For those who are in the market for buying Epoxy Coating, the following things should be taken into account before you make your purchase. While all of these factors should be taken into consideration, emphasis differs based on your personal requirements and what you intend to use the epoxy coating for.
1. Corrosion Protection
This determines the general wear-and-tear an epoxy coat can take from the elements; it is especially important when the coating is to be applied to any surface that is expected to be out-of-doors a lot. It measures the general rate that the epoxy resins avoid deterioration from time and general abuse. A higher corrosion protection rating means that, in general, the protective epoxy coat lasts longer overall.
2. Chemical Protection
This is a rating that measures the epoxys protective measure against solvents, acids, and other chemicals that, when directly applied to a coating with lower Chemical Protection ratings, will dissolve the epoxy and quite probably damage the materials underneath it. Higher chemical protection ratings are very important in cases where the materials and items being coated with epoxy can be expected to encounter such corrosive substances. Chemical protection is a general rating by and large, but there are also specially designed epoxies available, usually for industrial purposes, that are made to counteract the effects of certain corrosive chemicals. If your epoxy coating is expected to encounter exposure to these chemicals, look for epoxy brands that will be resistant to them.
3. Water Proofing
In general, moisture also contributes to the general deterioration of an epoxy coating. High waterproofing ratings will help stave this off. This is especially important is some cases where the materials being coated are especially sensitive to water damage, for example, certain kinds of wood or metal. Also, there are specialized water-proof epoxy coats designed to protect items under water; if your coating is meant for such an endeavor, like a wooden boat, it is highly recommended you get water-proof epoxy coatings and sealants.
4. Heat Proofing
Heat naturally contributes to the damage of epoxy, in effect baking it and making it more brittle. While this initially makes most epoxies harder, in the long run exposure to high levels of thermal stress will make the epoxy coating so brittle that it will flake off in chips, leaving the protected material vulnerable to the elements again. High heat proofing ratings are recommended for use in areas where the materials coated with the epoxy will be expected to encounter high temperatures.
5. UV shielding
This slightly differs from heat proofing in that its a specialized form of it. Specifically, UV, or ultra violet shielding, is designed to protect from the suns rays. The deterioration effects that epoxy coats suffer as a result of prolonged exposure to UV rays differ enough from normal heat damage to merit its own protection rating in some epoxy coatings. This becomes especially important if the materials being coated are expected to be out-of-doors a lot. Some obvious examples requiring high UV protection in an epoxy coating would be a houses roof and walls.
6. NonSlip Finishes
While not a rating of epoxy coatings per se, this is still a feature you may want to take into account. Non-slip finishes are designed to avoid the reduction of friction that sometimes accompanies giving anything an epoxy coating. While glossy and smooth finishes are often the desired end when giving something an epoxy coat, there are certain situations, like when applying epoxy coating to bathroom tiling, where a slippery finish can actually be detrimental. In such cases, it is preferrable to look for non-slip epoxies to use.
7. Aesthetics – Clearcoat vs Colored Finish
One last thing to consider is that while most epoxy coats are clear and glossy, there are actually a few variants out there that are colored. Some even sport metallic finishes in the epoxy coating. The choice is a purely aesthetic one, but still something you may want to think about when selecting an epoxy coating to purchase.
In closing, it should be mentioned that no matter how high the protection ratings of an epoxy coating, it is NOT a permanent protective solution. Time and the elements will still eventually take their toll. Of course, the point in choosing a proper epoxy coat is to ensure that it, and more importantly, the object it is protecting, are preserved for as long as possible.
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