The different types of industrial coatings

January 10th, 2019
The different types of industrial coatings

Being familiar with the different types of industrial coating and which applications they’re ideal for will help you get the best finish and the highest level of protection for your materials all the time. Here are six of the most commonly used industrial coatings today:

#1. Polyurethane coatings

These coatings produce a high-gloss, abrasion-resistant finish. Because of these characteristics, polyurethane coatings are often used as a topcoat for surfaces that need to stay smooth and scratch-free. They are also applied as protection for other types of coating, such as zinc-rich primers and epoxy intermediate coats, on surfaces exposed to harsh environments, such as nuclear plants and large ships.

There are two types of polyurethane coatings: aliphatic and aromatic. Aliphatic polyurethanes resist ultraviolet rays and retain their color even after prolonged exposure to sunlight. This makes them ideal for outdoor applications. On the other hand, aromatic polyurethanes perform exceedingly well on surfaces that are mostly underwater. In fact, these coatings tend to weaken and form a white film when exposed to air and sunlight.

On the downside, polyurethane coatings contain harmful chemicals, which is why workers need to be outfitted with protective gear when applying them. They are also pricier than epoxies.

#2. Epoxy coatings

These coatings are composed of an epoxy base topped with a curing agent. You can modify the ratio and formulation of these two components to bring out specific characteristics ideal for specific applications. For instance, epoxy polyamide coatings, which use resin as a coating agent, resist moisture well. Phenolic epoxies, meanwhile, are known for their strong chemical resistance.

Epoxies are highly durable. Their exceptional film thickness enables them to resist weathering and abrasions. They can also resist heat up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Their finish can vary in terms of gloss depending on the formulation used.

Conversely, epoxies perform remarkably poorly when exposed to sunlight. For this reason, they are usually used for submerged surfaces or those that do not receive direct sun exposure. These include interior steel components of nuclear power plants and submerged parts in water treatment facilities.

#3. Alkyd coatings

The term “alkyd” comes from the words “alcohol” and “acid.” It describes the origin of the resin from which the coating derives its film-forming abilities. Although not as durable as polyurethane and epoxy coatings, alkyds are resistant to wear and tear and produce an attractive glossy finish. They can be used for interior and exterior surfaces, even those that are submerged in water or located underground.

#4. Zinc-rich coatings

These coatings got their classification from the zinc dust in their formulation, and comes in two types: organic and inorganic. The former uses epoxy or polyurethane binders, while the latter uses silicate binders.

Zinc-rich coatings are applied to protect steel. When exposed to the environment, the zinc particles corrode before the steel surface does. As the zinc dust corrodes, it creates a barrier that protects the steel from environmental factors. Inorganic coatings are known to provide better protection, but require surfaces to be thoroughly cleaned prior to application.

These coatings are durable, but they are vulnerable to acids and alkaline substances. Because of these qualities, they are often used as primers in two- or three-coat systems, and are topcoated with much more durable coatings. They are commonly used on surfaces in environments that are subjected to significant corrosion, such as bridges.

#5. Acrylic coatings

This type of coating is used as a finish for exterior surfaces because of its ability to retain its color despite exposure to the outdoors. Acrylic coatings are also used as primers because of their ability to make other coatings adhere to surfaces better. They also have considerable corrosion resistance. Changing the ratio of additives and binders in acrylic coatings will let you modify their performance according to your specifications.

With Mobile Paints, getting the exact coating you need for any surface is easy. Our experts can help you identify the best type of coating to use for your projects and customize a formula that matches your budget and desired results. Contact us today to get started!