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:

1 -Aircraft and aerospace coatings: These are coatings applied to both civil and military aircraft and helicopters.

2- Automotive and Vehicle Refinish: These are coatings that are applied to cars, vans, lorries, trailers etc. The difference in the two terms is that automotive coatings are those that are applied during the manufacture of the vehicle and vehicle refinish coatings are those that are applied in bodyshops during accident repairs.

3- 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.

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

4- 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 prestigious buildings.  

5- 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. nuts and bolts, office furniture, toolboxes, transformers, power plant, transport containers and agricultural and construction equipment and they are high performance coatings. 

6- 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.

7- 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.

8- 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.

9- 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.

All Industrial Coatings have to meet certain test requirements and will carry certification on their performance.

Anti corrosion coating for extending the life of steel surfaces

Anti corrosion coating acts as a barrier between a metal and its environment, increasing its durability and lifespan. The estimated global cost of metal corrosion damage is billions of rands. The good news is, a lot of this loss can be prevented by being proactive, and choosing the right anti corrosion coating from the start. To determine the right anti corrosion coating for your project, it is important to factor in the environment and type of metal. Whether corrosion is due to moisture, chemicals, salt spray, or oxidation, steel corrosion protection coating can help protect the substrate from the elements. Anti corrosion coating is essentially a collective name for various types of coatings that protect a substrate from corrosion.

Corrosion is caused by a chemical reaction between a metal and its environment (water or other fluids), typically producing an oxide or a salt of the original metal. The long and the short of it is the metal is weakened, as is the structure it creates.

An anti rust coating prevents direct contact between water/fluids and the steel substrate and therefore prevents the corrosion process. Anti corrosion coatings for steel also have other properties such as chemical resistance, slip resistance or mould and fungi prevention depending on the needs of the surface and environment.

To determine the right types of anti corrosive paints for your project, you need to understand the environment and use of the substrate. Particularly its exposure to water, moisture, and other aggressive substances that might be present in the environment. The corrosivity of certain atmospheres has been classified and standardised by the International Organisation for Standardization.

The standard divides the degree of corrosivity into 5 categories , C1 to C5, in order of increasing corrosivity. To find the right anti corrosion coating, you need to know how corrosive the environment will be. For example, a coating at C5M level is intended for offshore constructions which are constantly exposed to moisture, but also for small pipes that are equally exposed.

C1 – very low corrosion risk: Heated buildings with clean air, interiors only.

Suitable for: offices, schools, hotels, shops and other heated premises.

C2 – low corrosion risk:  Unheated buildings, rural areas.

Suitable for: storage facilities, sports halls, garages, barns and other unheated buildings.

C3 – moderate corrosion risk: Buildings with high humidity, urban and industrial areas.

Suitable for: laundries, breweries, kitchens, food processing sites and other buildings with moderate humidity.

C4 – high corrosion risk: Chemical manufacturers and swimming baths, industrial and coastal areas.

Suitable for: industrial buildings, chemical plants, swimming pools, ports, and ship- and boatyards.

C5 – very high corrosion risk: Buildings with almost permanent condensation, offshore and industrial areas.

Suitable for: Water pipes and other industrial applications (C5I – industrial). Offshore and maritime constructions (C5M – marine).

Once you have identified your environment, you can identify the right anti rust treatment for your project and the right anti rust coating specification to protect it for years to come. Following these guidelines will allow you to pick appropriate anti-corrosion coatings, allowing you to avoid overspending on unnecessary degrees of protection or simply making the wrong choice.

Anti corrosion coating types can be divided into various categories:

Anti corrosion coating: barrier coating for C1- C3 categories.

Barrier coatings (C1 – C3) – non-porous anti rust coatings designed to prevent corrosive factors coming into contact with the substrate.

For example: powder coating, polyurethane paint, chloro rubber paints, Teflon coatings, nano coatings.

Inhibitor coatings (C1 – C4) – anti rust treatment which releases a chemical that interferes with the electrolyte and stops the corrosion process.

For example: all oil based coatings with corrosion inhibitor additives such as zinc, aluminum, zinc oxide and so on. Galvanic coatings/Cathodic protection (C3 – C5) – metal-rich anti rust coating for steel which provide a sacrificial layer. Prevents corrosion by providing a more easily corroded metal (such as zinc) to be the anode to the protected metal’s cathode.

Also called the sacrificial anode, this metal will corrode instead of the protected metal.

Combining anti corrosion treatments – The duplex system

When hot dip galvanising is used together with a topcoat of anti corrosion paint or powder it is known as a Duplex System. The duplex systems are applied as anti rust coating for steel and occasionally other metals.

This type of anti rust treatment provides multiple types of protection and the longest-lasting results. Each layer needs to be compatible in order for the system to work effectively. Duplex anti rust coating systems are especially suitable for corrosion categories C3 to C5,  and it looks like this:

Corrosion is a common problem on steel structures in Africa, not the least due to sunshine and occasional rain.

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