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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” to form. 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. sometimes called “solvent pop. SOLVENT POP See SOLVENT ENTRAPMENT. See TOP DRYING in main glos- 206 . STAIN (1) A solution or suspension of coloring material formulated to provide a color to a surface. [MPDA]. irregular lines or bands or layer-edges. SPOTTING Development of small areas on a painted surface which differ in color or gloss from the major portion of the work. by differential thermal expansion or contraction. In the case of corrosion. Spalling of a concrete surface also may result from corrosion of rebar or other embedded steel. [CED] SPRAY MOTTLE See ORANGE PEEL. especially ones distinguished by color. STREAKING Long. 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. visible on a surface. (2) An undesirable surface coloration. narrow. SOLVENT RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist solvent attack. without completely hiding it or forming a continuous film. solution or disfigurement.FAILURE TERMS conditions and/or recoating too soon. [CED] SURFACE DRYING Drying of the surface of a liquid coating film before the body of the coating film. See SOLVENT RUB TEST in main glossary. It may cause blisters or pinholes. STABLE Resistant to change. for example. [CED] SOLVENT SHOCK The situation wherein some of the protective vehicle is washed off the fine pigment particles. STAIN RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to avoid change in appearance after a material capable of staining has been applied and removed. POPPING. especially wood. 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. SPECKLING See MOTTLING. resistant to chemical reaction with oxygen. SOLVENT IMBALANCE A proportion of solvent types in a coating that causes inadequate solvency or improper evaporation rates.

In some cases. Also referred to as creepage. TUBERCULATION Formation of localized corrosion products scattered over the surface in the form of knob-like mounds. UNDERFILM CORROSION Corrosion that occurs between a coating and the metal substrate without a break in the coating layer. UNDERCUTTING The gradual penetration and spread of corrosion beneath a coating from a break or pinhole in the film or from unprotected edges. T TACK The stickiness of a surface such as a paint or varnish film during the drying period. with a resultant loss of performance properties. U UNDERCURE Failure of a coating to reach its optimum degree of cure. [WJP] THROUGH DRYING Uniform drying throughout the film as opposed to bottom-drying or top-drying.FAILURE TERMS sary. coatings are tack-free after application. SWEATING The exudation of oil from a coating after it appears to have cured. See SERVICE LIFE in main glossary. V VACATION See HOLIDAY. 207 . [PDCA] TACK-FREE Absence of tack or stickiness in an applied coating after suitable drying time. TELEGRAPHING General term used to describe surface defects such as crawling that give rise to unique patterns. USEFUL LIFE The length of time a coating adequately performs its function. 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. Oil paints and spar varnishes may retain tack for several weeks after they are considered dry.

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

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

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

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

or brick picks up soluble salts and deposits them on the surface from the interior (can be on interior or exterior well of building).2. allow asphalt pavements to cure 21 days before applying paint. Store indoors in cool environment.3. and substrates where chalk is frequently removed.5 and 10. especially fast drying paints.3. Microorganisms grow. avoid opening and resealing of large containers.25 - . defacing and degrading it. Vines so close to structure that tendrils penetrate paint for support. Organic solvent in wet paint or fresh asphalt dissolves bituminous material and causes it to migrate through paint. masonry.4. especially on damp.gradual thinning of finish coat to expose undercoat BLEEDING . especially bad with thin coats. 4.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 DESCRIPTION EFFLORENSCENCE DAMAGE paint disbonding and peeling by loose.2.black fungal growth CHALKING EROSION . in sun and rain). VINE PENETRATION OF PAINT vine tendrils penetrate paint MILDEW GROWTH . SKINNING/DETERIORATION OF STORED PAINT . Relocate vines away from structure. epoxies.73 Remove loose chalk and apply chalkresistant finish coat.5 for concrete/masonry before painting. shaded paint.g.2. Clean and repaint as described in NAVFAC MO-110.10. Degradation of coating resin by sunlight leaving loose residue.brown staining of paint in asphalt or coat tar coating Use latex paint over bituminous materials. REMEDY Treat as in NCEL Tech Data Sheet 77-10 or NAVFAC MO-110. powdery material CAUSE Moisture through concrete. seal more humid side of wells. sand and re-coat damaged areas. Improper storage of paint (e.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the surface alkalinity on the zinc-rich primer causes this chemical degradation. This seldom occurs if steel-to-soil or 561 Intercoat Cracking.g. 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. Bleeding often occurs when a topcoat with a strong solvent is applied to a coal-tar or asphalt coating. Coatings to be used in conjunction with cathodic protection to control the corrosion of steel must be resistant to these problems.1 volts). Topcoat Solvent Attack on Undercoat Binder. the intercoat adhesion is significantly diminished. Saponification (hydrolysis). There is often insufficient solvent in the topcoat to penetrate the existing coating to achieve good intercoat adhesion. in excess of –1. or disbond. Limited adhesion and subsequent peeling may occur to a water-dispersed (latex) coating applied over a smooth oil-based enamel. Cracking from intercoat stresses was described earlier in the discussion of different .incompatibility between coatings are described here. Blistering of coatings by hydrogen gas evolution may occur on cathodically protected surfaces where the voltages are excessively high (e. As with concrete. they are subject to saponification. Blistering of Coatings by Hydrogen Gas Evolution. Saponification of Coatings.. Figure 17. In any case. Limited Adhesion. An example of this is a chlorinated rubber or an epoxy coating with a strong solvent being applied over a vinyl dispersion (latex) coating. 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. Saponification may occur to an alkyd or other drying oil applied over a zinc-rich primer. forms of cracking. swell. 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. Bleeding of alkyd coating on asphalt pavement. Alkalinity is always produced on cathodically protected surfaces. Figure 16. Bleeding. Saponification of alkyd coating. Topcoat solvent attack on undercoat binder may cause the latter to soften.

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

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

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

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

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

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