Tank markings – Large-format lacquering made by Marahrens
Markings on two gas tanks in Norway with oversized colour company logos in the format 13 x 13 m. There should harmonious colour gradient in the logo at an observation distance of ca. 300 meters.
The climate conditions meant digitally printed film wasn't an option. The tanks had to be lacquered. The colour gradients on the logos had to be replicated with precision, and it wasn't possible to use "airbrush" coating due to the size. Structural reinforcements on the tank wall, stairs and guard rails needed to be bypassed visually.
How do I lacquer something that is as big as a house?
The logos needed to be dissected for precision execution of the colour gradients and were vectorised to that end. Following multiple trials, grid lines proved to be the best method for execution. Trial stencils were cut out for the multi-layer lacquering in the plans.
1:1 trials were used to determine the best size for line thickness and the lacquers and paints to be used. Then it was possible to start with the actual production. A CNC-controlled cutting machine (plotter) was used to cut more than one hundred stencil sections for each logo and each colour. A transfer film was applied, then they were labelled and packaged so that they could be adhered to the tanks in Norway in a predetermined installation order. In total, it was necessary to produce some 1,000 stencils.
On location in Norway, local experts had placed the black foundation onto the tanks. After applying the white base lacquer for the logo spaces, our installation team began working on the true puzzle-like task of applying the first stencil set. In light of the inconsistent weather conditions, the installation was performed on a scaffold that was rendered weather resistant. After the stencils were in place, the first layer of paint was applied. After the initial layer of lacquer dried, the first stencil was removed and work began from the start again on adhering the second stencil.
The scaffold made it impossible to check progress visually, which meant that work had to be performed "Blind" right down to the end. The high danger of explosion in the tank's immediate vicinity meant that only special tools could be used. The illustration work on the two tanks represented a special kind of challenge that carried employees to the limits of what is possible. The result, however, is so impressive that all their work proved to pay off in the end.