Did you know? Industrial Coatings

An industrial coating is a paint or coating defined by its protective, rather than its aesthetic properties, although it can provide both. The most common use of industrial coatings is for corrosion control of steel or concrete.

Industrial coatings cover a very large range of diverse uses for coatings with many differing requirements and functions. Some of the sectors covered are given below:

Aircraft and aerospace coatings: These are coatings applied to both civil and military aircraft and helicopters. The military applications often involve compliance with a range of defence specifications and requirements. Click here for more.

Can coatings: These are a range of very specialised coatings that are applied at low thickness but provide a high degree of protection. These coatings are used for both internal and external coating on food and drink cans. Any coating that is used internally has to be approved for food contact.

Coatings for plastics: Special coatings designed for use on plastic substrates, such as car bumpers, dashboards and grills, plastic toys and electronics.

Coil coatings: These are coatings applied to metal sheets – often starting as large coils of steel which are then formed into a wide range of uses e.g. domestic appliances such as washing machines, automotive parts and composite panels for prestigous buildings.   

General Industrial: This terminology is used to cover a range of coatings which have a wide range of applications to steel, iron and aluminium as well as to glass, plastic and wood. These coatings include both air drying and stoving coatings and will include coatings across a wide range of uses such as nuts and bolts, office furniture, toolboxes, transformers,  power plant, transport containers and agricultural and construction equipment. The term will include coatings that are defined and listed separately such as coil and high performance coatings.  

High Performance: These are also known as protective coatings and are the coatings applied to structural steelwork such as bridges, oil and gas rigs, structures such as stadiums and warehouses and chemical plants. These coatings are designed to have both high corrosion resistance and also good cosmetic appearance. These coatings will resist adverse weather, corrosive atmospheres and chemicals and they will provide durability to structures. In this sector coatings will have to meet a wide range of requirements through specifications and standards before they can be used. Equally important to their long term performance is the preparation of the substrate and good application practices.

Intumescent Coatings:  Intumescent coatings are applied to structural steelwork and react in a fire to form an impervious layer that will protect the steel and maintain its structural integrity. Coatings have to meet certain test requirements and will carry certification on their performance. The BCF has an Intumescent Coatings Group, a major group of manufacturers and suppliers of intumescent coatings, who are committed to promoting professional standards in quality and performance and to creating common guidance for the testing, assessment, installation and inspection of intumescent coatings. The Group is supported by fire testing laboratories, Exova, UL, and BRE Global. In addition, through the BCF’s leading role in the Intumescent Coatings Forum (ICF) the umbrella organisation for the intumescent coatings for structural steel sector, manufacturers work closely with the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), representing applicators and others.  Click here for documents and statements relating to intumescent coatings.

Marine: These are coatings applied to all sizes of ships and boats and will cover tankers, cruise ships, tugs and yachts. The coatings cover topsides, above the waterline, and antifouling coatings which are applied to minimise marine fouling and reduce ships’ drag through the water. All antifouling coatings are strictly controlled by both the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and in the EU by the Biocidal Products Regulation. The coatings cover those used by professional applicators and also those used by amateurs in marinas and boatyards. 

Wood Finishes: The term used to cover those coatings used as industrial wood coatings. These are coatings applied in factories to wood for a range of uses, which include office furniture, kitchen and bathroom fittings, general furniture and industrial joinery. These are different to ‘wood care’ coatings which are the DIY coatings such as wood varnishes and coatings for fences and decking etc. 

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