The mega event that is the 2014 FIFA World Cup is now underway and as one of the most highly anticipated sporting events in the world, host cities including Rio de Janeiro will receive unprecedented global visibility. In preparation for the tournament, the city established a consortium to prepare the Maracanã Stadium and the viewing areas for the increase in volume and global attention.
The consortium – comprised of engineering and architectural experts charged with preparing designs and choosing contractors – initiated a frank debate around the best options for waterproofing the viewing area and stands. The viewing area included premium areas for lounges, boxes, offices, bars and restrooms, and the stands were awaiting more than 86,000 seats for the public.
After consulting with leaders in the coatings market, the consortium established specifications and requirements around performance and extreme conditions. Collectively, the group was adverse to using polyurea, citing lack of success in tests already carried out on Maracanã’s construction site and other local construction projects, which had been performed by improperly trained and uncertified operators.
To overcome those negative perceptions, Radial Química – a key Huntsman customer in Brazil – prepared demonstrations and field tests that tested polyurea’s performance using comparisons and audit controls, with those tests yielding positive results for polyurea.
Radial’s 40-year history of waterproofing specialisation, combined with Huntsman’s polyurea technology and technical support, were key in showcasing why polyurea was the best application for this project.
After vigorous competition and specification demonstration, Radial Química was chosen to apply 60,000sqm of pure polyurea to the stands and another 11,000sqm to the pedestrian walkway area. Near the stadium restrooms, bars, locker rooms and lounges, 100,000sqm were applied, and Radial was one of three companies chosen to construct a polyurethane self-levelling floor with flake finish, sealed with polyaspartic varnish.
Construction began on January 15, 2013, and was required to be complete by April 27, 2013, when a test match was to be played in the stadium. In only 102 days (and many nights), through extreme heat and rain, Radial Química prepared the substrates and coated the stands and viewing areas with pure polyurea.
In preparation for the polyurea application, Radial Química developed specialised solutions to address the variety of substrates to be coated. Radial Química used six sets of “Gama” hydraulic equipment to spray the substrates with primers and fast-drying glues.
In the same time period of the Maracanã Stadium work, Radial Química also completed simultaneous applications of 12,000sqm of pure polyurea, plus an additional 12,000sqm of thermal insulation in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) headquarters in downtown Rio de Janeiro.
Written by Luis Eduardo de Mendonca, Brazil PU Business Director, Huntsman Polyurethanes.