SSPC Annual Report

From JPCL, April 2014

This annual report gives an overview of the activities, plans, and status of SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings from January 1, 2013,
through December 31, 2013. The information enclosed gives the most current figures for all programs.
SSPC had another successful year by increasing training program delivery and continuing to develop and market new training programs.
We continue to look at foreign markets as a way to expand SSPC and continue to reinforce our message that the use of protective coatings
is the best solution for corrosion control.
Marketing efforts continue to focus on core SSPC member demographics spread across a broad range of industries and disciplines that use
protective coatings.
Individual training and certification remain the hallmarks of our association. In 2013, training and certification increased in revenue by 11.7%
as SSPC courses were requested or specified to meet the needs of the industry in general. New training courses developed in 2013 are
noted later in this document. We also have continued to conduct training for all of our armed forces, the U.S. Coast Guard, and NASA under
the auspices of the University of Akron contract with the Department of Defense Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight.
SSPC’s Protective Coatings Inspector (PCI) Certification was also written into the specifications for several companies in 2013, shown
in Table 1.

SSPC Protective Coatings Inspector (PCI) Certification Specification Companies in 2013
Bahrain Petroleum: Bahrain
EcoPetrol: Colombia
Formosa Plastics: Taiwan
Petronas: Malaysia
PTT–Facility Maintenance: Thailand
Qatar Gas: Qatar
Saudi Aramco: Saudi Arabia
Shell Sarawak: Malaysia
Suncor Energy, Inc.: Canada
TransCanada: Canada
Valero: Texas
Again, the Florida Board of Professional Engineers approved our entire program for the 2014 conference for Professional Education Units,
and the American Institute of Architects approved four sessions at our 2014 conference for Continuing Education Units.
In the area of providing information, SSPC posted headlines on our website relating to government activities that may affect the coatings
industry. We also had 783 technical information inquiries in 2013. We are now finding that many of the coatings-related technical
conversations are taking place on social media outlets such as LinkedIn or Facebook, not on SSPC’s Coatings Talk. By participating in these
interactions, a user may make use of the outstanding knowledge and expertise SSPC membership provides.
This year, SSPC awarded five scholarships to deserving students who are studying in the coatings field. The Board has directed that this
increase to six students in 2014.
SSPC is a member-based organization. We are evaluated on how well our programs and services meet the needs of our members and the
protective coatings industry.
Standards and Publications
Our core product is our standards. Two new standards were issued, and five standards were revised in 2013. New and updated standards
are listed in Table 2.

Standards and Publications Completed in Year Ending December 2013
SSPC-Paint 44 Liquid-Applied Organic Polymeric Coatings and Linings for Concrete Structures in Municipal Wastewater Facilities,
Performance-Based – August 2013
SSPC-Paint 45 Two-Component, Thick-Film Polyurea and Polyurea/Polyurethane Hybrid Coatings, Performance-Based – December 2013
SSPC-AB 1 Mineral and Slag Abrasives – April 2013
SSPC-Guide 15 Field Methods for Retrieval and Analysis of Soluble Salts on Steel and Other Nonporous Substrates – November 2013
SSPC-Paint 23 Latex Primer for Steel Surfaces, Performance-Based – March 2013
SSPC-Paint 36 Two-Component Weatherable Aliphatic Polyurethane Topcoat, Performance-Based – September 2013
SSPC-QP 9 Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualifications of Commercial Painting and Coating Contractors – December 2013
The past year saw an increase in the total number of certified contractors. Three hundred sixty contractors, many holding multiple
certifications, have achieved certification, an increase of 9.4% over 2012. The past year also saw an increase in the total number of certified
coating and lining inspection entities. Ten companies have achieved Coating and Lining Inspection Company Certification in 2013.
In the Protective Coatings Specialist Certification (PCS) program, we have 283 participants certified, the same number as last year. A
breakdown of the certification programs is shown inFigure 1. Not listed in the figure are Aerospace Coating Applicator Specialist and Thermal
Spray Certifications. They are new certifications and have had few attendees.

Fig. 1: Individual certification programs
SSPC training programs continue to grow overall. The SSPC C-1, Fundamentals of Protective Coatings, and the C-2, Planning and
Specifying Industrial Coatings Projects courses have continued with 119 [-27%] students trained this past year.
The number of students taking advantage of our online offerings for these courses has increased this year to 178 [+10%]. The Applicator
Basics eCourse was taken by 25 students [+47%]; Basics of Concrete Surface Preparation eCourse (short course) by 19 [-9.5%] students;
Basics of Steel Surface Preparation eCourse (short course) by 43 [-20.3%] students, and the Basics of Non-Ferrous Metal Surface
Preparation eCourse (short course) was taken by 18 [+63.6%] students.
For Lead Supervisor Competent Person Training and Refresher courses (C-3 and C-5), 2,088 [+5.1%] students received training. The C-7
Abrasive Blasting Course had 282 [-23.9%] personnel trained. Airless Spray (C-12) had 171 [-32.1%] students trained, WaterJetting (C-13)
had 79 [-15.9%], and Marine Plural Component (C-14) had 81 [+12.5%]. The Applicator Train-the-Trainer course had 52 [+18.2%] students.
The Quality Control Supervisor Course (QCS) had 11 [-31.3%] students, with another 144 [-20.4%] taking the online version of the course.
Seven students attended Evaluating Common Contract Clauses [+16.7%]; 21 trained in the Navigating 009-32 [+10.5%]; 27 in the Basics of
Estimating Industrial Coatings Projects [-37.2%]; and 15 in the Project Management course [+150%]. Twenty students attended the Thermal
Spray course [+150%] and seven students took the Using SSPC-PA 2 Effectively course.
The Coating Applicator Specialist (CAS) program made strides again this year with 66 [-24.1%] achieving CAS Level 1 and 913 [+25.1%]
achieving CAS Level 2 or Level 2 Interim Status. Also, 148 individuals attended the one-day CAS Refresher course that was offered for the
first time in 2013. SSPC’s Aerospace Coating Applicator Specialist program had eight participants this year [-20%].
SSPC’s Concrete Coating Inspector Certification (CCI) Program had 51 [-34.6%] students and the Floor Coating Basics course had 42, only
one less than the prior year. There were 394 [-25.2%] students in the NAVSEA Basic Paint Inspector (NBPI) Program, 107 [-25.7%] in the
Bridge Coating Inspector (BCI) Program, and 575 [+81.3%] students completing the Protective Coating Inspector (PCI) program.
An additional 23 individuals achieved PCI Level 3 Certification. Twenty-five students took the PCI online course, which is the same number
as in 2012, and five attended the Protective Coating Inspection Instrument Workshop that was held for the first time in 2013.
SSPC continued the free Webinar program that began in 2010. Six Webinars were given in 2013. This year’s webinar attendance was 605.
SSPC continues to offer a short online exam for each Webinar that provides Recertification Units toward an individual’s PCS credentials.
One-hundred forty-three individuals took an online Webinar exam in 2013. All of the Webinars in the 2013 series are archived and can be
viewed on
The average number of unique visitors to our site is 18,265 per month, an 11% increase from last year. We also acquired one new domain
name for possible use in the future.
During the reporting period, SSPC organizational membership (OM) increased to 901, or 4.4%. Individual membership grew from 9,689 in
December 2012 to 10,068 in December 2013, an increase of 3.9%. A breakdown of individual members’ demographics is shown in Fig. 2;
however, it remains nearly the same as the previous year. We are pleased with the progress in increased organizational and individual
membership. However, we cannot remain satisfied with the status quo.

Fig. 2: Individual membership demographics
There were changes to the Board of Governors in 2013. The Board welcomed Jay Kranker from DRYCO, LLC, representing other product
suppliers (Table 3).

Board of Governors
*Benjamin S. Fultz
Bechtel Corporation
Houston, TX
Facility Owners
*James R. King, Jr.
John B. Conomos, Inc.
Bridgeville, PA
Coating Contractors
*L. Skip Vernon
CLT, Inc.
Tijeras, NM
Other Service Providers
*Stephen Collins
Immediate Past-
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Thomaston, GA
Coating Material Suppliers
Gunnar Ackx SCICON Worldwide bvba
Brugge, Belgium
International Representative and Other Service
Derrick Castle Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Frankfort, KY
Facility Owners
Jay Kranker DRYCO, LLC
Palm Desert, CA
Other Product Suppliers
Garry D. Manous Atsalis Brothers Painting
Warren, MI
Coating Contractors
Victor Pallotta ARS Recycling Systems, LLC
Lowellville, OH
Other Product Suppliers
Brian Skerry The Sherwin-Williams Company
Cleveland, OH
Coating Material Suppliers
Marty Stamey The Brock Group
Beaumont, TX
Coating Contractors
Joseph Walker Elcometer
Rochester Hills, MI
Other Product Suppliers
Gail A. Warner Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding,
Newport News, VA
Facility Owners
Robert McMurdy
Mohawk Garnet, Inc.
Ontario, Canada
International Representative and Other Product
Key staff members remained the same. They are: Bill Shoup, Executive Director; Michael Damiano, Director of Product Development;
Barbara Fisher, Controller; Mike Kline, Director of Marketing; and Terry Sowers, Director of Member Services.
We are pleased to report that SSPC again met its financial goals for the FY that ended December 31, 2013. The reserve fund now stands at
$8.106M, which would cover one year of the 2013 annual operating revenue. SSPC has met its financial goals by increasing operating
revenue by $507,000 while only increasing expenses by $285,000. SSPC’s investment income increased from $879,000 in 2012 to
$1,705,000. The financial details for the last fiscal year and the prior fiscal year are presented in Tables 4 through 6. Those charts
demonstrate that SSPC continues to be a financially sound organization, and all of our financial indicators and ratios are very healthy.

Revenue Versus Expense (Unaudited and before final adjustments)
Memberships $1,098,000 $1,038,000
Standards and publications $576,000 $625,000
Conferences $855,000 $850,000
Certification & training $4,556,000 $4,072,000
Other* $1,774,000 $941,000
Total Revenue $8,859,000 $7,526,000
Memberships $882,000 $812,000
Standards and publications $587,000 $608,000
Conferences $705,000 $688,000
Certification & Training $2,881,000 $2,679,000
Other** $824,000 $807,000
Total Expense $5,879,000 $5,594,000
Net Surplus (Loss) $2,980,000 $1,932,000
*Includes revenue from royalties, interest, and external projects.
**Includes expenses for SSPC chapters, governance, regulatory advocacy, knowledge center, external projects, general administration,
and strategic plan implementation.

Statement of Financial Position as of 12/31/13 (Unaudited)
Cash $587,000 $587,000
Investments $12,513,000 $4,407,000 $8,106,000
Accounts receivable $333,000 $333,000
Inventory $127,000 $127,000
Total $13,560,000 $5,454,000 $8,106,000
Equipment $416,000 $416,000
Less depreciation ($396,000) ($396,000)
Net equipment/building $20,000 $20,000
Total $20,000 $20,000 -0-
Prepaid expenses $179,000 $179,000 -0-
Total Assets $13,759,000 $5,653,000 $8,106,000
Accounts payable $79,000 $79,000
Deferred revenue $1,291,000 $1,291,000
Accrued expenses $334,000 $334,000
Total Liabilities $1,704,000 $1,704,000 -0-
Net Assets - Unrestricted $12,055,000 $3,949,000 $8,106,000
Total Liabilities and Net Assets $13,759,000 $5,653,000 $8,106,000

Changes in Net Assets (Unaudited)
Unrestricted net assets - December 31, 2012 $9,102,000 $3,159,000 $5,943,000
Transfer from general operating fund to reserve fund ($1,000,000) $1,000,000
Prior Year Adjustment ($27,000) ($27,000)
Change in net assets as a result of current operation $2,980,000 $1,817,000 $1,163,000
Unrestricted net assets -December 31, 2012 $12,055,000 $3,949,000 $8,106,000
Respectfully Submitted:

William L. Shoup, Executive Director
THE JOURNAL OF PROTECTIVE COATINGS & LININGS ©2014 Technology Publishing Company
Whose Responsibility is Safety Anyway?
From JPCL, April 2014

More items for Health & Safety

Keeping workplaces safe is the responsibility of both employers and their
employees. Photos courtesy of Spider.
The safety aspects of various activities in the coatings industry must be addressed daily on all job sites. However, there are many safety
aspects of our work that involve more complex issues than the worker or foreman can address alone. In this article, we try to cover some of
these. For example, who is responsible for carrying out site safety inspections? Who is responsible for correcting safety hazards? And,
perhaps most importantly, whose responsibility is safety anyway?
European Directives
Directive 89/391/EEC is the framework directive that contains basic provisions for health and safety in the workplace. It is the basis for
subsequent directives covering safety in the workplace. These directives are implemented in each member country through national
regulations. Although these national regulations can be different in each country, they must meet the minimum requirements of the European
directives. A list of the various national laws implemented by the European Union countries can be located at

Employer Obligations Worker Obligations
Evaluate the risks to safety and health of workers, including work equipment,
chemical substances present or used, and fitting-out of work places
Make correct use of tools, materials, PPE provided
Implement measures to improve level of protection Immediately inform employer of imminent danger
situations or gaps in protection
Inform and consult with workers and take into account worker capabilities Cooperate with employer in meeting requirements
related to safety
Inform, consult, and discuss safety and health with workers Refrain from disconnecting, changing, or removing
arbitrary safety devices fitted
Document accidents
Provide health surveillance as dictated by national laws
Arrange for first aid, firefighting and evacuation when workers exposed to serious and
immediate danger

Directive 89/391/EEC establishes fundamental obligations for both the employer and workers.

Employers and employees alike must assess all potential risks
to keep workplaces safe.
Directive 89/654/EEC—Workplace Requirements, is part of the umbrella of 89/391/EEC. It establishes additional obligations for the employer
 maintain clear routes to emergency exits;
 perform prompt technical maintenance of equipment and the workplace;
 clean the workplace and equipment on a regular basis to maintain an adequate level of hygiene; and
 regularly inspect and maintain safety equipment.
Since the original publication of this article, the EC issued several amendments to 89/391/ECC to address various other safety concerns.
Directive 2007/30/EC is aimed at suppliers and users of machinery and establishes general duties of employers and minimum requirements
related to the safety of work equipment. It requires routine maintenance of work equipment and information and training of machine operators
in the safe use of machines. Other amendments have been expanded upon to include the requirements and practices for conducting risk
Risk assessments are the cornerstone of the European Union approach to prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses. Risk
assessments are required to include the following:
 identifying hazards and those at risk;
 evaluating and prioritizing risks;
 deciding upon preventive actions;
 taking action;
 monitoring and reviewing effectiveness of corrective actions; and
 documenting the risk assessment and results.
All companies with five employees or more must make written assessments of the potential risks workers face from jobrelated activities.
These assessments may cover certain repetitive tasks that employees may find on various job sites, but more particularly, they are intended
to determine the potential risks involved with each particular job. Furthermore, the employer must determine what steps to take to reduce or
eliminate these risks and then notify the employees of both the risks and the precautions being taken.
Employers are required to develop an action plan for performing risk assessments. The action plan must accomplish the following:
 identify the person performing the assessment, including evidence of his or her competence (risk assessors may be internal or
 provide necessary information, training, resources, and support for conducting the risk assessment;
 ensure coordination;
 involve management and the workforce;
 review the risk assessment;
 inform workers and representatives of the results of the risk assessment;
 implement preventive and protective measures based on the risk assessment;
 document the risk assessment; and
 monitor and ensure that preventive and protective measures are effective.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or harmed at work. The law
required employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The Act created the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA also provides
information, training, and assistance to workers and employers. Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they
believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards.
Under the OSH Act, employer responsibilities include:
 providing a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and complying with standards, rules, and regulations issued under
the OSH Act;
 examining workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA standards;
 making sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment and properly maintain this equipment;
 using color codes, posters, labels, or signs to warn employees of potential hazards;
 establishing or updating operating procedures and communicating them so that employees follow safety and health requirements;
 providing safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand;
 developing and implementing a written hazard communication program; training employees on the hazards they are exposed to
and proper precautions; keeping copies of safety data sheets readily available; and informing employees about hazards through
training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets, and other methods (for employers with hazardous
chemicals in the workplace);
 performing tests in the workplace, such as air sampling required by some OSHA standards;
 providing medical examinations and training when required by OSHA standards;
 posting the OSHA poster (or the state-plan equivalent) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities at a prominent
location within the workplace;
 reporting any fatal accident or one that results in the hospitalization of three or more employees to the nearest OSHA office within
8 hours;
 keeping records of work-related injuries and illnesses. (Note: Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain low-
hazard industries are currently exempt from this requirement)*;
 providing employees, former employees and their representatives access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
(OSHA Form 300). On February 1, and for three months, covered employers must post the summary of the OSHA log of injuries
and illnesses (OSHA Form 300A)*;
 providing access to employee medical records and exposure records to employees or their authorized representatives;
 providing to the OSHA compliance officer the names of authorized employee representatives who may be asked to accompany
the compliance officer during an inspection;
 not discriminating against employees who exercise their rights under the Act; also known as ―Whistleblower Protection‖;
 posting OSHA citations at or near the work area involved, which must remain posted until the violation has been corrected or for
three working days (whichever is longer), and posting abatement verification documents or tags; and
 correcting cited violations by the deadline set in the OSHA citation and submit required abatement verification documentation.
Under the general duty clause, employers are also required to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards. This clause is
generally cited when no OSHA standard applies to the hazard.
Interestingly, when you search the OSHA website for employee responsibilities under OSH Act of 1970, there are no hits. The OSH Act and
subsequent regulations exclusively focuses on employer responsibilities, and is silent on the responsibilities of the employee.
*Note: These regulations are currently being updated.
Multi-Employer Worksites
One big challenge under the OSH Act is related to construction workplaces where there are multiple employers exposing employees to
hazards. OSHA has developed OSHA Directives CPL 2-0.124—Multi-Employer Citation Policy (Dec. 10, 1999), which identifies the types of
employers present on a construction project site, determines the scope of safety duties and responsibilities for each employer type, and
defines the reasonable care they are responsible for providing to ensure the safety of their employees.
The policy categorizes employers into four primary types—Controlling, Creating, Exposing, and Correcting. The employer type designates
the safety duties and responsibilities each employer has on a construction project. These duties include following the required safety
practices for their work activities; assuming the responsibility of the safety of their employees; and not creating safety hazards for the
employees of other subcontractors. Anyone, including owners, contractors, engineers, etc., involved in multi-employer construction work can
be designated and cited for more than one employer type.
Controlling Employer
Contractors with general supervisory authority over the work site and with the power to correct safety and health violations or to require
others to correct the hazards are Controlling Employers. This control is established by contract or by practicing control of the project site.
The Controlling Employer must take reasonable care to prevent and detect violations on the project site; however, the Controlling Employer’s
responsibility is less than what is required of a subcontractor to protect its own employees. The Controlling Employer is not normally required
to inspect for hazards as frequently as, or to have the same trade expertise or knowledge of the applicable standards as the subcontractor it
has hired. The Controlling Employer’s frequent and regular care responsibilities are based upon the scale of the project, the work scope, how
much the employer knows about the safety history and practices of the subcontractors it controls, and how much the employer knows about
the sub-contractors’ level of expertise. If the Controlling Employer knows that its subcon-tractors have a record of non-compliance, then more
frequent and regular inspections are required. Individual specialty subcontractors have a higher degree of responsibility to exercise
reasonable care to protect their employees than the controlling contractor.
The Controlling Employer’s responsibilities include:
 creating a site-specific safety program;
 enforcing the safety policy for the project site;
 providing general supervision of project activity and safety;
 exercising authority to correct safety hazards;
 exercising authority to require other specialty subcontractors to correct safety hazards;
 conducting and documenting frequent and regular inspections of subcontractor site-specific work; and
 conducting and documenting frequent and regular safety meetings with subcontractors.
Creating Employer
A subcontractor who causes a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA regulation is categorized as the Creating Employer. This employer
is citable even if the employees exposed to the hazard are other subcontractors’ employees.
Exposing Employer
Subcontractors whose employees are exposed to hazards on the project site are defined as the Exposing Employer. If the Exposing
Employer also created the violation, it will be cited as the Creating Employer. If the violation was created by another employer, the Exposing
Employer will be cited if it neglected to protect its employees. When the Exposing Employer does not have the authority to correct the
hazard, it is citable if it did not take reasonable protective measures for its employees.
The Exposing Employer has the following responsibilities:
 conduct frequent and regular inspections (usually daily) and safety meetings (usually weekly) by specialty subcontractors on a
consistent basis to protect employees from safety hazards on the project site;
 provide an effective system to enforce the prompt correction of hazards, both recognized and foreseeable; and
 if the employer does not have the authority to fix a problem, inform the controlling contractor/employer of the hazard and take the
appropriate steps to keep all employees away from the hazardous condition until it is fixed.
Correcting Employer
Subcontractors on the same work site responsible for correcting a hazard are classified as Correcting Employers. They are responsible for
taking reasonable care to prevent and discover violations and to meet their obligations to correct the hazard.
The Creating, Exposing, and Correcting Employers all have similar responsibilities, including the aforementioned responsibilities of the
Exposing Employer. The criteria for these categories of employers and associated parties does not necessarily follow subcontract
Make sure that you understand your role related to multi-employer worksites and take the necessary actions to protect your employees.
Employers have specific, regulatory-driven duties and responsibilities, including risk assessment, training, protective equipment, and
monitoring compliance in the United States and in European Union member countries.
Employees must be made aware of fundamental health and safety responsibilities and the risks they face in the use of chemicals, solvents,
and other hazardous materials that are part of industrial coatings work. They should remember that everybody is his or her own safety
officer, meaning that each employee has a responsibility to look out for his or her own personal safety.
When it comes to safety, employees have three basic responsibilities:
 to comply with all the OSHA/ EU standards and with the employer’s safety and health rules;
 to report any hazards immediately to their supervisor; and
 to report to their supervisor any job-related illness or injury.
So, whose responsibility is safety anyway? The simple answer is that the responsibility belongs to everyone.
Editor’s Note: This Applicator Training Bulletin is an updated version of the article, “Whose Responsibility is Safety Anyway?” which was
authored by Brendan Fitzsimons of Pyeroy Ltd. (Gateshead, UK) and offered some ideas about safety in the European Union. The article
was originally published in the October 2000 issue of Protective Coatings Europe and was updated this month by Alison B. Kaelin, CQA,
ABKaelin, LLC, to address current thoughts and to add information regarding the United States.
THE JOURNAL OF PROTECTIVE COATINGS & LININGS ©2014 Technology Publishing Company
Incorrect mixing of multi-component coatings
From JPCL, April 2014

Valerie Sherbondy PCS
KTA-Tator, Inc.
Rich Burgess
KTA-Tator, Inc., Series Editor
Many important industrial coatings are two- or even three-component products (also referred to as two-pack, 2K, or three-pack, 3K) in which
a chemical reaction between the components results in a coating film. The components are packaged separately and require mixing at a
specific ratio to form the desired final product. The compositions of the materials in the individual cans are very different. When the
components are mixed together, they undergo a chemical reaction resulting in a cross-linked polymer material that forms a protective
The product data sheet for the purchased material provides the correct mixing ratio of the components and the manufacturer’s information
concerning mixing parameters. While there are two- and three-component materials, this column will focus primarily on two-component
products because they are more prevalent in the coatings industry.
Typically, coating manufacturers supply the materials in two premeasured containers that contain the correct amount (ratio) of each
component. The proper component is identified by its label, and the supplied amount of the base is mixed with the supplied amount of the
activator. The premeasured packaging, usually referred to as a mixing kit, permits use of the product without the need to separately
proportion each component in the shop or field. Yet, somehow, even with the premeasured packaging, there are occasions when the
components are not mixed in the correct proportions. In some cases, the measuring and proportioning of individual components of a pre-
packaged kit may be required because the materials are supplied only in large quantities (e.g., 5-gallon kits), and the pot life may limit the
amount of material that can be used in a single mix. Additionally, maintenance schedules and requirements to repair small areas, which may
not require use of a full kit, may necessitate proportioning. Most manufacturers do not recommend (and may even prohibit) proportioning of
components for a product supplied as a packaged kit.
Correct Mixing Ratio
The correct mixing ratio of coating components for a 2K product is determined by the manufacturer—specifically, the coating formulator.
Some slight variation of the mixing ratio may not necessarily negatively impact the performance of some coating types, such as polyurethane
and epoxy materials. Rapid-cure coating products commonly applied by plural-component spray are often more sensitive to mixing ratio
variations, and the performance characteristics of the final coating can vary greatly with small deviations. The allowable variation from the
proper mixing ratio depends on the type of coating, the formulation, and the end-use properties.
The correct mixing ratio is related to the chemical stoichiometry of the two reacting coating components. There are two components, and
each has a known amount of chemically active sites that will be needed to chemically bond to form the final film. The reaction is chemically
balanced when the two components have an equal number of available sites for the reaction to optimally occur and form the polymer. This is
another way of saying that all of the reagents are consumed with no deficiency or excess of either the base or the activator component. This
optimal chemical balance may not always translate to a mixing ratio of one part base to one part activator, or even a somewhat convenient
ratio of two parts base to one part activator.
Scientific studies have revealed that the more intuitive the mixing ratio, the less likely the materials are to be mixed improperly; however,
there is no accounting for the human element. When working in heated environments, the pot life of two-component materials can be
shortened, sometimes considerably. A situation occurred when an application in the morning sun resulted in a significant reduction in the pot
life of the coating. The fast reaction had caused substantial waste and cost due to the shortened pot life, resulting in properly mixed but
unusable coating material. The applicator attempted to conserve the remaining material by applying only component A and omitting
component B. Because component B was a relatively small portion (the mixing ratio was 20A:1B), it was believed that the remaining quantity
of the thicker component A alone would sufficiently cover the surface as a continuous film, and that the heat would cure the coating.
Needless to say, the cure time was extended indefinitely. A dry film thickness reading could not be obtained because the coating did not
harden sufficiently, and the subsequent coating layers could not be applied.
Effects of Off-Ratio Mixing
If the two components of the coating material are mixed at a ratio that differs from the ratio specified by the manufacturer, then a change in
the final film properties can occur. Sometimes these changes are not evident while the coating is being applied and show up only after the
coating is placed into service (Fig. 1). In other cases, the defects caused by off-ratio mixing are visually evident during application (Fig. 2).
There is not a single, direct physical property that is affected by off-ratio mixing that can be used as a marker for all two-component
materials. Therefore, identifying an off-ratio mix is difficult to recognize as the sole reason for the observed defect.

Fig. 1: Three mixes of the same material all cured to glossy
finishes with the same hardness. Photos courtesy of KTA-
Tator, Inc.

Fig. 2: Over-catalyzed material formed bubbles, creating an
uneven surface. Foaming occured at the incorrect mixing ratio
on the right side.
When the coating components are mixed off-ratio, the chemical reaction is out of balance, and the presence of excess reactant can cause a
visual change in the material. The most visually apparent and tactile cases result in a coating material that does not cure; the material
remains unreacted and, essentially, wet (Fig. 3). This can lead to runs and sags and the adherence of dirt and debris to the soft, sometimes
sticky surface of the unreacted material. Another example of an immediate visual change is cracking, which can occur quickly, as the two
components are reacting and forming a film that is more rigid than the intended coating (Fig. 4). In other cases, even if the chemical reaction
is not complete, there is no immediate visible change. For example, in Figure 5, all of the films produced by the proper and off-ratio mixes
appear similar. Probing the surface revealed that the off-ratio mix on the left side was much softer than the other two mixes. With or without
the visual variations, it is important to remember that the component that is in excess remains in the film. The remaining material may or may
not lead to changes in appearance. In some cases, the film produced by an off-ratio mix may perform for a certain period of time, depending
on the coating type and the service environment, as well as the degree to which the material was mixed off-ratio.

Fig. 3: Off-ratio, under-catalyzed mix on the right side did not
cure, even after several months.

Fig. 4: Off-ratio, under-catalyzed mix on the left side cracked
abundantly. The inset is shown at 20x.

Fig. 5: Three mixes that were similar in gloss
and appearance displayed variations in
Evidence of Mis-Mixing by Coating Type
An epoxy coating mixed at an improper ratio may form a film that is hard and not visually different from a film mixed at the proper ratio. In this
case, some of the properties that may be altered by components that are mixed off-ratio include, but are not limited to, flexibility, chemical
resistance, water resistance, and hardness. Depending on the service environment and the property affected by the off-ratio mixing, the
defect may not be immediately noticeable. For example, an improperly-mixed epoxy applied to a concrete substrate may still protect the
substrate if the only resultant defect is a decrease in flexibility. However, the same improperly-mixed epoxy coating applied to flexible steel
decking may fail and eventually delaminate at the first change in environmental conditions that causes the decking to move or flex. Another
example is the epoxy floor coating (Fig. 6) that appeared to be fine when it was first applied, but after the building was occupied, the coating
was easily scratched. Eventually the coating had to be completely replaced, mainly because of aesthetics. Conversely, if the off-ratio epoxy
material was applied to provide chemical resistance, the mis-mixed film may soften, discolor, or go into solution upon exposure to chemicals,
thereby providing no chemical protection to the underlying substrate. Additionally, even if the coating appears acceptable, application of a
top-coat containing solvents may weaken an underlying epoxy mid-coat or primer and lead to future delamination. If the epoxy being applied
is an amine-cured material, the excess amine could lead to an amine exudate (blush) on the surface, which can result in delamination of the

Fig. 6: Decreased abrasion resistance of an epoxy floor coating due to off-ratio mix, viewed at 50x.
Two-component urethane materials that are not mixed at the proper ratio tend to form softer films that are prone to discoloration or may
display variations in gloss. Figure 2 shows how the excess component B leads to the formation of voids and bubbles within the coating. Apart
from immediate visible defects, the energy produced by solar radiation can result in early deterioration of the improperly mixed urethane
resin, causing color fading and loss of gloss. Additionally, the coating may not develop proper adhesion to the substrate or underlying
materials. Some of the raw materials used to formulate urethane materials can be water sensitive, so the incomplete reaction of these
constituents can have detrimental effects on the water resistance of the coating. The increased water sensitivity can further change the
properties of the final film, with increased occurrences of voids and water erosion, similar to the reactions that can occur when uncured,
properly-mixed urethane coatings are exposed to water prematurely.
There are numerous types of polyurea resins, blends of polyurea resins, and hybrid formulations. The rate of reaction of the two components
of these coatings makes them seem to be more sensitive to off-ratio mixing than other multi-component coatings. Because there are so
many formulation variables, all of the defects listed above for both epoxy and urethane materials also apply to polyurea materials. The mixing
ratios of these materials can vary widely, and the application equipment must be accurate and functioning properly for the components to
blend properly. Mixing normally takes place at the gun tip and is complete within a matter of seconds to several minutes. When products
react this quickly, there is a greater degree of sensitivity (precision) for complete introduction and mixing of the two components. The final
film of off-ratio material may have physical evidence of mis-mixing, including swirls and streaks of unreacted materials (Fig. 7). In other
cases, the material may not develop adhesion to the underlying surface. Other coating defects may be noted after the structure is placed in
service. Because the materials normally develop hard, chemical-resistant films immediately, a deficient film may be difficult to identify early in
its life cycle unless testing is conducted.

Fig. 7: Discolored coating due to off-ratio mix of plural-
component material, magnified at 20x.
Examining Coatings for Mixing Ratio Variations
Solvent Sensitivity
The quickest and easiest way to examine some two-component materials for mixing ratio variation is with a solvent rub test. The most
common method to assess solvent sensitivity is ASTM D5402, Standard Practice for Assessing the Solvent Resistance of Organic Coatings
Using Solvent Rubs. This method involves saturating a cloth with a suitable solvent and rubbing the surface of the coating. Most Product
Data Sheets list a coating’s expected solvent resistance value. If the final film does not meet the required number of double rubs, then the
two components potentially were not mixed correctly. This method can be performed in the field, and, depending on the coating type and
conditions of application and curing, usually within 12 to 48 hours after application.
Analytical Methods
There are several analytical methods that also can be used to determine the mixing ratio of coating materials after they have been applied.
Most of these methods require liquid coating samples of the components. The components are then mixed at the proper ratio and mixed
again at ratios representing an over-catalyzed and an under-catalyzed mix. The dried films are then analyzed to graph a 3-point data curve,
which can be used to compare the data obtained from the allegedly mis-mixed coating material and the control samples. There are several
techniques that can use laboratory-prepared samples to arrive at a mixing ratio confirmation. Infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning
calorimetry, and nitrogen content are three of the techniques that will be reviewed below.
Infrared Spectroscopy
Samples analyzed by infrared spectroscopy generate infrared spectra, which can be interpreted to determine the ratio of peaks representing
the resin and pigment portions of the material, provided the pigment components are exclusive to one of the two components. Additionally,
reaction materials and the reaction products may also be used to follow the cure of the two components. An example of this technique is
presented for an epoxy material in Figure 8.

Fig. 8: Epoxy mixing ratio variations
In the figure, the peak at 1,506 is from the epoxy component, and the peak at 1,454 is due to the curing agent (component B). Because the
ratio of these bands varied with the mixing ratio for this material, the ratio of these peaks can be used to show proper or improper mixing. For
example, note that the 1,508 cm
band is larger than the 1,454 cm
band in the first mixing ratio (1A:1B), and the 1,454 cm
decreases in size relative to the 1,508 cm
band as the amount of component B is decreased, showing that the coating is off-ratio. This
technique is useful if the materials have an initial mixing ratio of 1:1, 2:1, and 4:1. As the amount of the activator decreases beyond the 4:1
mixing ratio, the mixing ratio variations may not be evident by this technique.
Similarly, Figure 9 represents the use of infrared spectroscopy to determine the mixing ratio of a urethane material. In this case, the two
bands used for the evaluation were the 1,730 cm
band (resin) and the 1,690 cm
band (catalyst). As the amount of catalyst is increased,
the 1,690 cm
band increases in size relative to the 1,730 cm
band. Although these examples show clear mixing ratio variations for these
products, these band pairs and this technique may not work to examine mixing ratio variations in all epoxy and urethane materials.

Fig. 9: Urethane mixing ratio variations
Differential Scanning Calorimetry
Samples analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) produce data curves that are used to define the glass transition temperature of
the material. The glass transition temperature is affected by the degree of cross-linking of the cured coating. A cured coating product exhibits
a specific glass transition temperature. An example of a classic glass transition temperature of a properly-mixed material is portrayed
in Figure 10. If the two components are not mixed at the proper ratio, the glass transition temperature will change. For example, an under-
catalyzed material cannot achieve the cross-link density of the product mixed at the proper ratio, and subsequently, the glass transition
temperature would be lower than expected. Conversely, when the same material was over-catalyzed, the cross-link density was greater than
the properly-mixed material and resulted in a higher glass transition temperature. The higher glass transition temperature material is often
associated with a more brittle film, which may be prone to cracking.

Fig. 10: DSC of properly-cured epoxy
Nitrogen Content
Samples analyzed for nitrogen content are limited to coating products in which only one of the components contain a nitrogen material. For
example, the unreacted isocyanate of urethane coatings can be quantified. Control samples (mixed at the correct ratio, over-catalyzed, and
under-catalyzed) are used to determine the amount of nitrogen in the product mixed at the correct ratio, as well as the change in nitrogen
content when excess and deficient amounts of isocyanate are present. The nitrogen content typically exhibits a linear relationship between
deficient and excess amounts of isocyanate (based on the mixing ratio). The linear relationship can be used to back-calculate the mixing
ratio of the field-applied coating when tested using the same technique.
The effects of mixing a two-component material at a ratio that is different from the ratio specified by the manufacturer can cause a wide
range of defects, and some of these defects can lead to coating failure. The defects are based on the type of materials being mixed, the
degree of deviation from the correct ratio, environmental conditions during mixing, and any influence of the substrate material. If off-ratio
mixing of components is suspected, there are screening tests that can be used to evaluate the coating in the field, as well as subsequent
laboratory tests that can provide more definitive evidence of an off-ratio mix of the two components.
Valerie Sherbondy is the Technical Manager for the Analytical Laboratory for KTA-Tator, Inc., a consulting and engineering firm specializing
in industrial protective coatings. Ms. Sherbondy has been employed at KTA since 1990 and has provided laboratory support for the
investigation of hundreds of coating failures and coating testing programs. She holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh
and is an SSPC-Certified Protective Coating Specialist, a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and a committee chair for
NACE International.
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