Industrial coatings play a vital role in protecting surfaces and prolonging the lifespan of products used in various industries. They are applied to multiple surfaces, including metals, plastics, and concrete. In addition, they serve to enhance their durability and resistance to environmental factors such as corrosion, weathering, and abrasion.
One of the most common uses of industrial coatings is in the automotive industry, where they protect car bodies from rust and other forms of corrosion. They also improve the appearance of vehicles and help prevent paint’s fading and chipping.
Industrial coatings are also used extensively in the construction industry to protect buildings, bridges, and other structures from weather and environmental elements. For example, coatings are applied to metal roofing and siding to prevent corrosion and extend the structure’s life. They also help to keep buildings looking clean and new by stopping the growth of mold, algae, and other forms of pollution.
Another critical use of industrial coatings is producing consumer goods, such as appliances and electronics. These coatings protect the products from scratches, dents, and other physical damage. They also help to prevent oxidation, which can cause metal parts to rust and deteriorate.
Industrial coatings protect pipelines, tanks, and other equipment in the energy sector from corrosion, abrasion, and impact. They also help to increase the efficiency of energy production by reducing energy loss and improving the overall performance of the equipment.
Overall, industrial coatings play a critical role in protecting a wide range of products and surfaces from environmental and physical damage. In addition, they help extend these products’ lifespan, improve performance, and maintain appearance and functionality.
Main applications of industrial coatings
- Installations in general, tanks, and industrial pipe.
- Autoparts in general.
- Protection and signaling of industrial floors.
- Supplies for the metalworking industry.
- Metallic surfaces in general (motors, transformers, chimneys, boilers, shelving, auto parts).
- Construction and maintenance of industrial warehouses.
- Finished and/or repainted automobiles and other vehicles.
Types of Industrial Coatings
From a single component:
Alkyds are a type of polymer commonly used as resins to produce coatings, paints, and inks. They are made by reacting a dicarboxylic acid or anhydride with a polyalcohol, such as glycerol, in the presence of a catalyst. Alkyds have good properties such as hardness, durability, and chemical resistance, making them useful in various applications, including wet paint and CARC coating.
Additionally, alkyds protect against oxidation in non-severe environmental conditions. Therefore, they are especially recommended for metal structures such as doors, gates, and other fabricated metal products.
As a finish, alkyd enamels offer good adhesion, easy application, and function as an economical protection option.
Due to the coating’s drying process, which depends on oxygen, these alkyds can take longer to dry.
These are high-performance resins of a single component.
Phenolates can be used as industrial coatings. Phenol-formaldehyde resins, a type of phenolate, are commonly used as binders in industrial coatings, particularly in the production of laminates, electrical laminates, and surface coatings for wood and metal products. These resins provide good mechanical properties, heat resistance, and chemical resistance, making them suitable for use in harsh industrial environments.
Furthermore, phenolates offer high protection against corrosion, good adhesion on steel, and are swift drying. Therefore, this product can be used as a primer and/or finish coat.
Acrylic coatings have many advantages but are especially excellent primers for promoting adhesion. They are also used for CARC coating.
Acrylic resins are commonly used as binders in industrial coatings for various applications, including protective coatings for metal and concrete surfaces and topcoats for automotive and architectural coatings. Acrylics are known for their excellent weather resistance, color stability, and durability, making them well-suited for use in harsh industrial environments. Additionally, acrylics are generally safer than other resins, as they do not release harmful volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.
Lastly, they have excellent resistance to the outside and dry and harden extremely quickly, which is why they are used preferentially in repainting vehicles.
They are coatings that dry by evaporation of solvents, which can protect metallic surfaces and resist continuous immersion in sweet or salt water.
Vinyl resins, particularly polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl acetate, are commonly used as binders in industrial coatings for a variety of applications, including coatings for electrical cables and pipes, as well as in the production of flooring and roofing products. Vinyl resins are known for their low cost, toughness, and water and chemical resistance. However, some vinyl resins can release toxic or volatile organic compounds. In addition, their use is regulated in some countries, so the choice of vinyl resin for industrial coatings will depend on their application’s specific requirements and regulations.
Silicones are a polymer known for their excellent weather resistance, high-temperature stability, and good electrical insulation properties. These properties make silicones suitable for protective coatings in harsh industrial environments, particularly for electrical and electronic components. Additionally, silicones are non-toxic and do not release volatile organic compounds, making them a safer choice for industrial coatings than other resins. Various silicone-based coatings, including silicone rubber and silicone resins, can be formulated to meet the specific requirements of different industrial applications.
The high thermal stability of this resin allows this type of coating to be used on exposed surfaces up to 650 °C. In addition, the resulting coating film is resistant to weather and contaminated atmospheres.
From two components:
Epoxy coatings can be used for powder coating, wet paint, and CARC coatings, as well as E-Coat, and have a high level of adhesion, hardness, flexibility, and chemical resistance. For floors and many surfaces, this is the best solution. They are commonly used as binders in industrial coatings due to their excellent adhesion, chemical resistance, and durability. These properties make epoxies well-suited for use in harsh industrial environments, including protective coatings for metal and concrete surfaces and in producing electrical laminates and composites. Epoxies can also be formulated with fillers and pigments to enhance their mechanical properties, making them suitable for several industrial coating applications.
Finally, epoxy coatings can be applied on concrete, iron, steel, and galvanized surfaces. They have exceptional resistance to alkaline and acidic media and withstand splashes, spills, and continuous immersion. This is due to their high degree of impermeability.
Polyurethane resins are known for their toughness, abrasion resistance, and flexibility, making them well-suited for CARC protective coatings and wet paint that is used in harsh industrial environments. In addition, polyurethane coatings can be formulated to provide specific properties, such as chemical resistance, electrical insulation, or flame resistance. This makes them suitable for various industrial applications, including coatings for machinery, electrical equipment, and flooring. Additionally, polyurethane coatings can be applied as a liquid and then cured to form a solid, making them a versatile choice for industrial coating applications.
Also, polyurethane industrial coatings are used in many environments, even as a final protective layer (finished) over other coatings. The polyurethane resists abrasion, improving durability and creating a finish that resists scratches.
Polyurethane coatings maintain their color well and have a high-gloss finish. As a result, they are excellent for use outdoors.
Polysiloxanes, also known as silicones, are a type of polymer known for their excellent weather resistance, high-temperature stability, and good electrical insulation properties. These properties make polysiloxanes suitable for protective coatings in harsh industrial environments, particularly for electrical and electronic components. In addition, polysiloxanes are non-toxic and do not release volatile organic compounds, making them a safer choice for industrial coatings than other resins. Various silicone-based coatings, including silicone rubber and silicone resins, can be formulated to meet the specific requirements of different industrial applications.
The term polysiloxane refers to a polymer with a silicon-oxygen backbone. The silicon-oxygen backbone is much more resistant to the effects of UV radiation than the carbon-carbon backbone of products such as polyurethane. Therefore, they are used on surfaces that resist abrasion, chemical products, extreme UV rays, and high temperatures.
To ensure the maximum performance of the coverings and the fulfillment of particular required standards, it is common that systems include a primary and a finish.
These are coatings used primarily to ensure good adhesion with the metallic substrate. In addition, they are the most responsible for protection against corrosion. Primary coatings can be made from any of the resins mentioned above, although the most common ones are alkyds, phenolates, and epoxies.
The finishes represent the outer layer in contact with the environment and promote the system’s impermeability.
The finish selection is affected by the primary coating. Therefore, knowing which finishes are compatible is necessary to guarantee their adherence. Usually, the same type of resin on these components ensures good adhesion.
An intermediate layer called binding is required for cases where it is impossible to have the same type of resin in the primer and in a finish that requires greater thickness. A binder is capable of adhering to both the primer and the finish.
Typically, binders contain a mixture of resins, part of which promotes adhesion with the primer and the rest with the finish.
For identification and control of thicknesses, it is convenient that the primary, the binder, and the finish be of different colors.
As can be noted, there are more advantages and disadvantages to using different types of industrial coatings. Each company’s particular needs determine which product is best for its use.