Giants Stadium Handrail
East Rutherford, NJ United States | 2010
Minute Maid Park opened in 2000 as the home stadium of the Houston Astros MLB team and it could be viewed as the team’s lucky charm. Five years after opening, the Astros made their first World Series appearance in franchise history with Minute Maid Park hosting the first World Series game ever played in Texas. Since then, the team has made it to the World Series three additional times, most recently in 2021, bringing home the Commissioner's Trophy once in 2017.
The galvanizer has been a huge help in getting this project completed on time and with quality work!
Although the retractable roof at Minute Maid Park provides a great experience for spectators, it exposes the stadium to the environment. This means that maintenance teams must keep a look out for accelerated deterioration, which can happen more quickly than at climate controlled stadiums. The main floor handrails is one issue that has caused problems for several years. After twenty years in service, the staff determined touch-up was no longer a viable solution and the original painted handrails would need to be replaced.
As plans were developed for the replacement handrail, the group had to determine if they would once again paint the rails or if they should use an alternative protective system. There were several factors influencing the decision to explore other options. The demanding baseball schedule, coupled with several additional sporting and entertainment events, creates a challenging environment for completing maintenance projects such as paint touch-up. The humid, salty ocean air enters the stadium through the retractable roof, creating a corrosive environment. Additionally, enthusiastic visitors can be very rough on components they are in contact with but they still expect them to be visually appealing. After review, the group did not feel confident painting would adequately meet the project requirements.
Superior Steelworx was selected as the fabricator for this project and, as its name implies, the company has extensive experience working with steel. The company was able to recommend an alternative solution to paint that would meet the overall project goals: Hot-Dip Galvanizing. This protective zinc coating delivers superior corrosion protection in any atmospheric environment. The strong barrier galvanizing creates ensures air molecules cannot reach the underlying steel. Even if the barrier is damaged to the point bare steel is exposed, the coating’s cathodic protection kicks in and all the zinc would need to be consumed before the steel will begin to corrode. Galvanized steel is also very durable and abrasion resistant, making it very difficult for fans to cause any damage. These inherent qualities result in protection that will last for several decades without any maintenance required. Finally, the appearance of galvanized steel is something people are used to for handrail. It will easily blend in with its surroundings without unsightly blemishes or damage.
Quality is extremely important, especially when it comes to handrail. Individuals will touch and run their hands along the rails so burrs are absolutely unacceptable. The galvanizers selected for this project inspected all material to ensure it met standards prior to final delivery. Superior Steelworx stated, “The galvanizer has been a huge help in getting this project completed on time and with quality work!”
Recreation & Entertainment
Houston, TX United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Initial Cost
1 1/4" Pipe Handrail
Valmont Coatings - United Galvanizing
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