What Influences The Industrial Paint You Use? by Andy Potts
Not An Off The Shelf Solution There are many factors influencing the choice of industrial paint coatings for protection of a structure or part of a structure. Selection of a coating system is in most cases based on the owners’ own experience and on recommendations given by the painter, contracting company or paint coating manufacturer. This will be a mix of the legislative requirements, demanded specification, cost, usage and coating properties. One thing is for sure, industrial paint is generally a longer decision process than residential paint, due to the necessity for increased accountability and durability. Below is a guide to the four main stakeholders involved in the decision process and how they might affect the ultimate coating or coating system choice. This may help stakeholders at the bottom of the decision ladder such as the painter understand why some decisions are made even if it necessitates more work for him/her! Who Might Have A Say On The Industrial Coating You Use? Authorities And Regulations The authorities have plenty of influence on the coating you may select. Legislation plays a huge role in the selection of approved use items, be it paint or most other items we use commercially. The industrial paint may be only one area of control an authority can exert as you may find that the method of applying or recommended practice of applying is also heavily influenced by the authority. For example in an industry such as marine which requires heavy duty solvent based paint. An authority may provide strict regulations on company VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions. These emissions are pushed into the atmosphere when using solvent based products, which in turn can require a need to move to lower VOC rated products. The drawback being that low VOC paint can take longer to dry/cure causing a reduction in productivity. Authorities may exert influence over industrial paint systems when the below categories are a significant factor in your project. This includes : • Safety • Health • Environment • Technical recommendations The most important organisations are : • National authorities • International Maritime Organisation (IMO) • Classification societies Examples where legislation and recommendations from authorities affects coating selection and paint application are : • Work procedures related to welding • Anti-Fouling • Soft coats in seawater ballast tanks • Restrictions regarding use of tar-based paint Customer Influence The ultimate goal for a customer is to select a system in such a way that the lowest lifetime cost is achieved with the best possible finish. The customer’s prime interest therefore concerns : • Cost-effective systems Can the system be applied quickly and easily with standard equipment • System to perform according to specified lifetime Is the lifecycle cost long so a new coating isn’t required too early increasing costs and out of service voids. • Easy inspection Is the colour light if regular inspection is critical to safety. • Easy repair & maintenance If damage does occur to the topcoat can it be repaired or would any damage require a full renovation back to bare metal and respray. Yard / Contractor Company The main interest of the yard or the commercial painting contractor is to have a cost effective production. This means that, to have a fast production rate, they prefer to operate according to established yard procedures, where they can use their own experience, available technology and the skills of the personnel. This will reflect their coating selection criteria : • Cheap solutions Contractors will often choose the coating system they can make a bigger margin on. • Prefer to use own standard specification Often an industrial paint the contractor trusts from may be replicated across other jobs. • Easy application with fewer coats 1K paint systems are cheaper and involve less time to use but aren’t always as robust as a 2k paint system. • Avoid long overcoating intervals Quicker curing products may find favour with contractors allowing them to re-apply 2nd and 3rd coats. • Allow low-temperature application In the UK with lower average temperatures, industrial paint which can be applied in low temperatures without affecting performance may be favoured. • Surface tolerant products to reduce pre-treatment quality Specific anti-fouling products may be preferred if they eliminate the need for a coating system layer. • Solvent-less or solvent-free Improving painter health will always be a priority where isocyanates are concerned. Coating Manufacturer In many cases, both the owner and the yard have preferred suppliers. They all have to agree upon which system to be used. Basically, the coating manufacturer is interested in selling a system which is fit for the purpose. At manufacturer level there is very little appetite to offer a paint solution that will not meet specification and cause an unhappy customer or threat of legal action. He should therefore evaluate all technical aspects that will have an influence on the coating performance/lifetime : • Customer’s expectation regarding performance and life time for the protective system • Exposure conditions during application, curing and operation • Surface treatment method • For new building, the sequence of construction • For new building, quality of shop primer and secondary surface preparation method • For maintenance, the existing coating system and breakdown • Adequate paint film thicknesses to be used • Cathodic Protection as additional protection • Ensure that the application and drying/curing conditions are in line with the paints’ technical data sheets • Experience and level of qualification of personnel For any further information needed on paint systems please feel free to leave a comment below. Author Bio – Author – Andy Potts – A specialist in business, finance, Paint and spray shop consumables. View Industrial Paint Systems
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