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the usual factors considered are heat. AFTER-TACK Film defect in which the coated surface. See also CRACKING. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] ADHESION FAILURE A failure between two distinct coating layers or between the substrate and the first layer of coating. 188 . in suitable containers. or as dry films of these materials for the purpose of subsequent tests [Painting/Coatings Dictionary]. This can affect adhesion of any subsequent coat if not properly removed. TENSILE (PULL-OFF) in main glossary. or other frictional process. (2) Intentional incorporation of small air bubbles in concrete to improve such physical properties as freezethaw resistance. AMINE BLUSH Surface opalescence (blush) on epoxy films caused by reaction of amine co-reactant with carbon dioxide and water to form an amine carbamate. light. subsequently develops a sticky condition. scraping. either separately or combined. [ASTM]. [CED] See BUBBLING. the cracks may not extend through the surface bitumen. varnishes.. AIR BUBBLE Dry bubble in coating film caused by entrapped air. etc. producing a pattern of cracks similar to an alligator’s hide. The effect is often caused during weather aging. ALLIGATORING (1) A type of crazing or surface cracking of a definite pattern. having once reached a tack-free state. surface cracking of a paint film having the appearance similar to alligator hide. erosion. alligator cracking is the vertical cracking of a coating with a pattern of closed cells or islands of unbroken coating. ADULTERATION The addition of foreign materials to a manufactured product. water. as indicated by its name. scraping and wear.FAILURE TERMS an excerpt from SSPC's Protective Coatings Glossary A ABRASION The wearing away of a surface by action such as by rubbing. See ADHESION TEST. relative humidity. under defined conditions of temperature. AIR ENTRAPMENT Inclusion of air bubbles in coating film or other solids such as concrete. (2) the cracking of the surface bitumen on a built-up roof. [CED] AGING (1) Storage of paints.. (2) Gradual changing of a coating’s chemical and/or physical properties over a period of in-service response time. ABRASION RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist being worn away and to maintain its original appearance and structure when subjected to rubbing. and oxygen. [CED]. [ASTM] ACCELERATED AGING Any set of conditions used in an attempt to produce in a short time the results obtained under normal conditions of aging. [CED] AIR ENTRAINMENT (1) The process of causing small air bubbles to form in paint or wet paint film. etc. In accelerated aging tests.

This may be due to internal chemical or physical action in the paint itself. e.FAILURE TERMS ANTI-FOAMING AGENT Additive used to control or prevent foam formation during the manufacture or application of coatings. [AM] BLEED Coating discoloration by the diffusion of coloring matter from a previously painted or unpainted surface (e. varnishes. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] ANTI-WRINKLING AGENT Material added to surface coating compositions to prevent the formation of wrinkles in films during curing. B BALD SPOT Area or patch.g. 189 . [CED] BIOFOULING Biological encrustation of surfaces in sea water by flora and fauna. to influences from the surface on which it is applied or to weathering or contamination from the atmosphere..g. [CED] BIOCIDE A chemical agent capable of killing organisms such as those responsible for microbiological degradation. which has failed to wrinkle or give the desired optical effect. ANTI-SKINNING AGENT Any material added to a coating to prevent or retard the processes of oxidation or polymerization that result in the formation of an insoluble skin on the surface of the coating in a container. usually in a wrinkle finish film. ANTI-SAG AGENT Additive used to control sagging of a coating. (2) Intentional lightening of the color of a material such as wood. barnacles. BIOLOGICAL DEFACEMENT Disfiguring of surfaces by growth of microorganisms. removing color. etc. BLEACHING (1)Bleaching is a uniform loss of color of a paint or varnish. BIODETERIORATION Any undesirable change in material properties brought about by the activities of microorganisms. See LIVERING. These additives normally function by altering the rheological properties of the paint. vegetable oils. [CED]. asphalt) by the action of the coating solvent. See FOULING. ANTI-LIVERING AGENT Additive used to prevent the livering of a coating. ANTI-SETTLING AGENT Substance incorporated into a pigmented paint to retard settling and to maintain uniform consistency during storage or painting operations.

The resultant return flow of atomized air carries some of the paint particles away from the surface. 190 . Unlike bleeding. (3) Formation of blisters in films of paint or varnish. the solvent-caused movement of material is from the coating itself and not the substrate. BLISTERING (1) Formation of dome-shaped projections (blisters) in paints or varnish films resulting from local loss of adhesion and lifting of the film from an underlying paint film (intercoat blistering) or the base substrate. (2) Rebound of abrasive particles during abrasive blasting. BLISTER An undesirable rounded elevation of the coating resulting from the local loss of adhesion. OVERSPRAY. The standard test method for evaluating the degree of blistering of paints is described in ASTM D 714. TIE COAT in main glossary. and relative humidity. BLOCK COAT A barrier coat or transition primer/tie coat that prevents incompatible paints from touching. wood knots. (2) Undesired adhesion between touching layers of material.FAILURE TERMS BLEEDING The diffusion of colored matter from a substrate (including a previously applied paint film) into a newly applied finish. BLEEDING KNOT Usually circular-shaped discoloration in stained or painted siding. (2) An increase in the viscosity or thixotropy of a paint. or lacquer which occurs during storage. BLOOMING The reduction of a coating gloss caused by materials exuding in or from an applied film. or in the case of pipe after spinning. The solvent carrier of the newly applied finish normally transfers the coloring matter. resulting in a discoloration of the finish. (2) The irregular raising of a thin layer at the surface of placed mortar or concrete during or soon after completion of the finishing operation. [CED] BLEED-THROUGH Appearance of color on a newly painted surface by migration of a previously painted substrate beneath it. Examples are bituminous surfaces. contaminants. [CED] BLOCKING RESISTANCE The ability of two coated surfaces to resist sticking together during normal handling and storage. such as occurs under moderate pressure and sometimes pressure and heat. or excessive moisture in the substrate. See also BARRIER COAT. [MPDA] BOUNCE BACK (1) The rebound of atomized paint particles during spray application. varnish. See also BLISTERING. also bulging of the finish plaster coat as it separates and draws away from the base coat [ACI]. pressure. moisture diffusion through the coating. BLOCKING (1) The undesirable sticking together of two painted surfaces when pressed together under normal conditions or under specified conditions of temperature. organic pigments. BODYING Thickening of an oil through thermal processing. BLISTERING RESISTANCE A coating’s ability to resist the formation of blisters. Blistering may be caused by solvent entrapment. during storage or fabrication. This effect is most pronounced when paint is being applied into corners or boxed areas. See also DRY SPRAY.

BUG HOLES Small regular or irregular cavities. [AM] BRONZING A subjective. BRITTLENESS Degree of susceptibility to cracking or breaking by bending. CAT EYE(S) Hole or holiday shaped like a cat’s eye. CAN STABILITY Resistance to deterioration of liquid paint in original container.FAILURE TERMS BRITTLE Susceptible and being easily broken. for example. It is perceived at the specular angle. appearance term applied to metal-like reflectance which sometimes appears at the surface of nonmetallic colored materials. cratering. and serious. descriptive. CASE HARDENING Surface hardening without thorough drying of film. and is characterized by a distinct hue of different predominant wavelength than the hue of the paint itself. [CED] BUBBLE BUSTER Compound used to control the formation of bubbles in a coating.[CED] See SURFACE DRYING. TOP DRYING in main glossary. CATHODIC DISBONDING Mechanical lifting of a coating caused by hydrogen bubbles formed when cathodic protection 191 . usually not exceeding 15 mm in diameter. Depending on the leveling characteristics of the paint. resulting from entrapment of air bubbles in the surface of formed concrete during placement and compaction. (2) Small ridges or valleys produced in a paint film by the combing action of the bristle of a brush. CATASTROPHIC CORROSION Metallic degradation resulting in substantial loss of metal. C CAKING Hard setting of pigment from a liquid paint during storage. fragile. The origin of the selective specular reflectance is generally considered to be reflectance from very small particle size pigments partially separated from the surrounding vehicle at or near the surface. brush marks may or may not remain in the dried coating. [CED] BRUSH MARKS (1) Marks produced in a coating by the bristles of a brush during application. by observing the image of a white light source. CATASTROPHIC COATING FAILURE A coating failure that is sudden. very dramatic. BUBBLING Air bubbles or solvent vapor bubbles found temporarily in the wet film of a coating or permanently in the dry film. [AM] See CRATERING.

this failure is usually characterized by sharp edges and definite demarcation of the base area. usually in small pieces. CHECK(S) Fine. [CED] COATING FAILURE Loss of a coating’s function or purpose.e. provides 192 . usually caused by degradation of the organic binder by the sun’s ultraviolet light. resulting from impact by hard objects or from wear during service. CAVITATION The formation and instantaneous collapse of innumerable tiny voids or cavities within a liquid subjected to rapid and intense pressure changes. See also CHALKING. CHALKING RESISTANCE The ability of a pigmented coating to resist chalking. CHECKING (1) The fine cracking that develops in paint films during prolonged curing and/or weathering that does not penetrate to the underlying surface. cement paste. CHIPPING RESISTANCE The ability of a coating or layers of coatings to resist total or partial removal. CHAMPAGNE FINISH (EFFERVESCENCE) The slight surface roughening caused by small bubbles of escaping solvent vapor. [ASM] CAVITATION EROSION Progressive loss of original material from a solid surface due to continuing exposure to cavitation. CHECKING RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist checking. ASTM D 3170 is the Standard Test Method for Chipping Resistance of Coatings. or concrete [ACI]. i.. See also CHECKING. [CED]. CISSING A mild form of crawling. Cavitation produced by ultrasonic radiation is sometimes used to effect violent localized agitation. when it no longer protects the substrate. shallow cracks in a coating resulting from surface weathering. Cavitation caused by severe turbulent flow often leads to cavitation damage. [ASM] CAVITATION CORROSION A process involving conjoint corrosion and cavitation. CRACKING RESISTANCE. in traffic paints.FAILURE TERMS is excessive. (2) Development of shallow cracks at closely spaced but irregular intervals on the surface of plaster. ASTM D 913 is the Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Resistance of Wear to Traffic Paint. CHALKING The formation of loose powder on the surface of a coating. CLOUDINESS The lack of clarity or transparency in a paint or varnish film. ASTM D 4214 is the Standard Test Method for Evaluating the Degree of Chalking of Exterior Paint Films. CHIPPING Total or partial removal of a dried paint film in flakes by accidental damage or wear during service. ASTM D 660 is a Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Checking of Exterior Paints.

as with cracking of petroleum. or process to become dirty or impure. (2) To break up into simpler chemical components. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] The ability of a single coating layer to resist internal partitioning or fracturing. generally light and weathering. also. COBWEBBING The rapid drying of a coating (often a lacquer) during application to form fine strings instead of normal atomization. COLD CRACKING Crazing and cracking of a coating subjected to low temperatures or cold/ambient cycling. CORROSION FATIGUE The process in which a metal fractures prematurely under conditions of simultaneous corrosion and repeated cyclic loading at lower stress levels or fewer cycles than would be required in the absence of the corrosive environment. crazing. The standard test method for evaluating degree of cracking is described in ASTM D 661. [CED] COLD WALL EFFECT In tank linings. checking. CONTAMINATION Condition causing a surface. crocodiling or alligatoring. especially to sunlight. COHESION The propensity of a substance to adhere to itself. CRACKING RESISTANCE The ability to resist formation of cracks that extend through at least one coat of paint. COLD CHECKING The formation of hairline cracks in lacquers exposed to low temperatures. CRACKING (1) The splitting of a dry paint film. a driving. or serves some other function such as providing a non-slip surface. COLORFASTNESS The ability of a film of paint or varnish to show little change in original color after being exposed to a specific environment. permeating force assisting ionic passage through a coating to a metal in the direction from a hot liquid to a cold wall. and mud cracking. material. cracking. The force holding a substance together. the material that causes a surface to be in this state. COHESIVE FAILURE A failure or break within a given coat or material (the coating breaks within itself). Color retention requirements usually are described in terms of color difference defined according to a standard test procedure. Different types of cracking include hair-cracking or hairlines. See 193 .FAILURE TERMS an attractive appearance. Metals corrode because they exist in chemically unstable states. The time of failure is considered to occur when some action is needed to restore its properties to the level necessary to again provide its intended purpose. COLOR RETENTION Property of a material relating to its ability to maintain constant color during surface exposure. CORROSION The chemical or electrochemical reaction between a metal and its environment that results in the loss of material and its properties.

or incompleteness that deviates from a speci- 194 . CRAWLING The drawing back of a liquid film from a uniformly thick layer to form areas of little. CURTAINING See SAGGING. In these locations. UNDERCUTTING. CRATERS Small. CRATERING The formation of small. CROCKING Removal of color upon abrasion or rubbing. deficiency. shallow depressions in a coating generally resulting from foreign matter in or deposited on the wet film. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] CRINKLING See WRINKLING. thickness. CREVICE CORROSION Corrosion that occurs within or adjacent to a crevice formed by contact with two pieces of the same metal or another metal or with a nonmetallic material.FAILURE TERMS CRACKING. Staining of a white cloth by rubbing lightly over a colored surface. CRACKLE Topcoat cracking caused by application of topcoat before the previously applied coat has sufficiently cured. See CRATERING. CURTAINS Sags with a draped appearance. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] CROCKING RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist color transfer when rubbed or abraded. See WRINKLING. if any. [WJP] CRAZING A network of intersecting checks or cracks appearing on a coated surface. See CRACKING. CREEPAGE See CRAWLING. CROWS FOOTING A coating film defect in which a pattern of wrinkles resembling a crow’s foot is formed. D DEFECT A surface or film imperfection (flaw). rounded depressions in a coating film that do not expose the previous coat or the substrate. It occurs when the surface tension of the coating is greater than the surface tension of the substrate. the intensity of attack is usually more severe than on surrounding areas of the same metal surface. CHECKING RESISTANCE. CROCODILING See ALLIGATORING.

or separation of a slab in a plane roughly parallel to. See ANTI-FOAMING AGENT. similar to spalling. DEZINCIFICATION Selective loss of zinc metal from a brass alloy. DISCOLORATION Change in the color of a coating after application (usually an undesired darkening). DELAMINATION (1) The separation of a coat or coats of paint from the previous coat or from the substrate. scaling. found most frequently in bridge decks and caused by the corrosion of reinforcing steel or freezing and thawing. DISBONDING The separation resulting from insufficient adhesion of a coating to an undercoating or other substrate. DILATANCY Stiffening and loss of fluidity of paint upon agitation. 195 .FAILURE TERMS fication or industry-accepted condition. ASTM D 3274 is the standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Surface Disfigurement of Paint Films by Microbial (Fungal or Algal) Growth or Soil and Dirt Accumulation. soot. and generally near. cracking. DIRT PICK-UP See DIRT ACCUMULATION. DIRT ACCUMULATION The collection of air-borne dirt. (2) In the case of a concrete slab. DEFOAMER(S) Additives used to reduce or eliminate foam formed in a coating or coating constituent. a horizontal splitting. Failure of a coating to adhere to the previous coating. [ACI] DETACHMENT See DISBONDING. DETERIORATION See DEGRADATION. or peeling except that the delamination affects large areas and can often be detected by tapping. DEGRADATION A gradual loss of coating materials and/or properties resulting from their service conditions and weathering. the upper surface. DEFLOCCULANT An additive that prevents pigments in suspension from coalescing to form flocs. or other foreign material on the exterior surfaces of coatings or other substrates. DELAMINATE See DELAMINATION. DIRT RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist soiling. normally caused by exposure to sunlight or chemical atmospheres. The opposite of thixotropy. DISCONTINUITIES See HOLIDAY.

Efflorescence results from leaching of lime or calcium hydroxide out of a permeable concrete mass over time by water. sand-like covering. ELECTROENDOSMOSIS Penetration of water through a coating film caused by excessive cathodic protection potentials. OVERSPRAY. DRIP A drop of wet coating that forms on or falls from the edge of the coated substrate. powdery. or layers. EFFLORESCENCE A white crystalline or powdery deposit on the surface of concrete. A paint with a lot of drag is hard to work with a brush. DULLING Loss of gloss or sheen. [AM] DURABILITY Degree to which paints and paint materials withstand the destructive effect of the conditions to which they are subjected. See also BOUNCE BACK. noncoherent film produced when an atomized coating partially dries before reaching the intended surface. EXUDATION The migration of a substance to the surface. DRIFT See OVERSPRAY. or plasticizer from films. ASTM D 662 is the Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Erosion of Exterior Paints. DRY SPRAY (1) A rough. (2) Overspray or bounce back falling dry on unintended surfaces and producing an adherent.FAILURE TERMS DRAG Resistance of paint to being spread by a brush. such as resin from wood. scales. EXFOLIATE To separate in flakes. EROSION The gradual loss of coating by wear or weathering. It 196 . (CED) F FADEOMETER An apparatus for determining the resistance of coatings and other materials to fading. Often results in blistering of coatings. followed by reaction with carbon dioxide and acidic pollutants. E EDGE FAILURE A type of coating adhesion failure in which undercutting (penetration of corrosion beneath the coating) occurs at an unprotected or incompletely protected edge. EROSION-CORROSION A joint action involving corrosion and erosion.

FISH EYES Coating film defects related to cratering in which small dimples or holidays resembling fish eyes form in the wet coating. FAILURE ANALYSIS An investigation conducted to determine the causes and responsibilities of coating defects. Also referred to as scaling. resulting from mortar flowing into spaces in the formwork. Produces a varigated paint surface. and the particle clusters can be broken up by applying 197 . Flaking is generally preceded by cracking. FLEX-CRACKING The development of cracks in coating when subjected to repeated bending. FALLOUT (SPRAY) See OVERSPRAY. checking. and/or corrosion. if present. Also known as scaling resistance. and is the result of loss of adhesion. COATING FAILURE. FAILURE See PAINT FAILURE.FAILURE TERMS accelerates the fading by subjecting coated panels to high-intensity ultraviolet wavelengths similar to those found in sunlight. Flaking is generally preceded by cracking. The condition usually is reversible. See CRATERING. [ASTM D-16] FLASHING The occurrence on the surface of a coating film of patches glossier than the surrounding coating. loss of coating function. FLAKING RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist the actual detachment of film fragments either from the previously applied coating or the substrate. FLOCCULATION Formation of clusters of pigment particles in a fluid medium that may occur after dispersion. FILIFORM CORROSION Corrosion exhibiting a thread-like structure and directional growth under coatings on metal surfaces such as steel or aluminum. [ACI] FISH EYEING See FISH EYES. or blistering. FLOATING The segregation of individual pigments in a coating system during curing related to differential movement in surface tension currents caused by solvent evaporation. See HOT SPOTS. checking or blistering and is the result of loss of adhesion usually due to stress-strain factors. FADING A cosmetic coating defect consisting of reduction in color intensity. FLAKING The detachment of pieces of the paint film itself either from its substrate or from paint previously applied. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] FIN (1) A narrow linear projection on a formed concrete surface. (2) A type of blade in a concrete mixer drum. ASTM D 722 is the standard test method for evaluating degree of flaking of exterior paints.

attached to the hulls of ships and other structures in sea water that cause drag. FOGGING Misting. semisolid network is formed. Flocculation is often visible as a “Jack Frost” pattern in a flowout of a dispersion. [AM] FOREIGN MATTER Any material in a paint or varnish or on a coating film that does not belong there. Compare to FLOATING. (2) The first stage in the cure of an epoxy or polyurethane coating in which a soft. FOULING (BIOFOULING) Marine organisms. Surface-active agents are often useful in reducing the extent of flocculation and hence the yield value. G GALVANIC CORROSION Accelerated corrosion resulting from two dissimilar metals in electrical contact. microscopically. both flora and fauna. 198 . It results in more rapid settling although it is usually soft. slogans. bumpy. GHOSTING A cosmetic coating defect occurring to low sheen finishes in which there are areas with less color or difference in sheen from surrounding areas. GRAFFITI Markings. shows loss of color strength and poor dispersion. or sand-like texture in a dry coating film.FAILURE TERMS relatively weak mechanical forces or by a change in the physical forces at the interface between the liquid and the solid dispersed particles. it appears as a lacework or reticulum of loosely clustered particles. Latex coatings are especially susceptible to this phenomenon because of their surface active agents used to stabilize the dispersion. GRAININESS A rough. See also LIVERING. exposed to conductive medium. or drawings that deface a wall or other surface. GLOSS RETENTION Ability of a coating material to maintain its gloss. GELLING (1) A defect in which an oil or alkyd paint or varnish thickens to jelly-like consistency in an unopened container. FOAMING The development of small air bubbles into liquid coatings during mixing. FLOODING The segregation of pigments in a coating system caused by different rates of settling in the wet film to form a uniform appearance different from that expected. FRETTING CORROSION The accelerated deterioration at the interface between contacting surfaces as the result of corrosion and slight oscillatory movement between two surfaces. [ASM] FROTHING See FOAMING.

Rutile titanium dioxide. 199 . or void in a coating film that exposes the substrate. and zinc oxide are materials with high refractive indices. scrapes or pinholes (holidays) that penetrate a coating film. HEAT AGING Deterioration of a coating as a result of exposure to elevated temperatures. HEAT RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist deterioration when exposed continuously or periodically to high temperatures at or below a given level. skip. I IMPACT RESISTANCE Ability of a coating to resist a sudden blow. needle-like or sliver-like protrusions (ranging from 3 to 6 mils [76 to 152 micrometers]) found on steel plates that have been blasted with steel shot or grit. HAZING See CLOUDINESS. discontinuity. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] HAIRLINE CRACKS Very fine cracks which do not penetrate the topcoat. Heat resistance depends on the binder type and other coating ingredients. [CED] See INCOMPLETE HIDING. IMPACT STRENGTH See IMPACT RESISTANCE. [ASTM] HOLIDAY DETECTOR Instrument utilizing electric current (low-voltage.FAILURE TERMS GRINNING THROUGH Showing through of the underlying surface layer due to inadequate opacity of a paint film which has been applied to it. high-voltage or AC electrostatic) to detect nicks. followed by anatase titanium dioxide. H HACKLE(S) Thin. HOLIDAY Pinhole. zinc sulfide. HONEYCOMB Voids left in concrete due to failure of the mortar to effectively fill the spaces among course aggregate particles. [CED] See CRACKING. ability to resist deformation from impact. HIDING PIGMENT A pigment with a high refractive index that gives the most hiding power to a coating. they occur erratically and at random. [ACI] HOT SPOTS Areas of higher gloss than surrounding areas often caused by being relatively resin-rich where coating was applied more thickly than other areas.

[CED] INTERCOAT CONTAMINATION Contamination between successive coats of paint or a coat of paint and the base substrate. LAP MARKS Visually darker section edges where paints or stains have dried before adjacent areas have tied into them.. brittle layer of cement and aggregate fines on a concrete surface. causing bleeding or saponification) or physical (e.. peaks. INTRACOAT DISBONDING See COHESIVE FAILURE. LIVERING The progressive. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] Lifting often occurs because the solvents in the new coat are too strong for the previous coat. LEVELING The ability of a coating to flow out after application so as to obliterate any surface irregularities such as brush marks.FAILURE TERMS INCLUSION Presence of foreign material in the finished material. See COHESION. the degree of working. weak. The ability of a paint film to hold itself together. where a wet edge has not been maintained. L LAITANCE A thin. INDENTATION HARDNESS Resistance to penetration by an indenter. The incompatibility may be chemical (e.g.e. INTERCOAT DELAMINATION The separation (disbonding) of two adjacent coats of paint.g. inability to expand and contract with substrate). 200 .. INTERCOAT DISBONDING See INTERCOAT DELAMINATION. LIFTING Softening and raising or wrinkling of a previous coat by the application of an additional coat. i. orange peel. The amount of laitance is influenced by the type and amount of admixtures. or craters which have been produced by the mechanical process of application. irreversible increase in consistency of a pigment-vehicle combination. and the amount of water in the concrete. INCOMPLETE HIDING Failure to completely obscure from vision any underlying coating or other substrate. INTRACOAT ADHESION Cohesion within a coat of paint. [CED] INCOMPATIBILITY Inability of coating materials to perform satisfactorily when in direct contact with another coating or substrate. LEVELING AGENT Chemical added to coating to increase the ability of the wet film to settle to a uniform thickness.

particularly in damp. e. MILKINESS Whitish or translucent appearance in an unpigmented liquid coating or film which should normally be transparent. causing discoloration and disfigurement.” which is reversible. skips. MILDEW RESISTANCE A coating’s ability to resist the growth of mildew (fungus growth) on its surface. N NATURAL WEATHERING Gradual deterioration of a coating as a result of exposure to an exterior environment. [CED] MISSES Holidays. as opposed to artificial (laboratory) accelerated weathering. shady places. that grow on paint and other surfaces.. The irreversible character of the changes distinguishes livered material from thixotropic “build-up.FAILURE TERMS Livering usually results from a chemical reaction of the vehicle with the solid dispersed material. particularly fungi. sulfatereducing bacteria found in some petroleum products and in sewage. 201 . MICROBIOLOGICALLY INFLUENCED CORROSION (MIC) Corrosion that is affected by the action of microorganisms in the environment. MUD CRACKING A coating defect resembling the irregular cracking of drying mud that typically arises during the curing of a relatively inflexible coating applied too thickly. MILDEW DEFACEMENT Unsightly appearance on coated or uncoated surfaces caused by growth of microorganisms. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] M MIC See MICROBIOLOGICALLY INFLUENCED CORROSION.g. ASTM D 3274 is the Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree of Surface Disfigurement of Paint Films by Microbial (Fungal and Algal) Growth or Soil and Dirt Accumulation. MILDEW Microorganisms. but it also may result from polymerization of the vehicle. [AM] MOTTLING The presence of differently colored spots or blotches on a surface. voids. particularly fungi. MILDEWCIDE An additive used to enhance a coating’s ability to resist mildew growth.

varnish. OVERATOMIZED Dispersed too finely by use of excessive atomizing pressure. [CED] so as to adversely affect coating performance. PERISHING See DETERIORATION. PIGMENT OVERLOAD Use of more pigment in a coating than can be completely wetted by the resin. overspray may contaminate property beyond the surface being sprayed. or both. OIL SOFTENING The conversion of a satisfactory coating into an unacceptably soft and tacky one. or excessive moisture behind the surface. exceeding the 202 . an improperly prepared surface. orange peel may be desirable. OIL CANNING Bowing of the edges of a steel plate due to thermal expansion and contraction or cyclic loading and unloading. On products such as appliances. Oil canning can lead to cracking of the coating at the edges. BOUNCE BACK. grease. See also DRY SPRAY. (2) Spray particles that are not wet enough to fuse when they reach the surface being sprayed. P PAINT CHIPPING See CHIPPING. ORANGE PEEL A coating application (usually spray) defect in which the coating surface has the irregular appearance of an orange skin because of insufficient leveling of the wet film. It may be caused by dampness. [AM] OVERBAKING An exposure of the coating to a temperature moderately higher or for a longer period of time. PAINT FAILURE See COATING FAILURE. [CED] OVERSPRAY (1) Atomized paint particles that deflect from or miss the surface being spraye. As a result. OVERCURE Caused by an aftercure or being subjected to too high a temperature or too long a period at a proper temperature and resulting in a product with lowered performance. or lacquer film from a surface due to loss of adhesion. PEELING Disbonding of particles of paint.FAILURE TERMS O OFF COLOR An unacceptable variation of color from that desired or specified. when in contact with household or industrial oils. than that recommended by the manufacturer of the coating for normal curing.

(2) In concrete. [MPDA] POPPING Formation of blisters of solvent vapor in wet coating surfaces that break but do not level because of too great a viscosity. (3) Formation of depressions (pits) in the surface of a coating often caused by the escape of gas or solvent vapor. See BOUNCE BACK. REDUCED SERVICE LIFE Lessened time during which the coating provides its intended function(s). moisture. that takes the form of cavities [ASM]. PIT A small hole in the surface of a metal or other material that is deeper than its diameter. which allow fluids to penetrate an otherwise impervious material. [CED] REBOUND In spraying of coatings.FAILURE TERMS critical pigment volume concentration (CPVC). PINHOLE A holiday or discontinuity that extends entirely through a coating film. the atomized particles that bounce back from the surface being painted. (2) Small interconnected voids. POROSITY (1) The ratio. confined to a point or small area. or foreign particles. such as in concrete. normally caused by solvent bubbling. usually expressed as a percentage of the volume of voids in a material to the total volume of the material including the voids [ACI]. see CRATERING. pitting is localized disintegration. Very dense pinpoint rusting can appear on painted steel surfaces where the coating does not completely cover the blast cleaning profile. [AM] 203 . dispersed points of rust that can appear at pinholes and holidays in a coating. approximately the size of a pin. RETICULATION A surface defect of net-like appearance. OVERSPRAY. such as popout. [ACI]. R RAIN SPOTTING Particular case of water spotting caused by rain. PINHOLING Formation of small holes through the entire thickness of coating. POCKMARKING See PITTING. PROTECTIVE LIFE The length of time a coating system provides protection to a substrate. PONDING The accumulation of a liquid or paint in a shallow depression. [AM] PINPOINT RUSTING Tiny. PITTING (1) Localized corrosion of a metal surface.

Also known as “sags” or “curtains. RUST An iron oxide that forms naturally on ferrous metals as a result of exposure to normal weathering or industrial atmospheres. denser. frequently due to application of a coat that is too heavy and not brushed out well. and lower viscosity coatings are more likely to sag. 204 . overspray. thicker. This effect also can be the result of poor workmanship. This commonly occurs on the alkaline surfaces of concrete and galvanizing. ROPY FINISH See BRUSH MARKS. SAG RESISTANCE The ability of a wet paint film to resist the downward flow that results in an uneven film with thick edges and runs.” [MPDA] See SAGGING. ROPEY A quality of paint that does not flow out evenly and dries with slight ridges. SALT AND PEPPER RUSTING See PINPOINT RUSTING. (2) Subsidence of shotcrete. plaster. [AM] SAPONIFICATION Alkaline hydrolysis of fats to form soaps. Thus. due generally to excessive water in the mixture. S SAGGING (1) The irregular downward flow of wet paint under the force of gravity to produce a thicker lower edge. See also RUNS. [ACI] SAG See SAGGING. SALT FOG RESISTANCE Resistance to deterioration during salt spray testing. or the like. RUNS Irregularities of a surface due to uneven flow. RUNNING See SAGGING. See SALT SPRAY TEST in main glossary. COATING The akaline hydrolysis of coating binders (usually their drying oils) to disbond and degrade them. SAPONIFICATION. also called sloughing.FAILURE TERMS RETRACTION See CRAWLING. SANDY FINISH A surface condition having the appearance of sandpaper.

[PDCA] SEDIMENTATION Action or process of depositing matter (sediment) that settles to the bottom of a liquid. Moisture entering cracks in the paint film destroys its adhesive property and results in the flaking or scaling of the paint. SILKING A surface defect characterized by parallel hairlike striations in coated films. [CED] SEPARATION Division into components or layers by natural causes. [CED] SEEDS See SEEDINESS. Scaling is the last stage of cracking. SHADOWING A coating of paint showing through a subsequent coating. [AM] SOILING See DIRT ACCUMULATION. uncoated areas. [AM] SISSING See CISSING. extenders or other solid matter in a paint in a container. [AM] SETTLING The sinking of pigments. more likely to occur to a previously opened or partially filled container. misses. SEEDY Descriptive of a paint finish that is not smooth owing to undispersed pigment particles or insoluble gel particles in the paint. SKINNING Formation of a thick film (skin) on the surface of a liquid paint during storage. SKIPS Holidays. varnish. or lacquer. SEEDINESS The occurrence of particles in a coating formed from action of reactive pigments and acidic components of the binder during storage that result in a roughened surface on the cured film. voids. SEEDING Formation of small.FAILURE TERMS SCALING Paint failure that causes a coating to fall off in flakes or chips. SHRINKAGE The roughening of the surface of a coating resulting in loss of gloss or wrinkle. SKIN A solid or semisolid membrane that sometimes forms on paint or varnish in the can. undesirable particles or granules in a paint. SOLVENT ENTRAPMENT The failure of solvent to completely evaporate from a paint film due to inadequate drying 205 . with a consequent accumulation on the bottom of the can.

In the case of corrosion. without completely hiding it or forming a continuous film. STAIN (1) A solution or suspension of coloring material formulated to provide a color to a surface. POPPING.FAILURE TERMS conditions and/or recoating too soon. especially ones distinguished by color. SPECKLING See MOTTLING. visible on a surface. SOLVENT IMBALANCE A proportion of solvent types in a coating that causes inadequate solvency or improper evaporation rates. [CED] SOLVENT SHOCK The situation wherein some of the protective vehicle is washed off the fine pigment particles. solution or disfigurement. The result often is that the under portion is slow in drying and that solvent is trapped within the coating or the coating remains soft for an extended period of time. narrow. resistant to chemical reaction with oxygen. [CED] SPRAY MOTTLE See ORANGE PEEL. See TOP DRYING in main glos- 206 . by differential thermal expansion or contraction. for example. It may cause blisters or pinholes. SOLVENT RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist solvent attack.” to form. irregular lines or bands or layer-edges. See SOLVENT RUB TEST in main glossary. SOLVENT POP See SOLVENT ENTRAPMENT. [CED] SPALLING The chipping or fragmenting of a surface or surface coating caused. [CED] SURFACE DRYING Drying of the surface of a liquid coating film before the body of the coating film. sometimes called “solvent pop. [MPDA]. Spalling of a concrete surface also may result from corrosion of rebar or other embedded steel. allowing them to pull together into clusters or flocs or when flocs of resin form due to dilution with a solvent or diluent of insufficient strength. especially wood. (2) An undesirable surface coloration. STREAKING Long. STAIN RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to avoid change in appearance after a material capable of staining has been applied and removed. SPATTER COATING An incomplete or not continuously wet coating caused by a faulty spray painting application. SPOTTING Development of small areas on a painted surface which differ in color or gloss from the major portion of the work. STABLE Resistant to change.

USEFUL LIFE The length of time a coating adequately performs its function. V VACATION See HOLIDAY. SWEATING The exudation of oil from a coating after it appears to have cured. UNDERCUTTING The gradual penetration and spread of corrosion beneath a coating from a break or pinhole in the film or from unprotected edges. In some cases. TUBERCULATION Formation of localized corrosion products scattered over the surface in the form of knob-like mounds. UNDERFILM CORROSION Corrosion that occurs between a coating and the metal substrate without a break in the coating layer. tack may not develop until a little later. 207 . with a resultant loss of performance properties. See SERVICE LIFE in main glossary. Also referred to as creepage. TELEGRAPHING General term used to describe surface defects such as crawling that give rise to unique patterns. [PDCA] TACK-FREE Absence of tack or stickiness in an applied coating after suitable drying time. UNEVEN LOSS OF GLOSS Uneven loss of gloss is a cosmetic coating surface defect in which there is a variation in reduction of sheen such as may occur where there is partial shading. coatings are tack-free after application. T TACK The stickiness of a surface such as a paint or varnish film during the drying period. U UNDERCURE Failure of a coating to reach its optimum degree of cure. Oil paints and spar varnishes may retain tack for several weeks after they are considered dry.FAILURE TERMS sary. [WJP] THROUGH DRYING Uniform drying throughout the film as opposed to bottom-drying or top-drying.

and temperature changes. WRINKLING A defect that creates small furrows or ridges in a coating film. such as heat. Y YELLOWING The formation of a yellow color or cast on a white or light-colored coating. water. carbonate) of zinc formed on galvanized and other zinc coated surfaces. W WATER SPOTTING See WATER STAINING. WHITE RUST White oxidation products (oxide. WATER STAINING Any nonuniform change in appearance. WEATHERING CONDENSATION TEST A test that exposes coated specimens to a cycle consisting of fluorescent ultraviolet light and condensing humidity to accelerate the effects of sunlight and moisture. [CED] WEATHERING CHAMBER An apparatus in which specimen materials can be subjected to artificial and accelerated weathering tests that simulate natural weathering by the use of controlled cycles of ultraviolet radiation. hydroxide. fluorescent bulbs. Wrinkling usually occurs with thick films of oil-based paint. WEATHER RESISTANCE The capability of a coating to resist the combination of exposures created by weather. WEBBING See WRINKLING. Electric arcs. [CED] WEATHERING The behavior of paint films when exposed to natural weather or accelerated weathering equipment. and heat. texture. characterized by changes in color. water spray. or other properties. chemical composition. It is apparent after drying. or other sources of ultraviolet light. resulting from the accumulation of water on or the contact of water with the painted surface. and sunlight. gloss. and heating elements are used to simulate the natural conditions of sun. including color. rain. or sheen in the shape of spots and streaks. strength. light. thermal cycling. rain.FAILURE TERMS VOID See HOLIDAY. 208 . cold.

Water based acrylic paints have very good compatibility with galvanized coatings and rarely have adhesion problems on properly prepared surfaces. It is therefore important for specifiers to clearly identify the environment in which the coating has to operate and ensure that paint systems selected are capable of delivering the life cycle performance expected. INTRODUCTION Recognising the type of paint failure encountered in the field is an important mechanism in ensuring quality coatings and coating application. and again. or two-pack uretahne or acrylic systems. All paints eventually fail by weathering and the life expectancy of a paint system will be well defined by the manufacturer or within performance standards such as AS/NZS 2312 . AS/NZS 2312 provides one of the most valuable reference works for paint coatings and paint . Environmental pressures on paint manufacturers to eliminate potentially hazardous pigments and reduce the amount of volatile organic greenhouse-causing solvents in paint coatings has accelerated the development of new types of paint coatings. which have excellent UV stability over time. Many paints have poor UV resistance. unless they are specially formulated will rarely give the same durability as water-based acrylic paints.22 - . Industrial or marine applications are critical applications where the performance requirements of the paint system must be clearly understood. and frequently. but only its appearance. for painting galvanized coatings. Identification of causes of problems can be fed back into the specification and application process to avoid repetition of failure events. The following catalogue of paint defects has been assembled with associated descriptions of causes and remedies to assist in identifying problems and dealing with them to ensure a quality coating. coating defects do not always affect the coating’s performance. offer advances in durability over traditional technologies.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 defects in paint coatings by CM Staff based on information supplied by Wattyl Paints systems. paint failures can be traced to the incorrect selection of paint for the particular application. Again. A great deal of research has gone into paint technology development by the major Australian and international paint companies as they compete with each other and with other coatings and materials to produce better performing products. while expensive. resulting in the common phenomenon of flaking or peeling paint. Water based. Epoxy coatings are often considered the cure-all for most industrial applications. with detailed descriptions of a wide range of generic paint types. In some cases. The paint reacts with the zinc in the galvanized coating and loses its adhesion.One of the most common examples of incorrect paint selection is the use of alkyd (oil based) paints. their suggested uses and characteristics.Guide to the Protection of Iron and Steel from Atmospheric Corrosion. but may perform poorly in highly acidic exposures or where movement or vibration may result in cracking of the relatively infexible paint film. There is always a reason for every coating failure. Those that fail prematurely will have done so because of an identifiable problem associated with their application. oil based paints. low solvent or solventless coatings have replaced many of the standard industrial coatings of yesteryear. Hybrid organic/inorganic binder systems have also been developed that. Causes of paint coating failure are frequently associated with either: • • • • incorrect specification faulty material incorrect application incorrect curing/post handling procedures.

oil. Before cure. solvent evaporated too fast. Application over oil. sand and apply another coat. remove by dry brushing followed by solvent wiping. Paint too viscous. Most common with fast evaporating lacquers. CRATERING . or paint applied over soft or wet undercoat.tiny. or paint particles falling outside spray pattern. proper levels of cathodic protection. silicon. shiny spots Allow to dry and apply another finish coat under acceptable conditions for moisture and humidity. apply additional coat.small to large broken or unbroken bubbles Blowers in enclosed areas to accelerate solvent release. respray with retarder added to thinner. gun too close to surface. Use holiday detector for early detection of pinholes. Sand or blast remove. moisture or salt-contaminated surfaces. gun too far from surface.colour changes or irregularities WRINKLING .rough. adequate cleaning of surface contamination. Sand or blast remove. After cure. Solvent evaporating too rapidly. Ultraviolet light degradation.flat finish with milky appearance Moisture condensation in high humidity with fast evaporating or unbalanced thinner in spray application.rusting at pinholes or holidays . moisture in film. sand and apply another coat. If uncured. ORANGE PEEL . uniform identations in film FISH EYES . Scrape off wrinkles and apply thinner coat. Surface skinning over uncured paint because of too much thickness and/ or too warm weather. brush out and apply additional coat. or settled pigment. or surface too hard or glossy to hold paint. sand and apply another coat. or air pressure too low for proper atomization. PINHOLING . FADING . brush apply a fresh coat plus topcoat. stringy paint.also called runs or curtains. flat. apply additional coats after mechanical or blast cleaning. After cure.non uniform sheen. valleys in paint resembling skin of orange OVERSPRAY . UNEVEN GLOSS . too much thinner. especially with oil-based paints.thin. Before cure. pebbly surface COBWEBBING . Repaint and avoid possible sources of moisture. Insufficient paint spray atomization. If cured. dirt. brush out excess paint and modify spray conditions.also called dry spray.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 DESCRIPTION SAGS . Non uniform film thickness. After cured. Dry. deep holes exposing substrate PINPOINT RUSTING . Sand or blast to smooth finish and apply additional coats. brush out excess paint and modify spray conditions. Solvent entrapment. or moisture behind paint film. coarse atomization. After cure. spider web-like particles Use slower evaporating solvent or apply when cooler. such as vinyls and chlorinated rubbers.also called pitting. Small.hills. sand and apply another coat. avoid intense sunlight. crinkled surface BLISTERING .23 - .separation or pulling apart of wet film to expose underlying finish or substrate BLUSHING . Particles reaching surface not wet enough to level because of too rapid solvent evaporation. Air pockets trapped in wet film during spraying. REMEDY Before cure. or cathodic disbonding. or incompatible coating. Excess flow of paint CAUSE Spray gun too close to work. too much paint. Pinholing or too high a steel surface profile for coating thickness. Temperature change during curing.

peeling from undercoat or substrate PIGMENT OVERLOAD . for migration. sanding/mechanical cleaning may be acceptable on older substrates. If limited. INFLEXIBLE PAINT . clean and roughen smooth surface. Critical pigment level exceeded (sometimes by tinting white paint rather than tint base). etc. Apply properly prepared finish coat.mechanical damage FOULING DAMAGE . Same as above PEELING OF MULTIPLE COATS peeling of heavy paint build-up from substrate PEELING OF THICK. penetrating soft coatings (eg. No means by which interior moisture can be vented to exterior.peeling. blast. mechanically or chemically remove paint to substrate before re-coating. spot repair and use more abrasion or impact-resistant coatings. and re-coat. Sand or mechanically remove all loose paint. ABRASION DAMAGE . Use wedges between adjacent lap boards. blast. clean painted vent holes. Difficult to coat surfaces. too thick a coat. irregular cracks as with dried mud Early detection of defects with holiday detector and correction. or configurations that permit collection of moisture. in topcoat that expose undercoat CRACKING . etc. usually short. scrape. Barnacles. latex). limited flexibility. A relatively inflexible coating applied too thickly (especially common with inorganic zincs). Moisture on substrate distorts wet film. or mechanically remove total paint and apply new coat. Remove coating and abrasively blast steel before reapplying lesser thickness. weight of fouling peeling poorly bonded paint.deterioration at edges. Sand. Paint shrinkage.peeling of paint by underlying moisture Stress from cured. or mechanically remove paint and re-coat. poorbonded undercoat. provide drainage. use antifouling paints for fouling control. Sand. Stress from weathering (contraction of total system) exceeds adhesion to substrate. spray. use inhibitive pigments in primer. Round edges. Corrosion products formed where steel is exposed. fillet weld seams and crevices. Contaminated surface. sandblast. if extensive. corners.peeling of thick paint from substrate PAINT APPLIED TO DAMP SURFACE .heavy wrinkling MOISTURE DAMAGE . salt. mottled surface IRREGULAR SURFACE DETERIORATION . channels. UNDERCUTTING . Remove by scraping or sanding and re-coat under dry conditions. avoid configurations that permit collection of contaminants.CORROSION MANAGEMENT DESCRIPTION CHECKING . dirt dried in paint film DELAMINATION . or applied/cured at too high a temperature. vents. Physical damage by abrasion (also impact). . Separation/lifting of paint from chalky substrate or smooth.deep.also called pigment float. undermining and lifting paint. and dirt. crevices. or work area.g. coal tar).penetration or peeling by action of marine fouling organisms MUD CRACKING . etc. Remove and replace damaged paint with one tougher or more adherent.deep cracks in paint that expose substrate CAUSE Limited paint flexibility. REMEDY July 2000 Sand or mechanically remove checked coat and apply another coat. or applied at too high a temperature. spot-remove loose paint and apply flexible paint (e.24 - . excessive thickness (especially zincrich paints).blistering and/ or peeling of paint where exposed steel is rusting DIRT UNDER PAINT .narrow breaks. weathered (contracted) paint exceeds adhesion to substrate. Provide fendering protection.

seal more humid side of wells.2.brown staining of paint in asphalt or coat tar coating Use latex paint over bituminous materials.3. or brick picks up soluble salts and deposits them on the surface from the interior (can be on interior or exterior well of building). REMEDY Treat as in NCEL Tech Data Sheet 77-10 or NAVFAC MO-110. VINE PENETRATION OF PAINT vine tendrils penetrate paint MILDEW GROWTH . 4. Vines so close to structure that tendrils penetrate paint for support. Microorganisms grow. Improper storage of paint (e.black fungal growth CHALKING EROSION . avoid opening and resealing of large containers. especially bad with thin coats.g.2. and substrates where chalk is frequently removed.73 Remove loose chalk and apply chalkresistant finish coat. allow asphalt pavements to cure 21 days before applying paint. sand and re-coat damaged areas. epoxies.4. Organic solvent in wet paint or fresh asphalt dissolves bituminous material and causes it to migrate through paint. Relocate vines away from structure.5 and 10.5 for concrete/masonry before painting. masonry. shaded paint. powdery material CAUSE Moisture through concrete.gradual thinning of finish coat to expose undercoat BLEEDING . especially on damp. Clean and repaint as described in NAVFAC MO-110. Degradation of coating resin by sunlight leaving loose residue.3. defacing and degrading it.25 - .CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 DESCRIPTION EFFLORENSCENCE DAMAGE paint disbonding and peeling by loose.10. in sun and rain). especially fast drying paints. Store indoors in cool environment. SKINNING/DETERIORATION OF STORED PAINT .2.

Remedy: Ensure piant is currectly applied and cured.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 Description: Flaking paint over galvanized surface. acid resistant recoatable mastic type coating Description: Efflourescence bleeding through pinholes in paint film in marine exposure. Cause: Pinholes in paint film caused by solvent entrapment or single coat application. Apply appropriate water based or epoxy priming systems. Cause: Low pH condensation (pH1) and flexing and vibration of crane rails in service cause brittle paint film to crack and promote underfilm corrosion. Use multi-coat system to eliminate pinholes. . Incorrect primer/topcoat. Cause: Incorrect surface preparation. Description: Flaking two-pack epoxy paint on crane rails in galvanizing plant pre-treatment building. Highb pressure water wash surface.26 - . Remedy: Remove flaking paint by scraping or wire brushing. Apply flexible. Remedy: Wet abrasive blast back to remove surface contamination and old paint.

Remedy: Ensure surface cleanliness prior to application. Cause: Adhesion of old paint insufficient to accommodate surface tension effects of new two-pack system epoxy topcoat. On existing item. Description: Early failure of maintenance topcoat system along beam edges. Remedy: Completely remove old paint prior to re-coating or use more flexibible re-coating system compatible with old paint. Remedy: Apply as for centre zone. Re-apply primer and topcoat.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 Description: Underfilm corrosion in defined regions of coating. . Centre zone is in good condition. Cause: Areas of contamination on surface interfering with primer adhesion. Description: Blistering of paint on handrail.This large tank has areas of clearly defined paint system performance.27 - . mechanically remove any blistered areas and feather back to sound paint. Right hand zone shows general overall deterioration consistent with normal weathering but ealy failure indicative of low initial dry film thickness for the system. Cause: Area on far left has severe local underfilm corrosion indicating initial poor surface preparation/priming.

Deterioration.. Loss of a coating’s function or purpose. while protecting the other metal from corrosion. Drisko Introduction All coatings have limited service lives. A surface or film imperfection (flaw). Contact of Dissimilar Metals Resulting in Galvanic Corrosion When two dissimilar metals are in physical contact with each other in an electrolyte (electrically conductive medium). Failure Analysis. i. The period of time during which a coating provides its intended function(s). Although each of the major design factors leading to early coating deterioration will be discussed separately. or coating curing. provides an attractive appearance.1 Some of the definitions of general terms commonly associated with coating deterioration/degradation are: Catastrophic Coating Failure. Premature Failure.Chapter 12 Coating Failures Richard W. . pigments. more recently. and/or corrosion. deficiency. See degradation above. This chapter will address the common causes of coating defects on industrial structures and the associated preventative or corrective actions.. governmental restrictions on coating VOCs and toxic constituents (e. A coating failure that is sudden. loss of function. the more active metal will corrode preferentially. surface preparation. When this occurs. SSPC’s Protective Coatings Glossary defines failure terms and these definitions are used for all failure terms in this chapter. Failure that occurs significantly before a coating’s life expectancy. or incompleteness that deviates from a specification or industry-accepted condition. the substrate. solvents. or combinations of these basic causes. A gradual loss of coating materials and/or properties resulting from service conditions and weathering. when it no longer protects the substrate.g. Failure of Coating. the coating itself. coating application. or serves some other function such as providing a non-slip surface. Service Life of Coating. This will vary with different exposures and services.e. There are numerous causes of coating failure. The time of failure is considered to occur when some action is needed to restore its properties to the level necessary to again provide its intended purpose(s). if present. the greater will be the rate of dissimilar metal corrosion. Effects of Structural Design on Metal and Coating Deterioration It has been shown that structural design may be an important factor in metal and coating deterioration. Unfortunately. Degradation. Systematic investigation conducted to determine the causes and responsibilities of coating defects. improper or inadequate surface preparation has been the most commonly reported cause of coating failure. The greater the difference in electrochemical activity between the metals. These may be related to structural design. very dramatic.2-3 It is important that these design factors be recognized and corrected at the planning stage rather than later when their adverse effects have become apparent. Defect. Historically. and serious. it is necessary to determine the causes of the failure and what actions must be taken to correct this condition and prevent its recurrence. The relative surface areas of the touching metals may also greatly affect the corrosion of the more active metal (the Commonly Used Failure Terms Many different terms commonly used to describe coating failures mean different things to different people. there are occasions when coatings fail much sooner than they should. they often occur in conjunction with other factors that further aggravate the deterioration. and biocides) have restricted coating formulations and made them more difficult to apply successfully.

This results in a corrosion cell with accelerated corrosion occurring within the crevice area. A small anode area and a much larger cathode (protected) area may result in extremely rapid corrosion of the smaller anode area. and automobile bodies than for applications where structural strength is required. Drill weep holes into existing water traps to permit collected water to drain. This process results in a loosely bonded layer of iron oxide called mill scale. Sharp Edges When sharp edges are coated. textured surfaces provide more bonding sites and thus have greater coating adhesion than smooth areas of similar composition. Hot-Rolled Steel Most structural steel is made by the hot-rolling process. Undercutting of a coating film by corrosion at breaks or pinholes in the barrier film may result in rapid loss of coating and its protection.4 It should be noted that. Most coatings are unsuitable for use in the joint itself. Water Traps Water traps are design features. Mill scale must be removed before the steel is coated. or skip-welded together. Galvanic corrosion may also be minimized by using metals of similar composition. Abrasive blasting can also be used to produce a profile to improve coating adhesion. that collect the rain that accelerates deterioration of coatings and corrosion of metals. Coatings do not bond as well to these surfaces. or its subsequent loss with time will result in coating deterioration. in painting. high-strength alloy steels may require a coating system to supplement its natural corrosion resistance. because they do not provide the proper coefficient of friction to maintain the joint in a static state. new edge-retentive coatings (usually amine-cured. continuous welding is the preferred method of joining metal components. Relatively recently. Limited Access to Work Limited access to surfaces to be cleaned and coated often results in poor quality work and consequently early coating deterioration. care should be taken to ensure that all cathode areas are especially well covered. back-to-back angle designs should be avoided because they have crevices between them. However. in general. Thus. riveted. the paint tends to draw back from the edge to leave a much thinner coat of paint there than on flat areas.anode in the reaction). smoother surface than hot-rolling. chemical treatments such as phosphating are often used to promote coating adhesion. Cold-Rolled Steel Cold-rolled steel is used more for manufacturing office furniture. Effects of Substrate Properties on Coating Performance It has been shown that the chemical and physical natures of a surface to be coated may have a very profound effect on the performance of the coating system. Such designs should be oriented downward so that the water drains. In order to produce a coating film of more equal thickness (and thus equal barrier protection) on all surfaces. structures should be designed for access both for the original work and for subsequent maintenance painting. such as upward facing angle iron. appliances. High-Strength Alloy Steels In some environments. Thus. there is invariably a lower concentration of oxygen as compared to the air outside the crevice. Faying Surfaces Faying surfaces are contacting surfaces where joints in steel structures are formed by riveting or by the use of high-strength bolts. Also. or using a non-conductive insulator between them. Coatings on metal structures are susceptible to underfilm corrosion. the 554 . edges are usually striped (brushed with an additional coat of primer) before or after applying a full coat to the substrate. inorganic zinc-rich silicate coatings have adequate coefficient of friction to perform well in this service. Thus. Inside crevice areas. In these cases. solvent-free epoxies) have been developed to address this problem. Cold rolling produces a denser. Thus. Crevices Crevices are likely to occur in structural components that are bolted. Welds should be ground smooth and weld spatter removed before coating in order to obtain good coating adhesion in these areas.

plastic) to produce a suitable profile Aluminum is susceptible to exfoliation.g. alkalinity and porosity) that make its coatings especially susceptible to certain defects.. In the past. It is characterized by threadlike directional growths proceeding away from damaged areas. while redwood and cedar have uniform grain and brown color. chromate-free inhibitive pigments are now used. silicon carbide.cleaning requirements are similar to those of conventional steels. This alkalinity will saponify (hydrolyze) alkyds and other coatings that cure by oxidation of drying oils. SSPC-SP 1).. Figure 1. The brown color of the latter two woods comes from water-soluble dyes that may bleed through latex coatings to cause staining. These are described extensively in SSPC’s The Fundamentals of Cleaning and Coating of Concrete. Soft woods such as redwood and fir are penetrated by coatings to permit good bonding much more easily than are hard (dense) woods such as ash and oak. Because of their inherent corrosion resistance.5 Wood The properties of woods vary greatly with the types of tree from which they came.g.. Concrete Concrete has unique properties (e. For other coatings that do not. or garnet) may be necessary to produce the desired surface profile. Filiform corrosion. Zinc-Coated Surfaces Zinc-coatings. both galvanizing and zinc-rich. Pine and fir have variable grain structures. Corrosion undercutting of coating at scratch.. they will normally have less corrosion and undercutting of coating at film holidays. an advanced stage of intergranular corrosion characterized by a delamination of metal along grain boundaries. one the Figure 2. unless sealed 555 . Rolled metal products such as aluminum alloy plate are especially susceptible to exfoliation due to their longitudinal grain structure. and the chromate conversion coating can be removed chemically or by prolonged weathering. chromate inhibitive pigments were widely used to control filiform corrosion. The oil is best removed by solvent cleaning (i.e. New galvanized surfaces are sometimes given a thin coat of oil or chromate conversion coating to protect them from corrosion called wet storage stain or white rust during exterior storage. These treatments must be removed prior to coating to permit good coating adhesion. Coated aluminum is particularly susceptible to a form of corrosion called filiform. Aluminum Epoxies normally bond quite well to aluminum. always have alkaline surfaces created by the natural corrosion of zinc. aluminum oxide.g. but harder abrasives (e. following treatments may be used: • Chemical treatment such as phosphating • Wash priming (good with alkyds) • Blasting with a soft abrasive (e.

Many people prefer to use semi-transparent stains that do not seal the surfaces of wood. Defects/Failures Associated with the Coating Itself Some coating defects and failures are directly related to the coating itself. Figure 3. Also. These include: • Errors by the manufacturer in production of the coating • Coatings that have exceeded their shelf life • Inherent limitations of properly formulated coating • Incompatibility of a coating with its substrate or undercoat Coatings with Errors in Manufacture or that Have Exceeded Their Shelf Life Errors in coating manufacture do not occur very often. However. They can usually be detected in the field before use by testing for condition in container. If the viscosity does not appear to be at the proper level. may seep to the wood surface after painting to cause staining and paint deterioration. Chalking of finish coatings can best be controlled by proper selection of pigments and binders and by use of additives such as ultraviolet light absorbers. Erosion. coatings that chalk freely are more susceptible to erosion than are coatings that are more chalk-resistant. It is typically caused by deterioration of the organic coating binder by ultraviolet light (usually from the sun) to leave a loose residue of pigment and oxidized binder. An oil-based or water-borne stainblocking primer can be used for this purpose. another crystalline form of titanium dioxide. it may have deteriorated to the extent that it can no longer be successfully utilized. are quite chalk-resistant. Chalking. Rigid coatings on wood may crack when they are unable to expand and contract with dimensional changes. Some pigments such as the anatase form of titanium dioxide chalk very freely. and complete curing. Erosion may be minimized by selecting a 556 . This can be minimized by using weathered wood and sealing it before use. a test patch of coating can be applied to the intended substrate to check for such properties as ease of application. reduce chalking of underlying organic binders by shielding them from sunlight. water that enters into the wood interior may try to escape through impermeable coatings to cause blistering and/or delamination. Coatings hide wood grain and greatly reduce water permeability. hiding. Accelerated erosion may significantly reduce coating thickness and even expose undercoats. such as lower grades of pine.before painting. Resinous materials in some trees. it can be checked in the field using a viscosity cup. For this reason. leveling. epoxies and phenolics) chalk much faster than others. Erosion may also be caused by wind-blown sand or rain. Leafing aluminum pigments formulated to float to coating surfaces protect underlying binders especially well. Opaque pigments.g. as described in Federal Test Method Standard 141. Such coatings should be checked for condition in container before use. Chalking. Limitations of Coating Formulations All coating formulations have some limitations that restrict their uses to appropriate environments and services. while other pigments such as rutile. of course. Erosion is the gradual loss of coating by wear or weathering. All organic coating binders chalk to some extent. Woods are very sensitive to moisture so that they swell during periods of high humidity and shrink during periods of low humidity. In this section. but those containing aromatic chemical groups (e.. some of the more important limitations are addressed. If a stored coating has exceeded its shelf life. latex coatings that permit the passage of water vapor (sometimes called breathing) may minimize this problem. Thus. Chalking is the formation of loose powder on the surface of coatings.

Figure 6. Mildew defacement. Loss of Gloss. chalk-free coating surfaces in dry locations exposed to sun light are less susceptible to mildew than other coated surfaces. This adverse cosmetic effect can also be minimized by using formulations with stable pigments or binders. Mildew Defacement. Discoloration is the change in coating color after application (usually an undesirable darkening).e. Uneven loss of gloss. Moisture blushing can best 557 . Moisture Blushing. Mildew defacement is an unsightly appearance on coated or uncoated structures caused by the growth of micro-organisms. but some do much more than others.chalk-resistant coating with good leveling properties. Discoloration. smooth. as well as discoloration and fading. Figure 4. Mildew defacement may be controlled in architectural coatings (i. particularly fungi. Moisture blushing is the formation of a milky opalescence that may occur in humid environments where solvent evaporation reduces the temperature of an uncured coating to the dew point so that moisture condensation occurs on it. drying oil and water-borne latex coatings) by using EPA-approved mildewcides. This is more of a cosmetic effect than one that adversely affects coating film properties. To minimize discoloration. coating formulations should have stable pigments and binders. lead pigments are blackened by the attack of hydrogen sulfide gas. This cosmetic defect. Fading.. Thus. Fading is the reduction of color intensity. Erosion of topcoat on deck of a ship. Moisture blushing may also occur by the reaction of moisture in the air with polyurethanes and other moisture sensitive coatings on humid days. usually by sunlight. Figure 5. normally caused by exposure to sunlight or chemical atmospheres. This cosmetic defect most commonly occurs with fast evaporating coatings such as vinyl lacquers. is especially distracting when it occurs on the side of a structure that is partially shaded so that there is an uneven loss of gloss or color. Loss of gloss is still another defect that is caused by sunlight and can best be minimized by selecting ultraviolet-resistant coating components. Also. All coatings lose gloss in sunlight to some extent.

Brush marks. Figure 8. Orange peel. Chemical attack on coatings will occur when the coating system is not resistant to the environment. It occurs most commonly with thick films of alkyds and other drying oil-curing coatings. Orange Peel. This film may cause adhesion problems for topcoats if not removed as recommended by the epoxy manufacturer. However. Localized areas of lesser film thickness almost always exhibit deterioration before areas of 558 . Amine Blushing. Amine blushing is the formation of a milky opalescence on the wet-film surfaces of aminecured epoxies by the reaction of the amine with carbon dioxide and water in the air to form an amine carbamate. Brush marks may occur in brushapplied coatings with insufficient leveling for the wet film to flow together to form a film of uniform thickness. curing by air oxidation occurs much more rapidly at the coating surface than below it. Figure 7. Chemical attack may also occur in atmospheric service where harsh chemical fumes or vapors come into contact Brush Marks. greater film thickness. Chemical Attack on Coatings. Through-dry metal driers will help accelerate complete film curing. Moisture blushing. Wrinkling is a defect that results in the formation of small furrows or ridges in coating films. Orange peel is similar to brush marks in that it is caused by insufficient leveling of the wet film. Wrinkling. Figure 9. In these cases. Wrinkling can also be minimized by avoiding thicker film than recommended by the manufacturer. Contraction of the surface skin causes the wrinkling.be prevented by avoiding the application of moisturesensitive coatings on humid days. but the use of lead driers (some of the best through-driers) is now greatly restricted. this defect occurs with spray rather than brush application of coatings. This most commonly occurs to linings in storage tanks where they come into contact with stored chemical liquids. and a surface skin is formed that prevents further curing of the underlying binder.

Figure 10. Cracking is a general term for the splitting of a coating film to relieve stresses. Floating is the segregation of individual pigments in a coating system during curing related to differential movement in the surface tension currents caused by solvent evaporation to produce a varigated paint surface. The greater the coating thickness. These pigments can be detected during a laboratory failure analysis of the water (sometimes colored) in filled blisters. Wrinkling. 559 Mottling. It is commonly caused by pigment overload (using more pigment than can be completely wetted by the limited amount of resin present).with the coating. Different types of cracking. include hairline cracking. Flooding and floating are two cosmetic formulation defects that are sometimes confused with each other. crazing. Figure 12. Osmotic blistering may also occur if soluble salt contaminants are not completely removed from substrates during surface preparation. Mottling is the presence of differently colored spots or blotches on a painted surface. Flooding is the segregation of pigments in a coating system caused by different rates of settling in the wet film to form a uniform appearance different from that expected. other than common cracking. and/or polymerization. Cracking. checking. Figure 11. Hightemperature attack is likely to occur to organic coatings even during intermittent high-temperature service. Osmotic Blistering by Soluble Pigments. Osmotic blistering may occur to coatings with primer pigments . Most of these stresses originate by shrinking during curing. having significant water solubility. Thus. by solvent evaporation. Flooding and Floating. heat-resistant inorganic coatings are usually used at temperatures above 450°F (230°C). the more rigid it is and thus the greater its tendency to crack. When stresses exceed the cohesive strength of the coatings. Cracking. This is especially likely to occur during water immersion service. Mottling. they crack to relieve the stress. High-Temperature Attack on Coatings. Stresses increase with further polymerization and weathering.

Coating Incompatibilities Incompatibilities may occur between individual coats in a total coating system or between an existing system and a topcoat to be applied over it. It typically occurs when a rigid coating is applied too thickly. but cracking does not always occur in such a regular pattern. Mud cracking is a cracking pattern that resembles the irregular cracking of drying mud. It is wise to obtain all coatings for a total system that are known to be compatible with each other and that are produced by the same manufacturer. Figure 14.alligatoring. Figure 15. Checking. This defect often happens with inorganic zincrich coatings. other intercoat cracking. Cracking from intercoat stresses may occur when a relatively rigid topcoat is applied over a more flexible undercoat. Intercoat Cracking. Checking. and exposure to sunlight all contribute to checking. Alligatoring is a type of crazing or surface cracking with a definite pattern. heating and cooling. Mud Cracking. Wetting and drying. Five types of 560 . which are very rigid. The resulting stresses cause the topcoat to crack to expose the undercoat but not the substrate. Alligatoring. The effect often occurs when a relatively rigid coating is applied over a more flexible undercoat. as indicated by its name. Cracking usually occurs all the way through the coating to expose the substrate. and mud cracking. Mud cracking of inorganic zinc-rich coating. Alligatoring with bleeding. These stresses are similar to those previously described for alligatoring. Checking is the fine surface cracking that develops in coating films during prolonged curing and/ or weathering that does not penetrate to the underlying substrate. Figure 13.

forms of cracking. In any case.1 volts). Figure 16. the surface alkalinity on the zinc-rich primer causes this chemical degradation. Figure 17. Limited adhesion and subsequent peeling may occur to a water-dispersed (latex) coating applied over a smooth oil-based enamel. Saponification (hydrolysis). As with concrete. they are subject to saponification. Limited Adhesion.incompatibility between coatings are described here. Saponification may occur to an alkyd or other drying oil applied over a zinc-rich primer. This seldom occurs if steel-to-soil or 561 Intercoat Cracking. This defect is somewhat similar to the previously described bleeding from an asphalt pavement and migration of water-soluble dyes from wood through latex coatings. Blistering of Coatings by Hydrogen Gas Evolution. If coatings on these surfaces are not alkali-resistant. Saponification of Coatings. Alkalinity is always produced on cathodically protected surfaces. Saponification of alkyd coating. swell. The solvent dissolves some of the colored material in the existing coating and allows it to migrate through the topcoat to impart a brown surface discoloration. An example of this is a chlorinated rubber or an epoxy coating with a strong solvent being applied over a vinyl dispersion (latex) coating.. Bleeding of alkyd coating on asphalt pavement. Coatings to be used in conjunction with cathodic protection to control the corrosion of steel must be resistant to these problems.g. Bleeding often occurs when a topcoat with a strong solvent is applied to a coal-tar or asphalt coating. There is often insufficient solvent in the topcoat to penetrate the existing coating to achieve good intercoat adhesion. Topcoat solvent attack on undercoat binder may cause the latter to soften. Bleeding. Blistering of coatings by hydrogen gas evolution may occur on cathodically protected surfaces where the voltages are excessively high (e. Incompatibilities with Cathodic Protection There are three basic mechanisms by which coatings may be deteriorated by cathodic protection systems. in excess of –1. Cracking from intercoat stresses was described earlier in the discussion of different . the intercoat adhesion is significantly diminished. or disbond. Topcoat Solvent Attack on Undercoat Binder.

Flash rusting of properly cleaned steel before coating is another source of these defects. Crawling. and/or blistering may result from incomplete removal of rust.steel-to-water potentials are regularly monitored. Incomplete removal of contaminants from an existing coating before topcoating may result in intercoat disbonding. Figure 18. These recommendations should be carefully followed. Surface preparation inadequacies are either caused by inadequate removal of contaminants or by improper profile height. peeling. The coating manufacturer also provides the recommended ranges of ambient conditions suitable for successful application of each company product. Peeling. because the remaining contaminants reduce the number of bonding sites. It normally results in coating blistering and peeling. Crawling is caused by substrate contamination with oil or some other low surface energy contaminant. if any. Intimate contact between coating and substrate is necessary for good adhesion. Disbonding. uniformly thick layer to form areas of little. Electroendosmosis. thickness. peeling. or other loosely held contaminants from the substrate surface or from the presence of moisture. mill scale. Crawling (Fisheyes). dirt. Figure 19. Disbonding. Crawling (fish eyes). These recommendations may be as important as any other manufacturer recommendation. sometimes called fish eyes. is the drawing back of a liquid film from a Osmotic Blistering by Incomplete Removal of Soluble Salts. It occurs when the surface tension of a coating is greater than the surface tension of the substrate. Electroendosmosis is a mechanism of coating deterioration in which excessive cathodic potentials causes electrolyte to penetrate rapidly through a coating film. One of the best ways of minimizing adverse effects of surface preparation is by careful inspection of the cleaned surfaces and immediate correction of any deficiencies found. and/or blistering. Each commercially available primer has a surface preparation recommended by its manufacturer. Inadequate Surface Cleanliness Inadequately cleaned surfaces are very difficult to wet with coatings. Incomplete removal of soluble salts during 562 . These deficiencies cannot be corrected after coating application. and Blistering. Coating Defects/Failures from Inadequate Surface Preparation Inadequate surface preparation is generally recognized as being the chief source of coating defects and failures. Osmotic blistering caused by inadequate removal of soluble salts.

Coating Defects/Failures from Improper Coating Application As with surface preparation. Pinpoint rusting. and recoat times. recommended profile heights vary directly with the primer film thickness. usually results in early coating loss by disbonding and peeling. poor coating adhesion. Mixing Coatings Although coatings are prepared ready to apply. Thus. Use of paint shakers is not recommended. all paints should be thoroughly mixed before application to ensure that the material being applied is the homogeneous blend originally manufactured. The components of each kit must be properly proportioned for mixing together to achieve proper curing and optimum coating performance. pot life. Each component should be mixed separately and then mixed together in the order specified by the coating manufacturer. a mechanical mixer should be used at a speed set so that a small rather than a large vortex or depression on the paint surface is created in the center of the can. Improper mixing can lead to uneven color in cured paint. Plural-component spray application systems combine Components A and B together automatically in a specific ratio. Thus. Allowing stirred paint to set for several minutes before application may permit the release of entrapped air. in turn. Insufficient profile height of cleaned surfaces may provide insufficient bonding areas for adequate coating adhesion. In general. and checking or cracking of the paint film. When spraying with plural-component equipment.6 The adverse effects of soluble salts are much greater on coatings in immersion service than in atmospheric service.surface preparation may result in osmotic blistering of coatings subsequently applied. If this is not done. Pinpoint rusting may occur on coated steel structures where abrasive blast cleaning has produced so high a profile that it is not adequately protected by a relatively thin primer. Two-component coatings such as thermosetting epoxies and polyurethanes are normally supplied in kits composed of Component A and Component B. Skilled applicators are required for the successful use Insufficient Profile Height. inadequate film thickness. These salts are usually not readily visible and so must be removed and analyzed using special techniques. When applying two-component thermosetting coatings. Thus. Improper Surface Profile Each primer has a profile height recommended by its manufacturer for best performance. use of complete kits rather than partially filled kits are recommended. Excessive Profile Height. This. Therefore. careful attention must be paid to the manufacturer’s recommendations for induction.7 Coatings should not be overmixed to avoid entrapping air into them. settling of the heavier pigment portion may occur during storage. it is common practice not to use the triggering technique commonly used with other spray equipment because the ratio of components may vary significant at the start and stop of each trigger stroke. the best way to avoid coating failures resulting from improper coating application is by (1) carefully following the coating manufacturer’s recommendations for application and (2) carefully inspecting the work to permit early 563 . However. catastrophic failure may occur. Pinpoint rusting may also occur when erosion significantly reduces coating film thickness. the proportions should be checked before beginning coating application to be sure that the proportions are those specified by the manufacturer. Figure 20. It is much easier to prevent coating problems associated with improper spray application than to correct them after application. Any significant deviation from this recommendation may result in reduced coating system performance. primers with greater film thickness usually have higher recommended surface profiles. detection of defects and their immediate correction.

its weight may cause the wet coating to flow downward to form sags. it should be of the type and in the amount recommended by the coating manufacturer. maximum coating performance will not be achieved. If coating thicknesses vary significantly outside the specified range. Thinner should be added to the coating slowly and with thorough mixing to avoid overthinning one portion of the paint and the possibility of curdling the coating or flocculation of the pigment. low thickness areas limit the performance of the total coated area. Excessive coating thickness may lead to the acceleration of common cracking. 564 . lumps. or delamination. As described earlier. Deviation from the recommended gun-tosubstrate distance. If a coating is applied too thickly. Effects of Improper Spray Techniques The most uniform coating application and the best looking finishes are achieved by spray application. peeling.of plural-component application equipment. As described earlier. Non-Uniform Coating Thickness. Coatings with variable film thicknesses tend to be resin-rich in localized areas of greater thickness. or other foreign matter to avoid clogging spray equipment. as described in ASTM D 4414. Thus. As discussed earlier. thicker films have more rigidity than thinner films and thus are less able to expand and contract with substrate dimensional changes. Thinning Coatings are manufactured for application as received without thinning. or curtains. wrinkling occurs more often with thicker than thinner coatings that cure by oxidation of drying oils. runs. However. will help ensure that the desired dry film thickness is achieved. its barrier protection will be lessened. mud cracking. flaking. Sagging. Figure 21. low temperatures or other conditions may necessitate thinning to reduce the viscosity for effective application. and in the thickness range specified by the manufacturer. and standard triggering can results in defects and early coating failure. When necessary to use a thinner. Use of a wet film thickness gauge. Straining Coatings should be strained after mixing to eliminate any skins. If a coating is applied with less than the specified minimum thickness. Excess Coating Thickness. Excess thickness may also result in other types of incomplete or improper curing. and thus its service life will be reduced. Otherwise. disbondment will occur. Disbondment may take the form of chipping. the first signs of deterioration invariably occur in areas of low film thickness. Inorganic zinc-rich coatings are especially susceptible to clumping. Such defects should be detected and corrected as soon as observed. Effects of Improper Coating Thickness It is important that coatings be applied uniformly. When the total stress built up in the coating system exceeds the adhesion at its weakest point (usually primer to substrate). and/ or disbondment of relatively rigid coatings. a thinner than desired coating may contribute to pinpoint rusting on steel surfaces. Excess coating thickness may be gradually built up by application of additional coats to an existing coating system during periodic maintenance painting. constant rate of gun travel. proper spray pattern. Practice for Measurement of Wet Film Thickness by Notch Gages. holiday-free. Insufficient Coating Thickness. This often results in unsightly glossy areas sometimes called hot spots.

Topcoat solvent that enters the naturally porous film of the inorganic zinc-rich coating evaporates in the warm environment. Pinholing is sometimes caused by holding the spray gun too close to the surface with excessive atomization pressure or a combination of a low atomization pressure and excessive material pressure. It occurs most often with lacquers and other coatings that contain fast evaporating solvents. Cratering is a special form of pinholing caused by foreign matter in or deposited on the wet film. Pinholing. as described in the chapter of this book on coating inspection. Dry spray film have little. Pinholing is the formation of small holes that extend through the entire thickness of a coating. and the resulting vapors rise to the surface of the uncured topcoat to form pinholes. Holidays in coatings are best discovered using holiday detectors. interior air and solvent vapors rise to the concrete surface to form small bubbles in the topcoat. A special case of pinholing often occurs during 565 .Figure 23. holidays constitute a source of early electrolyte penetration and coating deterioration. Dry spray is a rough. This condition most commonly occurs with fast drying coatings. powdery. during periods of rising temperature. skip. This phenomenon is somewhat similar to outgassing of wet coatings on concrete. Dry spray. Coating Holidays. discontinuity. noncoherent film produced when an atomized coating partially dries before reaching the intended surface so that the coating cannot flow to form a uniform continuous film. Figure 22. in which. Dry Spray. Dry spray should not be confused with overspray. Holding the spray gun too far from the substrate may also contribute to dry spray. Topcoating Outside of Recommended Recoat Window Manufacturers of two-component thermosetting coatings specify a window of time during which Pinholing. A holiday is a pinhole. Unless detected and corrected. protective value. if any. Solvent imbalance is an important source of pinholing. Overspray consists of atomized paint particles that deflect from or miss the surface being sprayed and fall on unintended surfaces. or void in a coating film that exposes the substrate. the topcoating of inorganic zinc-rich coatings on warm days.

Drisko. Randy Nixon and Richard W. Drisko received his BS. Technology Publishing Company: Pittsburgh. osmotic blistering may be caused by the entrapped solvent. About the Author Dr. May 1990.their coatings can be successfully topcoated. Munger.. and testing. Corrosion and Coatings. 6. Factors of Uncoated and Coated Substrates that Affect Coating Performance. Coatings applied in confined spaces such as storage tanks may require both heating and ventilating to remove coating solvents and permit complete curing or curing to the extent required for topcoating. Summary There are many causes of coating deterioration. ed.. If topcoated too soon. Protective Coatings Glossary. Port Hueneme. pp 36-41. SSPC: Pittsburgh. A Review of Common Failures of Paint Coatings: Part II. 4. Richard W. the topcoat will have limited adhesion to the undercoat. Prior to this. 566 . an SSPC certified protective coatings specialist (PCS). the curing of both coats may be adversely affected. Richard W. 5. Technology Publishing Company: Pittsburgh. pp 62-66. and PhD degrees from Stanford. In order to avoid or minimize deterioration. Skinner. 2001. 8. Drisko. MS. where he conducted research. 1998. Drisko. Field Methods for Retrieval and Analysis of Soluble Salts on Substrates. Richard W. Moisture-curing polyurethanes and alkyl silicate inorganic zinc-rich coatings cure to a solid film by reaction of their binders with moisture from the air. Jim. Design Factors. Richard W. 3. SSPC: Pittsburgh. Curing wet coatings at temperatures significantly above or below the recommended range may result in improper or incomplete curing. Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. They must cure within a specific relative humidity range to achieve complete and proper curing. Drisko. Protective Coatings. If topcoated too late.eds. Charles G. Jenkins. James F. Fundamentals of Chemistry and Composition. 1994. Hare. Richard W. service. Clive H. SSPC: Pittsburgh.. Applicator Training Bulletin: Mixing and Thinning. 2000. Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. as recommended by its manufacturer • Thorough inspection of all phases of the work to ensure that all specification requirements are met • Rapid corrective actions to address any deviations from recommendations or early signs of coating defects. These include ranges of temperature and relative humidity. 7. Richard W. evaluation. July 1989. as recommended by the coating manufacturer • Appropriate application of the coating system. Drisko Dr. the following actions should be taken: • Proper selection of a high-performance coating system appropriate for the particular environment and service • Preparation of a job specification that includes all requirements necessary to achieve long-term coating performance • Appropriate surface preparation for the environment. 1992. and served as the Navy’s center of expertise on coatings for shore structures. and coating system. 2. Drisko. California. Munger.8 Moisture-blushing of coating surfaces during periods of high humidity was discussed earlier in this chapter. SSPC-TU 4. and a NACE International certificated corrosion specialist. References 1.. Charles G. A Review of Common Failures of Paint Coatings: Part I. he was employed for over 40 years at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory. He is a professional engineer in the state of California. Otherwise. Dr. Coating Defects/Failures from Improper Curing Most coatings require special conditions for proper curing. pp 65-68. The Fundamentals of Cleaning and Coating Concrete. SSPC: Pittsburgh. Drisko has been the senior technical advisor to SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings since January 1995.

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