Steel structure

ISO 8501 norm – professional standard for steel constructions

High quality, durable paint coatings provide a great solution for protecting steel constructions used in different industries. Paint coatings can be used to protect it from corrosion, heat, moisture, salt, chemicals and any other factors that can cause damage and shorten the lifespan of steel structures and surfaces. However, in order for paint coatings to work properly, the surface that is supposed to be coated must be prepared thoroughly beforehand. This process requires being able to recognise different grades of rust and choose the proper preparation process for it and that can be brought up to the highest standard by ISO 8501 norm. What it entails and how it helps with securing steel constructions?

ISO 8501 – international standard for steel constructions

The internationally recognised norm is in its core a guide to different rust grades and it helps companies that specialise in steel structure service and repairs to properly assess the rust grade on a given structure and determine paint coats and systems to be used on it. The norm has been considered one of the most important professional standards for steel constructions and has been used for many years by many leading companies.

One of the ideas included in ISO 8501 and thoroughly explained by the standard are different stages of cleaning required to properly prepare the steel structure before it can be covered with protective paint. The preparation stages include Light Blast Cleaning, Thorough Blast Cleaning and Blast Cleaning to Visually Clean Steel, as well as hand and power tool cleaning and flame cleaning. Depending on the rust, the state of previous protective coatings and the effect that needs to be achieved, companies working according to ISO 8501 should be able to choose the proper way of cleaning steel and provide protective coatings after the cleaning stage is finished.

How ISO 8501 shapes the steel construction industry?

The standard consists of four parts, each providing information and guidelines on different aspects of caring for a steel structure. ISO 8501-1 Includes different rust grades and the preparation required for structures that are uncoated as well as those which have been stripped off of previous coatings. ISO 8501-2 focuses more on the process of working on steel structures after their previous paint coatings have been locally stripped and all possible preparation processes and grades that concern such structures. As a general rule, the standard suggests that complete removal of previous paint coatings is not always necessary, practical or economical, especially with regular maintenance where sometimes only small fragments of the structure have been damaged and can be stripped and replaced with new protective coatings.

ISO 8501-3 was built around surface imperfections such as edges and welds and the preparation grades for them, while ISO 8501-4 deals with all pre-project surface conditions and relevant preparation grades and flash rust grades for high-pressure water jetting.

skeleton steel building

In general, the ISO 8501 standard is a great source of help for companies that offer professional maintenance and services around steel structure cleaning, repairing and protective coating. Being able to identify various rust and damage grades and provide work adequate for certain damage can make the work more efficient, economical and, most of all, provide healthy and safe working environment for those surrounded by steel structures every day.