What was really supposed to suck is if it got hit by bombs, mortars, or
artillery fire... then it rose up in razor-sharp shards that could shred
tires or people that came in contact with it.
There's photos of doing repair work on it after a attack here:
I don't know what year this is from, but here aluminum mat is being put
If nothing else, that would solve any corrosion problems.
on 11/14/2007 5:07 AM Pat Flannery said the following:
I don't know, but any coating would be worn off pretty quickly by
aircraft tires. These were just for temporary runways, and weren't
expected to last more than a few years, so I don't think that they would
go to any extra expense for long term use.
Like most government contracted stuff, they seem to have been way
overbuilt, considering there still appears to be huge numbers of the
plates being used for odds and ends across the Pacific.
I could see simply dipping them in zinc chromate paint for corrioson
protection, or zinc anodizing them in the later version like shown in
the surplus items sale that only has a few of the holes going through
the plate (that's apparently later Vietnam-era PSP)
Some more goodies on it here:
"Mats, airplane, landing...geez we bought a lot of this stuff in three forms
Aluminum alloy, pierced plank 17,819,000 square feet.
Steel, pierced plank 702,398,000 square feet
Welded wire fabric type 123,131,000 square feet."
"Quite a bit of the matting we pulled up from Gurney was in as new
condition with little or no rust. The metal was actually still shiny.
Unfortunately both my camera and video recorder buggered up form the
humidity and moisture there and I never got any pics of it. I have never
seen rain as heavy as it rained in Alotau."
That makes it sound unpainted, though possibly anodized against rust.
: I picked up a display base that is a runway made of Perforated Steel Plates
: (PSP). Anyone have any info on how they were painted? I did the usual google
: search and came up empty (lots of pictures of it). Any info on this would be
: greatly appreciated.
From the photos I have seen, I am not certain that they were
painted. I expect the pilots didn't really care one way of the
other - bare steel or painted, they were likely as slick as a
greased pig when wet, and I can't see a fricton cloating lasting.
At any rate, I expect that they quickly became the color of
the ground they rested on, so I'd finish them that color (mud,
Make a few areas where the PSP is fairly new (lightly oxidized)
when repairs were made (bombs, ground settling, etc) and you should
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
The other name for it is Marsden (or Marston) Matting.
This Wikipedia article's photo makes it look like it's a yellowish zinc
This set looks more like raw steel, after a lot of years aging:
...as do these Vietnam photos:
Here's a good close-up of some aged WWII era stuff:
Here's a pig pen made from surplus WW II era stuff:
That looks sort of like faded zinc chromate again.
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