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

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

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

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

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

See 193 . or serves some other function such as providing a non-slip surface. COHESIVE FAILURE A failure or break within a given coat or material (the coating breaks within itself). cracking. crazing. (2) To break up into simpler chemical components.FAILURE TERMS an attractive appearance. checking. permeating force assisting ionic passage through a coating to a metal in the direction from a hot liquid to a cold wall. [CED] COLD WALL EFFECT In tank linings. a driving. CONTAMINATION Condition causing a surface. or process to become dirty or impure. The force holding a substance together. CRACKING RESISTANCE The ability to resist formation of cracks that extend through at least one coat of paint. COHESION The propensity of a substance to adhere to itself. CRACKING (1) The splitting of a dry paint film. crocodiling or alligatoring. Different types of cracking include hair-cracking or hairlines. also. as with cracking of petroleum. COBWEBBING The rapid drying of a coating (often a lacquer) during application to form fine strings instead of normal atomization. COLORFASTNESS The ability of a film of paint or varnish to show little change in original color after being exposed to a specific environment. 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. material. The standard test method for evaluating degree of cracking is described in ASTM D 661. and mud cracking. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] The ability of a single coating layer to resist internal partitioning or fracturing. COLD CHECKING The formation of hairline cracks in lacquers exposed to low temperatures. Metals corrode because they exist in chemically unstable states. 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. generally light and weathering. especially to sunlight. COLD CRACKING Crazing and cracking of a coating subjected to low temperatures or cold/ambient cycling. Color retention requirements usually are described in terms of color difference defined according to a standard test procedure. 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. the material that causes a surface to be in this state.

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

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

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

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

shows loss of color strength and poor dispersion.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. or sand-like texture in a dry coating film. GELLING (1) A defect in which an oil or alkyd paint or varnish thickens to jelly-like consistency in an unopened container. 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. semisolid network is formed. FOAMING The development of small air bubbles into liquid coatings during mixing. Flocculation is often visible as a “Jack Frost” pattern in a flowout of a dispersion. 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. exposed to conductive medium. Compare to FLOATING. See also LIVERING. or drawings that deface a wall or other surface. [ASM] FROTHING See FOAMING. Latex coatings are especially susceptible to this phenomenon because of their surface active agents used to stabilize the dispersion. Surface-active agents are often useful in reducing the extent of flocculation and hence the yield value. [AM] FOREIGN MATTER Any material in a paint or varnish or on a coating film that does not belong there. both flora and fauna. microscopically. It results in more rapid settling although it is usually soft. (2) The first stage in the cure of an epoxy or polyurethane coating in which a soft. slogans. GRAININESS A rough. it appears as a lacework or reticulum of loosely clustered particles. GRAFFITI Markings. G GALVANIC CORROSION Accelerated corrosion resulting from two dissimilar metals in electrical contact. attached to the hulls of ships and other structures in sea water that cause drag. FOGGING Misting. GLOSS RETENTION Ability of a coating material to maintain its gloss. bumpy. FOULING (BIOFOULING) Marine organisms. 198 .

zinc sulfide. HONEYCOMB Voids left in concrete due to failure of the mortar to effectively fill the spaces among course aggregate particles. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] HAIRLINE CRACKS Very fine cracks which do not penetrate the topcoat. or void in a coating film that exposes the substrate. [CED] See INCOMPLETE HIDING. high-voltage or AC electrostatic) to detect nicks. and zinc oxide are materials with high refractive indices. I IMPACT RESISTANCE Ability of a coating to resist a sudden blow. HAZING See CLOUDINESS. followed by anatase titanium dioxide. Rutile titanium dioxide. HOLIDAY Pinhole. [CED] See CRACKING. IMPACT STRENGTH See IMPACT RESISTANCE.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. scrapes or pinholes (holidays) that penetrate a coating film. 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. H HACKLE(S) Thin. HEAT AGING Deterioration of a coating as a result of exposure to elevated temperatures. HIDING PIGMENT A pigment with a high refractive index that gives the most hiding power to a coating. ability to resist deformation from impact. they occur erratically and at random. discontinuity. [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. HEAT RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist deterioration when exposed continuously or periodically to high temperatures at or below a given level. Heat resistance depends on the binder type and other coating ingredients. skip. 199 . [ASTM] HOLIDAY DETECTOR Instrument utilizing electric current (low-voltage.

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

causing discoloration and disfigurement. [Painting/Coatings Dictionary] M MIC See MICROBIOLOGICALLY INFLUENCED CORROSION. shady places.g. MILDEW Microorganisms. particularly fungi. MILDEWCIDE An additive used to enhance a coating’s ability to resist mildew growth. MILDEW DEFACEMENT Unsightly appearance on coated or uncoated surfaces caused by growth of microorganisms. e. skips. [AM] MOTTLING The presence of differently colored spots or blotches on a surface. as opposed to artificial (laboratory) accelerated weathering. 201 .FAILURE TERMS Livering usually results from a chemical reaction of the vehicle with the solid dispersed material. N NATURAL WEATHERING Gradual deterioration of a coating as a result of exposure to an exterior environment. 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.” which is reversible. but it also may result from polymerization of the vehicle. sulfatereducing bacteria found in some petroleum products and in sewage. voids. 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. The irreversible character of the changes distinguishes livered material from thixotropic “build-up. [CED] MISSES Holidays. particularly fungi. MILDEW RESISTANCE A coating’s ability to resist the growth of mildew (fungus growth) on its surface. MILKINESS Whitish or translucent appearance in an unpigmented liquid coating or film which should normally be transparent. particularly in damp. that grow on paint and other surfaces. MICROBIOLOGICALLY INFLUENCED CORROSION (MIC) Corrosion that is affected by the action of microorganisms in the environment..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which have excellent UV stability over time. In some cases. Identification of causes of problems can be fed back into the specification and application process to avoid repetition of failure events. Again. Causes of paint coating failure are frequently associated with either: • • • • incorrect specification faulty material incorrect application incorrect curing/post handling procedures. for painting galvanized coatings. and 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. The paint reacts with the zinc in the galvanized coating and loses its adhesion. oil based paints.One of the most common examples of incorrect paint selection is the use of alkyd (oil based) paints. and frequently. Water based acrylic paints have very good compatibility with galvanized coatings and rarely have adhesion problems on properly prepared surfaces. AS/NZS 2312 provides one of the most valuable reference works for paint coatings and paint . unless they are specially formulated will rarely give the same durability as water-based acrylic paints. but only its appearance. Hybrid organic/inorganic binder systems have also been developed that. while expensive. or two-pack uretahne or acrylic systems. 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. but may perform poorly in highly acidic exposures or where movement or vibration may result in cracking of the relatively infexible paint film. Epoxy coatings are often considered the cure-all for most industrial applications. Many paints have poor UV resistance. 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. coating defects do not always affect the coating’s performance. Industrial or marine applications are critical applications where the performance requirements of the paint system must be clearly understood. Those that fail prematurely will have done so because of an identifiable problem associated with their application. low solvent or solventless coatings have replaced many of the standard industrial coatings of yesteryear. paint failures can be traced to the incorrect selection of paint for the particular application. 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 . resulting in the common phenomenon of flaking or peeling paint.22 - . offer advances in durability over traditional technologies.Guide to the Protection of Iron and Steel from Atmospheric Corrosion.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 defects in paint coatings by CM Staff based on information supplied by Wattyl Paints systems. Water based. 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. There is always a reason for every coating failure. with detailed descriptions of a wide range of generic paint types. their suggested uses and characteristics.

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

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

gradual thinning of finish coat to expose undercoat BLEEDING . and substrates where chalk is frequently removed. Store indoors in cool environment. especially on damp. Relocate vines away from structure. Degradation of coating resin by sunlight leaving loose residue.10. especially fast drying paints. shaded paint. defacing and degrading it. allow asphalt pavements to cure 21 days before applying paint. 4. in sun and rain). Organic solvent in wet paint or fresh asphalt dissolves bituminous material and causes it to migrate through paint.brown staining of paint in asphalt or coat tar coating Use latex paint over bituminous materials.g. seal more humid side of wells.5 and 10.3. especially bad with thin coats. VINE PENETRATION OF PAINT vine tendrils penetrate paint MILDEW GROWTH . avoid opening and resealing of large containers. Vines so close to structure that tendrils penetrate paint for support. masonry. Microorganisms grow.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 DESCRIPTION EFFLORENSCENCE DAMAGE paint disbonding and peeling by loose. Clean and repaint as described in NAVFAC MO-110. REMEDY Treat as in NCEL Tech Data Sheet 77-10 or NAVFAC MO-110.2. Improper storage of paint (e. or brick picks up soluble salts and deposits them on the surface from the interior (can be on interior or exterior well of building).25 - . powdery material CAUSE Moisture through concrete.5 for concrete/masonry before painting.4.3. epoxies. sand and re-coat damaged areas. SKINNING/DETERIORATION OF STORED PAINT .73 Remove loose chalk and apply chalkresistant finish coat.2.2.black fungal growth CHALKING EROSION .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and mud cracking. 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. Alligatoring is a type of crazing or surface cracking with a definite pattern. Alligatoring. Intercoat Cracking. other intercoat cracking. Figure 14. Checking. These stresses are similar to those previously described for alligatoring.alligatoring. The effect often occurs when a relatively rigid coating is applied over a more flexible undercoat. Alligatoring with bleeding. Cracking usually occurs all the way through the coating to expose the substrate. Mud cracking of inorganic zinc-rich coating. as indicated by its name. Figure 15. Figure 13. Five types of 560 . 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. Checking. The resulting stresses cause the topcoat to crack to expose the undercoat but not the substrate. This defect often happens with inorganic zincrich coatings. Wetting and drying. It typically occurs when a rigid coating is applied too thickly. Mud Cracking. 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. Cracking from intercoat stresses may occur when a relatively rigid topcoat is applied over a more flexible undercoat. which are very rigid. Mud cracking is a cracking pattern that resembles the irregular cracking of drying mud. heating and cooling. but cracking does not always occur in such a regular pattern. and exposure to sunlight all contribute to checking.

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

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

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

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

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

Richard W. SSPC: Pittsburgh. Design Factors. Summary There are many causes of coating deterioration. Richard W. he was employed for over 40 years at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory. 1994. Factors of Uncoated and Coated Substrates that Affect Coating Performance. Drisko. A Review of Common Failures of Paint Coatings: Part I. ed. 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. 2. Protective Coatings Glossary. Hare. These include ranges of temperature and relative humidity. Technology Publishing Company: Pittsburgh. If topcoated too soon. and PhD degrees from Stanford. Drisko Dr. 1998. 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. About the Author Dr. Dr. the topcoat will have limited adhesion to the undercoat. Drisko. Drisko received his BS. osmotic blistering may be caused by the entrapped solvent. pp 65-68. Technology Publishing Company: Pittsburgh. 7. Skinner. The Fundamentals of Cleaning and Coating Concrete. SSPC: Pittsburgh. 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. 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. 2000. 3. Protective Coatings. Drisko has been the senior technical advisor to SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings since January 1995. Otherwise. evaluation. Jim. as recommended by the coating manufacturer • Appropriate application of the coating system. Randy Nixon and Richard W. 6. References 1..8 Moisture-blushing of coating surfaces during periods of high humidity was discussed earlier in this chapter. where he conducted research. They must cure within a specific relative humidity range to achieve complete and proper curing. 566 . Prior to this.. Richard W. the curing of both coats may be adversely affected. July 1989.. service. Fundamentals of Chemistry and Composition. Munger. May 1990. Drisko. SSPC: Pittsburgh. Charles G. 2001. Curing wet coatings at temperatures significantly above or below the recommended range may result in improper or incomplete curing. an SSPC certified protective coatings specialist (PCS). Jenkins. Clive H. Richard W.their coatings can be successfully topcoated. pp 36-41. Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. 4. He is a professional engineer in the state of California. Drisko. and testing. MS. Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings. pp 62-66. Richard W. Drisko. Richard W. 5.. James F. In order to avoid or minimize deterioration. and coating system. A Review of Common Failures of Paint Coatings: Part II. SSPC: Pittsburgh. If topcoated too late. Port Hueneme. Field Methods for Retrieval and Analysis of Soluble Salts on Substrates. Coating Defects/Failures from Improper Curing Most coatings require special conditions for proper curing. 8. California. Charles G. Munger. 1992. and a NACE International certificated corrosion specialist. Applicator Training Bulletin: Mixing and Thinning.eds. Corrosion and Coatings. SSPC-TU 4. and served as the Navy’s center of expertise on coatings for shore structures.

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