lovely bit of triv, Rosemary. Did you know every other bridge in the British Isles has a number, all except the Forth Bridge, which is known simply as 'The Bridge'?

    Must take a close look at the Olympic Stadium the next time I'm in the area...

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    1. I had no idea about that Kate - will do a bit of number crunching in the future, when standing on a bridge.
      I think you may find that the paint on the Olympic Stadium just looks like any other paint, but it has hidden depths to it.

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  10. Great photos! The bridge is spectacular. I love the colour of it.

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    1. Thanks Marie - you may have noticed on the first photo that there are two bridges crossing that estuary in Scotland. The red one, which I wrote about, takes the trains, and the other is for motor vehicles.

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