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Universal lend a hand in turning back the clock on corrosion and restoring “Big Ben” to it’s former

As the restoration of the iconic Elizabeth Tower, more commonly known as “Big Ben” draws to a close Universal Coatings (UK) Ltd are delighted to be able to share details about how we used our expertise and experience to lend a hand in turning back the ravages of time on the heart of modern democracy.

Without doubt the opportunity to be involved in a project the like of “Big Ben” and the Houses of Parliament restoration doesn’t come along very often and brings with it a unique set of challenges that need to be overcome.

Universal Coatings were commissioned by main contractors Sir Robert McAlpine Special Projects to remove the signs of decay & deterioration to this world- renowned structure that results from being exposed to an urban environment for generations.

Working at heights of up to 96m, and using environmentally sympathetic techniques to remove many layers of degraded coatings from the structures of the belfry and clock faces we were the first to see the original Prussian blue colour of the numerals and hands of the clock uncovered and worked with our suppliers Sherwin Williams and architects Purcell to match in a modern heavy metal free and durable formulation.

As well as our work to the clock and bell tower, we worked closely with Shepley Engineers Ltd to restore the cast iron roof, with individual tiles being removed and catalogued for full traceability before being transported to our Misterton facility for cleaning, repairs, removal of pitting and coating system application prior to being returned and re-installed in their original location.

Based in Misterton, Nottinghamshire Universal Coatings (UK) was established in 2007 by Philip Bingham and has built up an impressive portfolio of clients and projects, from the infrastructure, construction, engineering and petrochemicals sectors.

During that time the business has been at the forefront of bringing innovative solutions to the UK market including Polyurea, Polyaspartics and novel abrasive blast media.

To find out more about the restoration of Big Ben & The Houses of Parliament see the videos

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