Epoxy coating: the industry’s go-to coating
An epoxy coating is a thermosetting polymer which uses an epoxy resin as its binder. Epoxy coatings usually come in two components which are combined and mixed prior to application. The epoxy resin component when combined with a curing agent or hardener begins the cross-linking process. This creates a very durable surface and provides epoxy coating with its powerful protective properties. Epoxy paint can be formulated in order to achieve certain outcomes, based on the intended end-use. It is hard-wearing, chemical and acid resistant, abrasion resistant, adhesive, easy-to-clean and attractive.
In this article we will outline the various uses and properties of epoxy coating, as well as providing a guide to the industries that use epoxy paint, and companies that provide it.
Powerful and protective properties of epoxy coating
Epoxy coating is used across the coating industry in many sectors and environments. It can be 100% solids, solvent-based, or water-based, and all the formulations have excellent physical qualities. It is epoxy’s unique properties that make it such a reliable and versatile coating. These include:
- Durability – Because epoxy is a thermosetting resin as it cures the coating undergoes crosslinking. This means that the epoxy coating is tightly bound together and securely bonded to the substrate, providing its powerful durability.
- Chemical resistant – Epoxy coating is highly resistant to chemicals, acid, and solvents, making it perfectly suited for industrial uses such as factories, pipelines, and tank linings.
- Abrasion resistant – Industrial flooring needs to stand up to foot traffic, vehicular traffic, mechanical loads and more. Epoxy’s abrasion resistance provides the required durability for everything from factories to garage floors.
- Water resistant – Epoxy is used for anti-corrosion measures and waterproofing in environments from swimming pools to offshore industrial facilities.
- Quick drying and easy to apply – Being quick and easy to apply provides a significant advantage for a coating, as it means shorter downtime and less associated losses.
It is the choice of epoxy and hardener which provides each formulation with its final characteristics, and these are chosen for each specific end use. Some common types of epoxy resin are Bisphenol A, Bisphenol F, and Phenolic Novolac. These vary in viscosity, flexibility, and chemical resistance. There are many co-reactors or hardeners, including polyamide, aliphatic amine, and aromatic amine.
Epoxy coating for all markets: architectural, industrial, marine
With so many possible applications and so many variations of epoxy coating available it can be difficult to know which coating is best for any particular need. Below we have compiled some of the most common applications for epoxy paint, and an example of a paint for each.
1. Epoxy flooring
By far the most common use of epoxy coating. Epoxy flooring is suitable for homes, industrial spaces, factories, schools, hospitals, kitchens, and laboratories, just to name a few. Epoxy is particularly appropriate for flooring because of its abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, water resistance, durability, and general toughness. It can be formulated to provide different layer thicknesses, to include an anti slip aggregate, to be self-smoothing and leveling, and to provide protection for concrete substrates. Epoxy paint can also be decorative, available in a wide range of colours and finishes for architectural coating purposes.
Product example: Coo-Var Profloor 2 Pack Epoxy Floor Paint. A two pack water-based epoxy that is extremely hard-wearing and suitable for interior and exterior surfaces subject to heavy duty traffic and wear.
2. Anti-corrosion protection coating
The global cost of corrosion is trillions of pounds a year. There are many causes of corrosion, including moisture, chemicals, salt spray, and oxidation, but an anti-corrosion coating can prevent trouble by creating a barrier between the substrate and the environment. Epoxy coating provides a corrosion resistant barrier because it is water, chemical, and abrasion resistant as well as strongly adhesive and tough.
Product example: Jotun Jotamastic 90. A barrier coating for above and below water, on concrete or steel, with abrasion and chemical resistance.
3. Tank and pipe lining
Protecting tanks and pipes is a manifold problem – their exterior needs to be protected from the environment, while the interior needs protection both from and for the cargo/substance being stored or transported. Epoxy coating is perfect for this job because of its chemical resistance and hygienic properties. Whether cargo and water tanks or protection for the interior and exterior of a pipeline,
Product example: International Enviroline 124 (AkzoNobel). A 100% solids Epoxy Novolac coating for steel tanks which need high chemical resistance, above and below ground.
4. Hygiene coatings
Hospitals, healthcare facilities, leisure centres and swimming pools, bathrooms, GP surgeries, kitchen and food preparation areas, veterinary clinics, all of these environments require a specific level of hygiene and antimicrobial protection. An epoxy coating can be formulated to provide antibacterial protection, as well as being easy to clean and monolithic (seamless). Because epoxy is chemical resistant it also stands up to scrubbing with the harsh chemical cleaners required in these environments.
Product example: Rust-Oleum Biosan Ultra. A bactericidal two-component epoxy coating which is solvent free. For areas which need high durability and abrasion resistance.
Epoxy coating companies and manufacturers in the UK
For every epoxy coating application there is a company or manufacturer creating and applying these coatings in the UK. For a closer look at the specific applications of an epoxy coating, please follow the links or use the “search” button above. We have articles outlining the processes and available coatings for many different sectors. If you would like more information about epoxy coatings, or would like to source epoxy coatings for your project, get in touch! We, in cooperation with our coating partners, will work to find a coating solution for your needs. Just use the “Request a Quote” button below, or send us an e-mail. Our experts are here to help.