The design concept called for 11 illuminated pylons, 6 feet diameter ranging from 25 feet long to 60 feet long stretching down Century Boulevard and 15 illuminated pylons, 12 feet diameter each 100 feet high at the intersection entrance to the airport to create a beautiful and welcoming gateway of animated light blended with motion visible when arriving or leaving the airport. Every tower is internally illuminated and operates at 277V from the street lighting power grid but in order to operate the control electronics in each pylon, a step-down transformer is used to reduce voltage to 120V to the electronics. The pylons are all capable of changing colors remotely with thousands of different color combinations available via the use of advanced color changing luminaries, known not only for their even color distribution and compact size but also for limited daily power requirements.
The internal structure of the glass pylon was designed and fabricated using large interconnecting fabricated tube steel frames, various size tube steel bracing with angle ladders that were all hot-dip galvanized prior to installation providing much needed corrosion protection for the carbon steel that is installed near the Pacific Ocean. Though a magnificent backdrop for the airport, it also brings with it a corrosive sea salt air environment that is damaging to unprotected carbon steel and hot-dip galvanizing is the perfect application to protect the intricate underlying steel framework in this type of moisture rich environment. The glass façade around the hot-dip galvanized tube steel structure is opaque to assure that from the outside only minimal internal structure shadows are visible when the pylons are fully illuminated.
The Facility and Technical Service Division is responsible for the daily control and operation of the pylons and they speak with pride and admiration about how the tube steel framing is corrosion free more than 16 years after being constructed and that is only possible because of hot-dip galvanizing's amazing cathodic protection. Bob Haines, Airport Maintenance Superintendent, Facilities and Technical Services Division stated The lighting and glass on the pylons need constant attention and replacement due to the high concentration of atmospheric moisture that gets trapped inside of the glass pylons but the hot-dip galvanized steel never requires any attention at all, as a matter of fact, it is as solid and corrosion free as the day it was installed."
It is always amazing to witness the wide array of projects that call for hot-dip galvanizing's metallurgical bond to protect carbon steel fabrications from the harsh and unforgiving environments in which they are located. Hot-dip galvanizing is once again the un-sung hero of another high-profile project that will be viewed and enjoyed by millions of travelers at The Los Angeles International Airport for many decades to come.
AGA Excellence in Hot Dip Galvanizing Lifetime Achievement Award Submission