Metal coatings

metal coating

Protect metal surfaces and objects

Metal is a very common material in industries such as aerospace, automotive, building (steel constructions), electronics industry and many more. Indeed, as a material, metal is hard, shiny and has electrically and thermally conductive properties. Metal coating can refer to either coating which consist of or contain metal, or to coatings which are suitable for metal surfaces. This article focuses on the latter.

Metal coating prevent damage caused by corrosion, chemicals, acids, oils and abrasion.

Metal coating makes sure that the surfaces is durable enough for its function and environment. For example humid environments require fungus and water resistant coatings;l whereas in a factories oil, chemical and heat resistance are more crucial.

Metal coating manufacturers in the UK

In the UK there are many manufacturers of metal coatings. Some of them produce all types of coatings for metal, and others focus on a specific coating type. The UK manufacturers include for example:

  • Quality Coatings Limited, Banbury: Unique finishes for bronze, iron, copper, gold, aluminium stainless steel
  • Anka Metal Coatings Ltd. Corsham: The application of specialist liquid metal finishes
  • Ferrous Protection Ltd. Delph, Oldham: Surface protection industry, Storage tanks, Lining Epoxy Coating
  • Douglas Metal Finishing. London  Chrome and gold plating, all metal finishing
  • Kortec Coating Systems Stapleford, Nottingham: All industrial coating solutions and Coating Systems UK
  • Rust Bullet Ltd Colchester:

Different types of coatings for metal

Coatings, in general, are often divided into decorative and industrial paint. Metal coating are also available for both markets: industrial and commercial. Applying metal coating is an effective way to protect the surface and improve its aesthetics. The most common hazard for metal is corrosion. Therefore, the most popular metal coatings have corrosion resistant properties. Another hazard for metals is abrasion and wearing with time. It is possible to extend the expected life time of metal surfaces by applying an appropriate coating. Nonetheless, the suitable properties are dependent on the environment where the surface is.

Many coatings are suitable for more than one substrate material. The following coatings are applicable also on metal:

  • Safety increasing coatings;
  • Protective coatings;
  • Performance coatings.

pipes and valves with metal coating

Metal coating process

There are many methods for applying metal coating. The choice of application method is dependent on the type of paint and purpose of coating. The metal coating process is different for decorative and industrial applications. Both, however, include cleaning and priming the surface, applying the coating and letting it dry.

Industrial metal coating applications

Industrial coatings refer to coatings that are applied on objects/surfaces during production phase. Both, liquid metal paints and powder coatings are suitable for industrial applications. Nowadays, powder coatings are increasing their popularity due to the fact that they do not emit VOC unlike liquid coatings. This means that powder coatings are more environmentally friendly but also often tougher than liquid paints.

Besides roller and brush, there are many application methods for the industrial coatings:

  • Low pressure spray;
  • Airless spray (also available for 2K systems);
  • Electrostatic spray (often for powder coating);
  • Robot operated spraying techniques;
  • Curtain coating;
  • Dip coating.

metal coatingConsumer market of metal coating

The products available for consumers are liquid metal paints mostly for home decoration but also for protecting metal parts and structures in for example buildings or vehicles.

In every case, before starting to apply the coating, it is important to clean and prepare the metal  surface. All rust and grease should be off the substrate.  After cleaning, a high quality primer or undercoat may be a wise choice, due to the fact that it improves adhesion and provides extra protection against corrosion and other hazards. Roller and brush are the most common tools for liquid paint applications. Spray applications are also possible even though they require professional equipment. Fortunately also easy to apply spray products exist; the simplest liquid metal spray paint application comes from a spray aerosol which is ready for use.

Depending on the surface, one or more layers of coating are applied:

  • One layer of coating is suitable on indoor objects and objects with low influence of weather conditions. Single layer coating is also advised for outdoor galvanised materials which are not affected by extreme outdoor influences;
  • Two layers of coating are appropriate on (stainless) steel, aluminium and galvanised materials outside;
  • Three layers of coating are applied on stainless steel, aluminium and galvanised materials in extreme weather conditions and heavy stress.

The layers may consist of one product, however, it is also possible to apply liquid metal paint finish or topcoat as the last layer.


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