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BASIC COATINGS TECHNOLOGY Lloyd M. Smith, Ph.D. Vice President Corrosion Control Consultants and Labs Herndon, Virginia, USA Coatings have many uses in industrial situations. They are used for corrosion control, chemical resistance, heat resistance, temperature control, identification, decoration, camouflage, fire retardation, noise control, anti-fouling protection, and many other reasons. Corrosion protection is one of the primary uses of coatings in industrial applications. Corrosion is the destruction of material by chemical or electrochemical reaction on exposure to the environment. All materials, including metals, concretes, and plastics, will eventually corrode. However, coatings are a cost-effective method of controlling corrosion. Alternatives include the use of alloys or composite materials that may be more corrosionresistant but not as cost-effective. This book is organized by generic types of industrial protective coatings rather than by enduses. Different generic types of coatings may be used for the same application. Alternatively, a generic coating type may have many end-use applications. The user or specifier must determine the most appropriate or cost-effective coating system for particular structures and exposure environments, and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type of paint or coating. Terminology used in the industry can be confusing. The terms paint, coating, and lining sometimes are used interchangeably, but there are differences in their meanings. The Paint/Coatings Dictionary1 defines paint and coating as follows: • Paint - Any pigmented liquid, liquefiable or 1 mastic composition designed for application to a substrate in a thin layer which is converted to an opaque solid film after application. Used for protection, decoration, or identification, or to serve some functional purpose such as the filling or concealing of surface irregularities, the modification of light and heat radiation characteristics, etc. • Coating - A liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which is converted to a solid protective, decorative, or functional adherent film after application as a thin layer. Based on these definitions, the major difference between paint and coating is that paint is pigmented, while no such requirement is mentioned for coating. They both are liquid, liquefiable, or mastic compositions that are converted to a film after application as a thin layer. Therefore, varnishes and clear coats are coatings but not paints. Processes such as galvanizing and metallizing also meet the definition of coating. With galvanizing, for example, zinc is heated to a liquefiable state and applied as a thin layer. It is converted to a solid film with a decorative or functional purpose. While the distinctions between paint and coating appear to be minor, it is common in the industry to distinguish between them, even though most materials used are pigmented and meet the definition of paint. Coating generally refers to materials used for protective or functional purposes, while paint refers to materials used for aesthetic or decorative purposes. Thus, a structure is coated while a room is painted. This
The basic concepts and terminology of the coatings industry are presented here to help the reader better understand the information presented about the various generic types of coatings in this book. other resin types can be modified with epoxy resin. They also can be dissolved by the original solvent used in the coating. There are many similarities in composition. They also can provide improved durability. differentiation is emphasized further by some who refer to the materials used in industrial situations as protective coatings. There also are some differences. and cohesion. that makes them relatively infusible. acrylic. Smith. depending on the formulation. since they are the materials left after the coating has dried. chemical resistance. however. coatings. the resin composition of an epoxy coating may be different for epoxy coatings from different suppliers or even for different products from the same manufacturer. and many combinations of 2 epoxy resin and hardener. and solvent. Most coatings are named by the generic type of resin (i. undergo a chemical reaction by the action of heat. Resins can be classified as thermoplastic or thermosetting. although some bright color pigments are insoluble organic compounds. vinyl. Resin and solvent comprise the liquid portion of a coating. The resin component of most coatings is a mixture or chemical blend of materials. The type of resin system also determines a coating’s curing mechanism.e. and use of paints. and protection to light-sensitive resins. Thermosetting resins. the definition does not exclude coatings from use as linings. ultraviolet light. catalysts. In addition. etc. There are different types of epoxy resin. referring to a coating as an epoxy—or any other type of resin— provides only limited information. . Epoxies are such a resin. The three main components of a coating are the resin. Resins Resin is the binder that holds the pigment particles together and provides adhesion of the coating to the surface. However. They do not harden and soften by heating and cooling or redissolve in solvent. and linings. weather resistance. they are called the vehicle. pigment.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. Titanium dioxide is a commonly used prime pigment for white and light tints. So. Pigments Most pigments are inorganic compounds. In fact.). although thermosetting resins that cure by such methods as heating. Resin and pigment are referred to as the film solids. Coatings based on thermosetting resins usually are packaged in two or more containers. polyurethane.” Liners commonly are thought of as thick. coatings are the standard material for lining the inside of water storage tanks. or reaction with constituents in the atmosphere come in one container. Prime pigments provide opacity. for example. Coatings based on thermoplastic resins usually are packaged in one container. The definition of lining from the Industrial Maintenance Coatings Glossary2 is “a material used to protect a container against corrosion and/ or to protect the contents of a container from contamination by the container shell material. including hardness.. handling. COATING COMPONENTS A coating can contain as few as three or four ingredients or as many as twenty or thirty ingredients. builtup systems containing matting or similar reinforcing material. Thermoplastic resins can be repeatedly softened by heating and hardened by cooling.. abrasion resistance. a term for hiding power. Therefore. The resin or binder is responsible for most of a coating’s physical and chemical properties. weathering. Vinyls are such a resin. Together. adhesion. ultraviolet light. Other pigments are added for color. PhD. etc. epoxy.
the dry film will not have the properties or performance designed by the formulator. the cohesive and adhesive strength may be reduced. and clays. federal. provide flow-out and leveling during application. heatresistance coatings. Flat. zinc-rich primers. Some coatings. The main technologies currently being used are high-solids and water-borne coatings. a co-solvent may be needed. phosphosilicates. VOC regulations are having a profound effect on coatings formulation. and other compounds.. However. such as inorganic zinc-rich primers. The solvent can control the rate of chemical reaction in some coatings.8 Ibs/gal (450 g L). silica. and local air quality regulatory agencies set limits on the volatile organic compound (VOC) content allowed in coatings. control viscosity. A coating formulation usually contains a blend of solvents.e. increases moisture permeability. This is necessary because of the mechanism by which they provide corrosion protection. the VOC content limit for industrial maintenance coatings varies from 2. add mechanical strength to the film. Still another group of pigments. because they are low in VOC content. and decreases the tendency to blister. with no viable alternatives available. such as mica and aluminum flake.excerpted from GENERIC COATING TYPES: An Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Coating Materials Some coating types contain anti-corrosive pigments for corrosion protection. If settled pigments are not redispersed in the mixing process. phosphites. chromates. There even are some coatings on the market that contain no volatile organic compounds. Adding more pigment reduces gloss. Solvents are not part of the dry film. They evaporate during the drying or curing process. A critical parameter in a coating film is the pigment-to-resin ratio. High-solids . known as extender or filler pigments. platelike pigments. For example. The coatings formulator determines the acceptable PVC for a particular product. are used to decrease moisture permeability. Coating manufacturers are concentrating their research and formulation efforts on developing VOC-compliant coatings. This is why properly mixing a coating prior to use is so important. reduce gloss. These variances were obtained due to the unique characteristics or uses of these coatings. those containing an excess of resin) have high gloss. reduce settling.0 Ibs/gal (240 g/L) to 3. and a potential to blister. are intentionally formulated above the CPVC. known as the pigment volume concentration (PVC). Solvents dissolve or disperse the resin. Currently. The properties of the dry film depend upon maintaining the proper ratio of pigment to resin. Examples of these pigments are talc. Properties of a coating film change dramatically near the critical pigment volume concentration (CPVC). state. and improve film-build. When the CPVC is exceeded so there is insufficient binder to wet the pigment particles and fill in the void spaces. 3 Solvents The main function of the solvent is to provide ease of coating application. The resin is dissolved or dispersed in the primary solvent. and control adhesion and durability of the dry film.and chromium-based compounds historically used for this purpose are being replaced by nontoxic metal compounds such as phosphates. As a result. the point at which there is just sufficient binder to coat the pigment particles and to fill the voids between them. if one of the resin constituents is not soluble in the primary solvent. Organic solvents contribute to the production of photochemical smog. depending on locale. Lead. Other solvents may be added to control the evaporation rate or to provide adequate flow-out and leveling. some organic compounds. The maximum VOC content allowed varies by locale and by coating type or use. Coatings formulated below the CPVC (i. and swimming pool coatings have a higher VOC limit than industrial maintenance coatings. low moisture permeability.
4 Performance data—information about chemical resistance and physical properties of the coating— may be presented on a data sheet either as subjective ratings or as the results of test methods developed by consensus standards organizations such as ASTM. PhD. Product data sheets contain a wealth of information about the proper selection. antimicrobial agents. which is the topic of ASTM B 117. Smith. use. percent solids by weight. and recommended dry film thickness. therefore. the manufacturer should be consulted. . and film-forming aids. The amount of information and the form in which it is presented vary by manufacturer. viscosity. which contain a solvent blend that can be thinned with water. If it is unclear whether the intended use falls within the recommended uses of the material. primer. such as density. Emulsion systems employ a number of additives. Information on selection and use of the coating is presented mainly for specifiers. These measurements are determined by simple laboratory tests. flash point. freeze-thaw stabilizers. Data sheet information on compatible coatings indicates acceptable primers (or whether the coating can be applied directly to a substrate) and topcoats. dispersants. and solvents. Weldon3 discussed interpretation of the results of some of these tests. including wetting agents. percent solids by volume. and fair. The other class is water-reducible coatings. intended uses of the product (i. Note there are no standard definitions in the industry for subjective ratings such as excellent. and basic physical characteristics of the coating. Other additives may be incorporated into a coating formulation to control consistency and pigment settling or improve sag resistance. and viscosity are useful if there is a need to quantitatively verify that a batch of paint was manufactured to tolerance. Others include this information in a separate document such as a coating system selection guide or specifier’s guide. Hard. This information typically includes the generic type of coating. Multiply the percent solids by volume by the wet film thickness to determine the expected dry film thickness. Density. Water-borne coatings consist of two classes of materials. including the VOC content when the coating is thinned with the recommended thinner. However. in which water is the main solvent.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. coatings contain a high percentage of solids. Additives In addition to resins. acceptable substrates. One such common test is for salt fog resistance. brittle resins such as vinyls contain plasticizers to produce a more flexible film. and. Some manufacturers present information on recommended coating systems. The product data sheet also may indicate where the coating should not be used.. gloss. Method of Salt Spray (Fog) Testing. pigments. Interpreting these test results requires knowledge of the test methods and the performance of coating materials of similar generic type. and application of a particular coating. Many manufacturers also report the VOC content of the product. Oil-based coatings.e. intermediate coat. many coating formulations contain additives— specialty materials that vary widely depending on the resin type. proper use of a coating requires them to follow information supplied by the manufacturer. or topcoat). for example. they should be interpreted with caution. PRODUCT DATA SHEET Users and specifiers need not know coating formulation. hence less solvents. good. percent solids by weight. There are latex or emulsion coatings. and recommended exposure environments. The percent solids by volume can be used to calculate how much coating material to apply to achieve the desired dry film thickness or to determine the expected dry film thickness for the applied wet film thickness. Other categories of product data sheet information include the color. contain driers to promote curing.
solvent entrapment. Higher levels of cleanliness are acceptable. The user/specifier must determine that the minimum surface cleanliness required is achievable before using/specifying a particular product. Like other perishables.excerpted from GENERIC COATING TYPES: An Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Coating Materials Coatings must be applied within or near the manufacturer’s recommended thickness or thickness range. or other defects. Users and specifiers should check these requirements to determine if they are reasonable for expected conditions or if careful planning of the timing of mixing and application is needed. The way a coating is mixed can affect its performance. The cleanliness of the surface to which the coating will be applied is usually presented with reference to surface preparation standards from consensus organizations such as SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings. coatings have a shelf life. Using the wrong type or amount of thinner can cause a variety of application or curing problems. which is their storage limit in an unopened can. On the other hand. Thinning instructions generally are included with mixing instructions. Induction time and pot life are temperature-dependent—shorter in warm temperatures. shelf life can be as 5 long as a few years or as short as several weeks. This information is as important to the user and specifier as it is to the applicator. Pot life is the maximum amount of time a coating can be applied after it is mixed. application. Storage conditions are important because coatings are complex mixtures of chemicals. or problems may occur. Product data sheet information on surface preparation. The surface cleanliness level indicated on the data sheet is the minimum. delamination. mixing. or mechanical means. or ASTM. cold. Likewise. If not. such as a specific temperature range Proper mixing of a coating is required to make it homogeneous. Coatings that are supplied in multiple containers must be mixed in the proper order and in the proper proportions after the individual components are mixed. longer in cool temperatures. mixing must be done carefully to blend the materials without overagitation. specifying a coating too thick may require two coats. The quality of a coating can deteriorate with time due to heat. Some coatings can be mixed by stirring. The recommended thinner should not be replaced with another thinner without the manufacturer’s approval. Multicomponent coatings are packaged so correct chemical proportions will result if all contents of each container are combined. NACE International. lower levels are not. Rust may form sooner than expected on steel substrates. Induction time is how long a mixed coating must pre-react in the can before it can be applied. Both the type and amount of thinner to be used are important. Specifying a coating too thin may affect the life of the coating system. Even then. The requirements for primers applied to steel will include both cleanliness and surface roughness or anchor profile. Depending on the coating. Successful use of a coating requires adhering to any relevant induction time and pot life requirements listed on the product data sheet. the result may be a substandard film. adding significantly to the cost of application. . blistering. The product data sheet should indicate storage conditions. Others can be mixed by mechanical means only. for example. Surface preparation specifications may range from solvent cleaning for application of a topcoat to white metal blast cleaning for complete removal of all previously applied coating material. applying a coating in one coat at a dry film thickness significantly above the manufacturer’s recommendation can result in lack of curing. mudcracking. which can introduce air or moisture into the coating and result in application or curing problems. storage. or moisture. and drying all relates to the use of the coating. because the thinner must maintain a proper balance of properties in the coating. shaking.
A thickly applied layer may cure through with additional time.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. There also may be a maximum dry-to-recoat time that may require special attention or planning. In severe cases of delamination resulting from saponification. Air-oxidizing coatings generally are applied at low film builds. the top of the coating cures. relative humidity. The oil-containing portion of the coating is an ester. including dry-to-touch (the time for a coating to be tack-free). but sooner or later the system will become too brittle. it actually may be possible to wet . Good painting practice requires that surface temperature be at least 5˚F (3˚C) above the dew point. and final cure. PhD. Smith. This section explains the characteristics and 6 differences of each method. which should be checked before selecting a coating. recoat times are relatively long—days for some formulations. Air Oxidation Coatings that cure by air oxidation contain drying oils. The alkali may come from the substrate. better known as soap. Application conditions generally listed on data sheets include materials temperature. that information should be on the product data sheet as well. Some coatings can only be applied by spray methods. such as 2 to 3 mils (50 to 75 micrometers) dry film thickness per coat. as are reaction products of some active metals. Crosslinking of the resin polymers occurs by reaction with oxygen in the air. skill of the work force. This information should be reviewed in light of any site and project limitations. Coating films that contain oils may undergo a process called saponification. and dew point. Likewise. dry-torecoat (the time when another coating layer can be applied). CURING MECHANISMS Cure refers to the length of time before a coating can be put into service. chemical reaction. Temperature and relative humidity requirements are product specific. notably zinc. and availability of specialized equipment may mean that certain types of coatings would be unsuitable in particular circumstances. Product data sheets may include a drying schedule. but it takes longer for oxygen to permeate the film. limiting oxygen permeation to the rest of the coating. They can surfacecure if applied too thickly in one coat. Therefore. Site ambient conditions can limit the choice of coatings. Drying times and cure generally are presented as a minimum amount of time at a specific temperature. Portland cement concrete is an alkaline surface. so they would not be suitable where only manual methods can be used. the coating is hard on top and soft on the bottom. but an excessively thick coating layer will not. As a result. it must be totally removed and replaced. This causes the coating to become brittle with time. Different types of drying times may be presented. dry-to-handle (the time when a coated piece can be moved carefully). Then. When this occurs. which is the hydrolysis of an ester by an alkali with the formation of an alcohol and a salt of the acid portion. and hydrolysis. Oxidation continues after a coating has cured. There are four curing mechanisms for coatings: air oxidation. The slow-drying characteristic of oil-based primers can be an advantage since the coating can flow into the surface. These include oilbased coatings and some hybrid coatings. Site conditions that fall outside the specified range may be altered. ambient temperature. factors such as site restrictions on spray painting. The salt formed is a metallic salt of a fatty acid. The solvent evaporates when the coating is applied. surface temperature. solvent evaporation. or lose adhesion. If a coating requires a specific type of application equipment. Air-oxidizing coatings are easily recoatable. such as by dehumidifying a contained area or warming it with indirect heat in cold weather. too thick.
chlorinated rubbers. These coatings are made by dissolving the resin in an appropriate solvent. the solvent is water. and asphaltics are examples of coatings in this class. but the curing mechanism does not change.excerpted from GENERIC COATING TYPES: An Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Coating Materials a surface and form a lather. and waterreducible epoxies still cure by chemical reaction. after mixing. Solvent-evaporating coatings have low moisture permeability and protect by a barrier mechanism. roller. so they cannot be worked with a brush or roller. Solvent Evaporation Coatings that cure by this method only require that the solvent evaporate from the film. Vinyls. No crosslinking or chemical reaction occurs during film formation. referred to as the hardener or curing agent. The amount of organic solvent used is relatively small. Because of saponification. Air-oxidizing coatings have moderate moisture permeability. Although water is the main solvent in waterborne coatings. they are useful on substrates such as concrete and wood that are porous. Epoxies. Air-oxidizing coatings generally are formulated in one component and have unlimited pot life. giving a good bond. The other can contains the crosslinking agent. or spray. The resin. VOC-compliant formulations are difficult to make. Latex films have relatively high permeability. galvanized surfaces. These types of coatings contain thermoplastic resins. Therefore. and the materials can only be applied and cured above . which coalesce to form a 7 film as the water evaporates. They have good water and sunlight resistance but poor solvent resistance. One can contains the resin. Chemical Reaction Coatings that cure by chemical reaction are packaged in two or more containers. which means the components form a film by a chemical crosslinking reaction. anticorrosive pigments usually are added to the primer formulation for products applied to steel. They become viscous quickly. The chemical reactions are temperature-dependent. becomes thermosetting. However.” Anticorrosive pigments are used in latex coating systems designed for steel. which involves attraction and entanglement of the resin molecules to the point where their movement is restricted. or spray. water-reducible alkyds still cure by air oxidation. organic cosolvents usually are included in the formulation so the emulsified resin particles are compatible with the water. Chemically cured coatings have a pot life and may have an induction time. The coalescing reaction is temperature-dependent. They are easy to apply by brush. In these cases. Latex and other water-borne coatings also cure by solvent evaporation. The resin is present as emulsified particles. so these coatings generally have reduced VOC levels. Application methods include brush. Therefore. oil-containing coatings should not be applied to concrete. Waterreducible coatings contain a solvent blend that can be thinned with water. Solvent-evaporating coatings have relatively low solids. although drying is retarded. or “breathe. polyurethanes. The curing mechanism does allow low temperature application. or zinc-rich primers. Solvent-evaporating coatings are applied by spray methods only. roller. Therefore. and polyesters are common coatings that cure by this mechanism. a distinction must be made between emulsion coatings and water-reducible coatings. A number of resins that cure by other mechanisms can be made compatible with water. and there is a proper temperature range in which they can be applied. They are easy to repair because the topcoat solvent softens the existing film.
Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air. Good barrier coatings have very low moisture vapor transmission rates. The properties of the barrier film provide these coatings with good chemical and Solvent resistance. the more active metal will corrode to protect the less active metal. These films have low permeability and protect by barrier formation. Understanding protection mechanisms is an asset in the proper design of coating systems. which is the rate at which moisture vapor permeates a coating and reaches the substrate. Most chemically cured coatings can be applied by brush. The function of the primer is to provide adhesion to the surface for subsequent coats. One indicator of a coating’s ability to act as a barrier is its moisture vapor transmission rate. Coatings with high moisture vapor transmission rates incorporate anticorrosive pigments for application to steel substrates. air at 70˚F (21˚C) will have a higher absolute humidity (grains of water per unit volume of air) than air at 50˚F (10˚C) when the relative humidity is the same at both temperatures. hard film. moisture in the air will react with the resin. Zinc metal also can be spray-applied by a process called metallizing. or spray equipment. which gives the formulator great latitude in designing VOCcompliant systems. which is likely to have a maximum recoat time. sacrificial coatings contain zinc in electrical continuity with the steel.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. inhibitive pigment protection. Some pigments react with certain species that accelerate corrosion. Moisture-cure coatings have a pot life. and sacrificial protection. solvent-borne inorganic zinc-rich primers and moisture-curing polyurethanes are the two main coating types that cure by this mechanism Humidity is as important—if not more important— than temperature in the cure of these coatings. Therefore. They are carried to the substrate where they passivate the steel. for instance. They separate the substrate from the environment. There are a number of resins and hardeners that can be combined. PhD. PROTECTION MECHANISMS The three mechanisms by which coatings can protect a substrate are barrier protection. especially sunlight and moisture. For example. or mechanically applied by a method known as sherardizing. Zinc metal is more active than steel. Self-curing. Coatings that cure by hydrolysis require a sufficient amount of moisture in the air to react with the chemical groupS to form the film. roller. DESIGN OF A COATING SYSTEM A coating system consists of surface preparation and one or more coats of material applied in a specific order. Smith. All coatings protect partially or solely by barrier 8 protection. the minimum application temperature. Hydrolysis Hydrolysis means reaction with water. The crosslinking reaction that occurs usually results in a smooth. Surface preparation includes both level of cleanliness and roughness (anchor profile). forming an insoluble compound to protect the substrate from those species. Some primers for steel contain anti- . These pigments are slightly soluble. Since they are exposed to air during mixing and application. causing it to polymerize. Corrosion theory states that when two dissimilar metals are in contact and corrosion conditions exist. and a small amount dissolves as moisture permeates the film. Zincrich primers. contain elemental zinc dust as the major pigment. The first coat of material applied to a surface is the primer. moltenapplied by hot-dip galvanizing.
such as forklifts or carts. It make no sense to place an inhibitive pigment system on top of a barrier coating. Water Resistance Water resistance can involve many different situations. Designing a coating system starts with identifying desired properties for a particular 9 service and identifying limitations that may exist. It is rare that only one coating system is available for a specific use. for example. are important properties of topcoats in many situations. Coatings protected from sunlight. It may include one coat. specification guides. A wealth of information is available to assist the user/specifier in selecting a coating system. with direct exposure being the most aggressive. For heavy exposures. Desired properties may include one or more of the following: corrosion resistance. heat resistance. a coating system does not always consist of three coats of material. Aesthetics. For light exposures. water resistance. The second coat in a multicoat system is the intermediate coat. Color and Gloss Retention Color and gloss are functions of the topcoat. expected life of service. An intermediate coat provides thickness for increased barrier protection as well as specific chemical resistances. In most cases. There is a relationship between coating life and total thickness of a coating system.excerpted from GENERIC COATING TYPES: An Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Coating Materials corrosive pigments. sunlight. An intermediate coat also can serve as a tie coat between an incompatible primer and topcoat. the coating material selected for each layer. the major decision is the type of primer. such as airborne particles. which must be compatible with the substrate. For instance. depending on such factors as severity of the exposure environment. In selecting coating material. The last coat of material applied is the topcoat. This information can be found in technical literature about industrial maintenance coatings as well as in government-sponsored research or evaluations. but this is a secondary function. or industry-oriented literature. An important concept is that the entire coating system provides corrosion protection. Deterioration of color and gloss will result from exposure to sunlight. the source of abrasion may be air-borne particulates. and chemicals. and the thickness of each layer. two coats. Designing a coating system should take into account the curing and protection mechanism of the coating layers. or three or more. abrasion resistance is primarily a function of the topcoat. Abrasion Resistance Abrasion resistance in a coating may be needed for a variety of reasons. chemical (including fuel) resistance. Alternatively. there are alternatives that can be used. abrasion resistance. It also adds to the barrier protection of the coating system. The life of a corrosionresistant coating system depends on surface preparation. Corrosion Resistance Corrosion resistance is a desired property of many coating systems. Also. Important considerations in specifying color and gloss are the initial gloss desired and the exposure environment. Its main function is resistance to weather. on the other hand. such as vehicular traffic. will have very little deterioration. such as color and gloss. cleanability. including immersed structures such as . However. and appearance requirements. a floor coating may need resistance to vehicle traffic. abrasion resistance is a function of the complete coating system. many coatings manufacturers recommend coating systems in their data sheets. color and gloss retention. and ease of maintenance.
Some coating systems are intended to be replaced once degraded. weather. although chemical contaminants can also be in the air. Special coatings are needed for higher temperature exposures. it may only be possible to perform hand-tool cleaning. it refers to situations when an upset occurs and is cleaned up in a timely manner. access to the surface. either with or without application of a full topcoat. and budget. such as for primary or secondary containment structures. Heat Resistance Heat resistance may be needed for constant or intermittent heating conditions. drying times. A chemically resistant coating also may be needed for splash and spillage areas that receive intermittent exposure to a chemical. such as acid. to others. it refers to constant intermittent exposure. Therefore. for example. Chemical Resistance Chemical resistance is a primary consideration of linings that may be exposed to liquids. For instance. Smith. Some situations may require almost constant maintenance to a coating system. structures downwind from a chemical plant. Cleanability and scrub resistance are mainly functions of the topcoat. For example. locks and dams. while other coating systems are intended to be maintained one or more times during their life cycle. Cleanability should not be confused with scrub resistance. and the ability to decontaminate a coated surface is a primary concern in certain nuclear and military applications. This can include structures that are exposed to water for periods of time or long times of wetness due to condensation. depending on generic type and formulation. refinery. Water resistance is a function of the total coating system. which is resistance to coating thickness erosion from the cleaning process. pulp and paper mill. and other contaminants. or power plant may need to be protected with coating materials that are resistant to a specific type or class of contaminants. Heat resistance is a function of each layer of a coating system. or ship bottoms. Cleanability Cleanability of a coating system refers to the 10 removal of dirt. the inside of water storage tanks. grime. It also involves structures that are constantly wet because of location. Limited opportunities to perform the work or adverse working conditions may make maintenance a high priority in the selection of a coating system. • Surface preparation — It may not be possible to achieve the desired level of substrate cleanliness for certain types of coatings. Most coatings are based on organic chemicals. such as being downwind from a cooling tower.) Chemical resistance is a function of the total coating system for primary linings. PhD. Ease of Maintenance Maintenance is the process of making repairs to a coating system. Some common limitations include surface preparation. because a light color must be maintained for temperature control to reduce evaporation of the stored product. Cleanability may be necessary for sanitary reasons in some circumstances. (There is no uniform definition of splash and spillage. equipment. applicator skills. which limits constant heat resistance to the range of about 150 to 250˚F (66 to 121˚C). In other exposures.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. Other Factors A variety of other factors also may influence the choice of coating materials and limit the number of coating systems to consider. Wetting can be intermittent. safety and environmental regulations. . only primers intended for surfaces cleaned with hand tools can be used. Cleanability of the coating system on fuel storage tanks is important. it may be a function mainly of the topcoat and intermediate coat. To some manufacturers.
including temperature and humidity levels. In other cases. the area might possibly be heated to bring the temperature within an acceptable range. If the proper equipment is not available. such as using funds for certain structures while delaying work on other structures. • Budget — Budget is a limitation on every project. Practicalities dictate a limited amount of funds for coating needs. • Applicator skills — Certain high-performance coatings require skilled applicators to apply the coatings correctly. • Safety and environmental regulations — Safety and environmental regulations may limit surface preparation as well as coating selection. Minimum drying and curing temperature requirements are a more common concern than high temperatures. so water-borne formulations may be indicated instead. such as losing use of the structure. Polyurethanes. for example. • Equipment — Available equipment can affect surface preparation as well as coating application. A more informed choice of coating systems can be made once the properties and limitations of various materials have been determined. are other factors to consider. • Weather — Weather conditions. Such coatings should not be applied with any other type of spray system. For example. Various options may be available. or using an overcoating system rather than total removal and replacement. consideration should be given to acquiring it. Such problems can be avoided by selecting the appropriate coating materials. • Drying times — Drying time is important when coating projects are under time constraints. since the pieces cannot be moved until dryto-handle times are met. For instance. or using a different type of protective system. budgetary considerations may dictate a two-coat system rather than a three-coat system. However. there usually are alternatives. such as spraying with water. This makes it easier to keep track of . lead paint removal regulations may favor coating maintenance. It is good practice to use the minimum number of systems possible. If the ambient temperature is near the minimum required level. overcoating materials would be preferred to primers that must be applied to bare metal. although it may be possible to introduce moisture or humidity by other means. Coating work to be performed by unskilled labor should involve the “friendliest” materials available. Therefore. Time pressures may result in a coating being applied before the previous coat has dried sufficiently or a unit being put into service before the coating system has cured. constructing the unit or structure of a more resistant material. High humidity can be a limitation with certain coating types. will not produce the expected gloss when applied at relative humidity levels above the maximum listed on the data sheet. Limited access usually relates to the ability to perform surface preparation. although limited access also can relate to coating application methods. spray-applied coatings should not be used when brushes and rollers are the only types of equipment available. As another example. Drying time also may be important for new construction where coatings are applied in the shop. Coatings that require agitation should not be used 11 if an agitation pot is not available. flammable solvents may be especially hazardous in a particular work area.excerpted from GENERIC COATING TYPES: An Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Coating Materials • Access to the surface — Access for coating maintenance may be limited due to physical constraints of construction or layout. Some specialty coatings may require plural-component spray equipment in which the components are mixed at the spray gun. an expensive coating project might still be cheaper than the alternatives. Low humidity is a limitation with moisture-cured coatings. Budgetary influence on the choice of coating materials is usually related to surface preparation and the cost of the entire project rather than just the coating materials themselves. Even then.
Private companies also have developed QPLs based on exposure tests at their facilities. such as epoxy mastics. A test program is developed and coatings from different manufacturers are evaluated. The federal government has QPLs associated with some specifications. has a QPL for a system consisting of an epoxy polyamide zincrich primer/epoxy polyamide intermediate coat/ aliphatic polyurethane topcoat based on a battery of accelerated laboratory tests. but will not differentiate among acceptable coatings. The disadvantage is that the formula specification may be outdated and not cover all generic types of coatings. The advantage of formula specifications is supplying the user with a known. the next task is to specify and purchase the materials. . The most common specifying methods are formula specification. As an alternative to QPLs. In some cases. Performance specification enables a coating type to be specified. only a small number of coating systems may be needed because of limited exposure environments and functions. Those that meet the criteria or minimum levels of the test program are placed on the QPL. without severely limiting the ingenuity of the formulator in a time of changing technology and regulations. for example. with performance specification. and technical organizations such as SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings. Performance Specification Performance specifications allow more latitude in the formulation of the coating than formula specifications. the coatings applied to various surfaces and also makes it simpler for field personnel. with performance requirements greatly increased. the largest preparer of formula specifications. Some government agencies. have evaluated specific coating systems from different suppliers and reported the results in a form that can be used as a QPL. Other large users also have developed QPLs for coating systems they use. However. twenty or more coating systems may be required due to varying exposure conditions and multiple coating functions. which have turned to performance-type specifications. Formula Specification Formula specifications are coatings recipes developed by government agencies. proven coating material that should be identical from each supplier. Only some have been updated to be VOC-compliant. may require a field history as part of the acceptance criteria. Others have been abandoned due to similarity with other formulations. Many formulas have been rescinded because they contained hazardous materials. In other cases. product availability. some users have established lists of qualified suppliers or vendors based on criteria such as technical service. Michigan Department of Transportation. there is no correlation between hours of exposure in an accelerated laboratory test and years of exposure in the field. has cut back considerably on the maintenance and updating of specifications. PhD. performance specification. or exposure in one field environment and successful performance in another. even for VOC compliance.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. Smith. and user experience. There are no federal government formula specifications for certain types of coatings. Coatings that pass the requirements of a performance specification are often included on a qualified products list (QPL). and limited performance testing. Organizations such as SSPC. especially the federal government. Performance usually is 12 specified as the minimum requirement for a battery of accelerated laboratory tests. The federal government. A properly written performance specification will eliminate unacceptable coatings. COATINGS SPECIFICATION Once the decision on a particular coating system has been made. such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
the percent solids by volume affects the true cost of the material.15) ($3. The cost of the coating materials would then be about 5 to 7 percent of the cost of the project.85 $0. The lower solids formulation is about 25 percent more expensive than the higher solids formulation.067 per square foot ($0. or newer coatings have not been on the market long enough to determine their life. using a zinc-rich primer/ epoxy polyamide intermediate coat/polyurethane topcoat over a near-white blast-cleaned surface. this cost can be misleading. environmental and worker protection items would have increased the cost of the project by a factor of 2 or 3. It is important that coating performance and not applicator performance be evaluated.excerpted from GENERIC COATING TYPES: An Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Coating Materials User Experience Another method for specifying paints is selecting products from manufacturers with which the user/specifier has had good experience. the choice of coating material is based on the cost per gallon. a coating that costs $20 per gallon ($5. but it does provide a level of confidence in the quality of the product. Even a test patch program can be useful.00 $0. the cost of the coating material is usually a small percentage of the cost of the 13 overall project. Another evaluation method is to contact references obtained from the coating manufacturer or supplier for similar projects where the recommended coating system was used. However. For example.76 per liter) and is applied at the same thickness but has 50 percent solids has a theoretical materials cost of $0. Therefore. The preferred method for selecting a coating material is not based on cost per gallon (or cost per liter).28 per liter) at 70 percent solids and is applied at 3 mils (75 micrometers) dry film thickness has a theoretical materials cost (100 percent transfer efficiency on a flat surface) of $0. This method is not as formalized as a QPL test. a coating that costs $18 per gallon ($4. it is based on the life cycle cost of the installed coating system per year of service (cost/ft2/yr or cost/m2/yr). All too often.34 $2. For example. These estimates include information gathered by Breevort and Roebuck4 for industrial exposures and estimates made by Hare5 for bridges. the average costs per square foot (square meter) in 1992 dollars were Surface preparation (field) Coating application Coating materials Total $1. COST There are a number of methods for evaluating the cost of coating materials. CONCLUSION Basic knowledge of coatings technology will assist the user and specifier in implementing a .72 per square meter). Test patches of coatings from different suppliers can be applied to a structure and evaluated regularly. Surface preparation and coating application are much larger cost factors. In many cases. records about years of service are not kept. To compensate for lack of data. However.57) 46% 38% 16% 100% The coating materials represent about 16 percent of the cost. Coatings are applied to achieve a certain dry film thickness.053 per square foot ($0.57 per square meter). Actually. Unacceptable coatings will be evident relatively quickly.76) ($9.66) ($23. If the project had included the removal of a lead-based coating system. Breevort and Roebuck4 have gathered information on the costs of coating projects from around the United States. estimates have been made of the expected life of coating systems. Rather.19 ($10. the coatings technology currently in place is out of date. determining the years of service can be more difficult. so useful information can be generated within a few years. While it is possible to obtain a fairly accurate estimate of the cost per square foot (cost/ft2) or cost per square meter (cost/m2).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The editors gratefully acknowledge Stephen G. Hare. Gordon H. TX: NACE International. Generalizations have been presented on classes of coatings materials. Paint/Coatings Dictionary (Philadelphia. Roebuck. 5. Clive H. ed. 14 . PA: Technology Publishing Company. “Protective Coatings for Bridge Steel.” Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings (Pittsburgh.’” Materials Performance (Houston. Smith. 3. Joseph A. PA: Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology. Bruno Jr.. 2. The rest of this book contains more detailed information about the major generic types of coatings commonly used in industrial maintenance painting. Industrial Maintenance Coatings Glossary (Pittsburgh. 1978). These were meant for illustrative purposes. “A Review and Update of ‘The Paint and Coatings Cost and Selection Guide. NOTES 1. December 1987). Tator for their time and effort in reviewing this chapter. April 1993).. Dwight Weldon. 31-45. cost-effective coatings program. DC: Transportation Research Board. 1994). PhD. H.” NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 136 (Washington. “Understanding Test Data from Coatings Manufacturers’ Product Data Sheets. 52-59. May 1993). Brevoort and A. Pinney and Kenneth B. 4.Basic Coatings Technology by Lloyd M. This appendix has presented important concepts used in coatings. PA: Technology Publishing Company.
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