A coating can be defined as a layer of something spread over part or all of a substrate for decoration or protection. Coatings are often confused with or referred to as “paints”. In the broad sense of the word both terms are more or less synonymous but in our industry we try to differentiate the terms this way. Coatings are generally “paints” that offer more than an aesthetic purpose or result. Coatings are usually applied thicker than most paints as well as offering a performance advantage in a few different areas depending on the coating discussed. For example, most coatings will offer one or more of the following advantages over typical paints: abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, water resistance, corrosion resistance, graffiti control, elasticity and longevity among many other characteristics.
Prior to choosing a coating it is important to understand your or your customer’s criteria in order to make the correct choice. Understanding the anticipated usage of the substrate is critical to making that correct choice.
Typically wall coatings are used for both performance and decorative purposes although the performance characteristics are often at a lower level than floor coatings for example. Exterior wall coatings do have to deal with UV radiation, which degrades any coating to a certain degree but other than water they generally don’t often have to withstand much in the way of chemical attack. There are many chemical resistant wall coatings for specialty applications as well but they are not your typical “paint”. Most exterior wall coatings are breathable so as to allow the wall to dry out if any water or condensation get into the wall cavity, which is an important consideration.
Floor coatings have one performance area in particular that will far exceed a wall coatings performance so it’s especially important to choose the correct coating for this type of application. The obvious difference is abrasion. As few people walk or drive on walls, abrasion isn’t an important criteria however it is an extremely important criteria for horizontal surfaces. Not only should abrasion be taken into account, the exact type of traffic as well as the extent of that traffic are both important considerations e.g. pedestrian, vehicular, commercial, residential etc. On top of the expected traffic, chemical resistance is much more of a concern as any spill will not only be more likely to hit the horizontal surface it will also dwell on that surface until it’s cleaned up so the chemical is far more likely to cause damage to the coating and potentially the substrate underneath it.
Chemical Resistant Coatings
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