Epoxy coatings are epoxy derived paints that are used to paint marine, industrial, electronics and the aerosol applications. Epoxy is the basic component and the end derivative of epoxy resin. They are also known as polyepoxides and they are part of a group of polymers which include the epoxide group. Epoxy resins either react with themselves or with wide range of carbon-oxide reactants like amines, acids, phenols and alcohols. Reaction of the polyepoxides gives strong mechanical properties and also high temperature and chemical resistance. Epoxy coatings, apart from above mentioned list is also used in electrical components, fibre reinforced plastic materials and structural adhesives.
Epoxy coatings were basically invented for heavy duty service on metal substrates. They also use less energy than the heat cured powder coatings. The mixing ratio for two of these coatings is 4:1 and they dry off quickly with a tough and hard coating which provides the protection. They can be used excellently for factory cast iron, cast steel, and cast aluminium applications because of their low volatility and water cleanup mechanisms. Their usage is mainly focused in the industrial and automotive applications because of their heat resistant properties. Epoxy coatings deteriorate gradually over time; it is called chalk out mainly due to ultraviolet radiation. Epoxy coatings are also used in primers to increase the adhesion of marine paints especially where the metal surfaces require a corrosion free environment.
Epoxies are used exclusively in marine applications. Epoxy coatings are generally not used on the outer coatings of the boat due to the risk of deterioration because of the UV rays. They are used during boat repairs and boat assembly. Epoxy coatings are over-coated with poly-urethane paint to give UV protection. They are used heavily in the field of marine application due to its heavy mechanical properties, their heavy strength, gap filling and excellent adhesion to many materials including timber. The main value of the coating, whether it is used as a primer or as the intermediate coating, is to protect the substrate to which it is applied and provide and enhanced appearance. It gives a high protection level for a long time, against environmental and mechanical damage. To achieve this, good adhesion to the surface and an over coating application should be applied to give resistance to moisture and UV rays.
It is suggested that all epoxies and polyurethanes are used with the manufacturer’s recommendations. All the coatings and the solvents are potentially dangerous if used incorrectly. Skin irritation issues are the common problem with all epoxies. Although, a partially reacted hardener have been used by many manufacturers the problem has been minimized. Barrier cream or gloves can be used when handling the epoxy coatings. Extra caution should be taken to prevent skin contact and if any material comes in contact with the skin, it should be removed immediately with resin removing cream.
Epoxy Coatings provide a great protective layer and are used for marine applications, factory and industrial coatings and used by many industries including building and construction, mining, forestry, power generation, rail, infrastructure, offshore and petrochemical.