Chicago — A new free guide specification by the AASHTO/National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) Steel Bridge Collaboration, Specification for Application of Thermal Spray Coating Systems to Steel Bridges (S8.2), is now available. The document provides guidance on shop metallizing steel girders while establishing and defining the functions, operations, requirements and activities needed to achieve a consistent quality.

Over the past two years, the AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration task group on coatings (TG8) has been developing a specification for the application of thermal spray coating (metallizing). In 2017, AASHTO and SSPC officially adopted S8.2. A collaborative effort was taken in the development of the document to ensure owners’ and applicators’ representatives have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

While thermal spray coatings on steel structures is not new, it is new to steel bridges and has been growing in popularity with bridge owners, especially in the northeastern part of the U.S. At least four steel bridge fabricators now have in-house thermal spray application abilities. With growing interest, and increasing fabricator capabilities, it was imperative a specification be developed to define a consistent set of standards. This document works to achieve that goal.

S8.2 is written in specification language so the document can be adopted in whole as part of the project contract documents. It joins a growing list of documents devoted to improving quality and value through the standardization of design, fabrication and erection of steel bridges.

This document and other guide specification documents from the Collaboration are available at