Thousands of Powdertech coated panels installed at the Riyadh Metro

Powdertech Corby is providing powder coating services for Riyadh’s new six-line metro, the world’s biggest urban rail project outside China, costing around £14.7bn.

As one of Saudi Arabia’s most prestigious projects, leading architects including Zaha Hadid Architects have been commissioned to design the major stations and these are set to make an incredible impression with sweeping canopies, light-reflecting curves, and arches of gleaming metalwork.

Powdertech is coating over 13000 panels of perforated aluminium, weighing 146 tonnes and 14,600 individually machined unique fixing brackets. Each triangular perforated panel forms part of an arc and is secured by brackets at its corners, all of which are on a slightly different angle, due to the curved design. All the panels and brackets are marked with unique codes so that the appropriately angled brackets hold the panel and the panel goes into the right position on the facade. A Qualicoat Class 2 Axalta powder, RAL9006 is the chosen shade for the panelling.

“As with many of our larger architectural projects, this job includes high demands for operational logistics, dealing with the numerous parts and collating them correctly,” said Richard Besant, Director at Powdertech. “Weekly batches of triangular panels and brackets are dispatched to Riyadh. We are very used to managing this process and ensuring that parts are clearly identified and coated and delivered in sequence.”

The Riyadh Metro is expected to open in the second half of 2020 and will carry 1.16 million passengers a day in the initial phase of operation, with the capacity to carry 3.6 million passengers as usage grows.

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