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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEEDING Formation of small. SILKING A surface defect characterized by parallel hairlike striations in coated films. uncoated areas. Scaling is the last stage of cracking. SOLVENT ENTRAPMENT The failure of solvent to completely evaporate from a paint film due to inadequate drying 205 . SHRINKAGE The roughening of the surface of a coating resulting in loss of gloss or wrinkle. extenders or other solid matter in a paint in a container. undesirable particles or granules in a paint. varnish. more likely to occur to a previously opened or partially filled container. Moisture entering cracks in the paint film destroys its adhesive property and results in the flaking or scaling of the paint. voids. 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. [AM] SISSING See CISSING. misses. with a consequent accumulation on the bottom of the can. SKIN A solid or semisolid membrane that sometimes forms on paint or varnish in the can. SKIPS Holidays. [AM] SOILING See DIRT ACCUMULATION. [CED] SEEDS See SEEDINESS. [AM] SETTLING The sinking of pigments.FAILURE TERMS SCALING Paint failure that causes a coating to fall off in flakes or chips. SKINNING Formation of a thick film (skin) on the surface of a liquid paint during storage. or lacquer. SEEDINESS The occurrence of particles in a coating formed from action of reactive pigments and acidic components of the binder during storage that result in a roughened surface on the cured film. [CED] SEPARATION Division into components or layers by natural causes. [PDCA] SEDIMENTATION Action or process of depositing matter (sediment) that settles to the bottom of a liquid.

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

U UNDERCURE Failure of a coating to reach its optimum degree of cure. 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. V VACATION See HOLIDAY. 207 .FAILURE TERMS sary. See SERVICE LIFE in main glossary. [PDCA] TACK-FREE Absence of tack or stickiness in an applied coating after suitable drying time. [WJP] THROUGH DRYING Uniform drying throughout the film as opposed to bottom-drying or top-drying. tack may not develop until a little later. SWEATING The exudation of oil from a coating after it appears to have cured. In some cases. T TACK The stickiness of a surface such as a paint or varnish film during the drying period. TELEGRAPHING General term used to describe surface defects such as crawling that give rise to unique patterns. Oil paints and spar varnishes may retain tack for several weeks after they are considered dry. coatings are tack-free after application. USEFUL LIFE The length of time a coating adequately performs its function. UNDERCUTTING The gradual penetration and spread of corrosion beneath a coating from a break or pinhole in the film or from unprotected edges. Also referred to as creepage. with a resultant loss of performance properties. UNEVEN LOSS OF GLOSS Uneven loss of gloss is a cosmetic coating surface defect in which there is a variation in reduction of sheen such as may occur where there is partial shading.

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

22 - . oil based paints. Again. Many paints have poor UV resistance. The paint reacts with the zinc in the galvanized coating and loses its adhesion.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 defects in paint coatings by CM Staff based on information supplied by Wattyl Paints 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. offer advances in durability over traditional technologies. and frequently. 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. Identification of causes of problems can be fed back into the specification and application process to avoid repetition of failure events. In some cases. Hybrid organic/inorganic binder systems have also been developed that. paint failures can be traced to the incorrect selection of paint for the particular application. for painting galvanized coatings.One of the most common examples of incorrect paint selection is the use of alkyd (oil based) paints. INTRODUCTION Recognising the type of paint failure encountered in the field is an important mechanism in ensuring quality coatings and coating application. but only its appearance. unless they are specially formulated will rarely give the same durability as water-based acrylic paints. low solvent or solventless coatings have replaced many of the standard industrial coatings of yesteryear. Those that fail prematurely will have done so because of an identifiable problem associated with their application. their suggested uses and characteristics. There is always a reason for every coating failure. but may perform poorly in highly acidic exposures or where movement or vibration may result in cracking of the relatively infexible paint film. 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 . or two-pack uretahne or acrylic systems. while expensive. 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. which have excellent UV stability over time. 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. Industrial or marine applications are critical applications where the performance requirements of the paint system must be clearly understood. Water based acrylic paints have very good compatibility with galvanized coatings and rarely have adhesion problems on properly prepared surfaces. Water based.Guide to the Protection of Iron and Steel from Atmospheric Corrosion. 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. and again. Epoxy coatings are often considered the cure-all for most industrial applications. with detailed descriptions of a wide range of generic paint types.

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

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

in sun and rain).2. avoid opening and resealing of large containers. powdery material CAUSE Moisture through concrete.10. masonry. epoxies. or brick picks up soluble salts and deposits them on the surface from the interior (can be on interior or exterior well of building).brown staining of paint in asphalt or coat tar coating Use latex paint over bituminous materials. Organic solvent in wet paint or fresh asphalt dissolves bituminous material and causes it to migrate through paint.2. Improper storage of paint (e. Degradation of coating resin by sunlight leaving loose residue. defacing and degrading it. and substrates where chalk is frequently removed.73 Remove loose chalk and apply chalkresistant finish coat.3. SKINNING/DETERIORATION OF STORED PAINT .5 and 10. especially bad with thin coats. Clean and repaint as described in NAVFAC MO-110. allow asphalt pavements to cure 21 days before applying paint. sand and re-coat damaged areas.2.3. especially fast drying paints. VINE PENETRATION OF PAINT vine tendrils penetrate paint MILDEW GROWTH . Store indoors in cool environment. Microorganisms grow.5 for concrete/masonry before painting. 4. seal more humid side of wells. especially on damp.4.black fungal growth CHALKING EROSION . shaded paint.gradual thinning of finish coat to expose undercoat BLEEDING . REMEDY Treat as in NCEL Tech Data Sheet 77-10 or NAVFAC MO-110. Vines so close to structure that tendrils penetrate paint for support.g.CORROSION MANAGEMENT July 2000 DESCRIPTION EFFLORENSCENCE DAMAGE paint disbonding and peeling by loose.25 - . Relocate vines away from structure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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