Category Archive: Industry News

Powder Coatings Market Worth $14.9 Billion by 2025

The powder coatings market has been segmented based on resin type (thermoset and thermoplastic), coating method (electrostatic spray, fluidized bed), end-use industry (appliances, automotive, general industrial, architectural, furniture, others), and region (APAC, Europe, North America, Middle East, South America, and Africa).

The thermoset resin segment is expected to lead the growth during the forecast period. Thermoset powder coatings are used on a wide array of automotive, appliances, and gen-eral industrial products. Thermoset powder coating systems offer broad formulation flex-ibility. They are very durable and are widely used in both decorative and functional applications. Thermosetting powders are derived from polyester, epoxy-polyester hybrid, epoxy, acrylic, polyurethane, and other resins.

The appliance industry is the fastest-growing end-use industry segment of the powder coatings market. Factors such as increase in per capita income and consumer spending, changing consumer preferences, and growing need for automation and technology ad-vancements, are behind the rapid growth of the powder-coated appliances market.

APAC is the leading market for powder coatings. Countries such as India, China, and Indonesia are investing heavily in various end-use industries, which is likely to influence the growth of the powder coatings market in these countries. The market in the APAC region will witness a significant rise owing to the growth of the electronics and automotive industries in China, Thailand, India, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Read more: Powder Coatings Market Worth $14.9 Billion by 2025

BEST DEFENSE: Military approves CARC powder coats

The race is on amongst powder coating manufacturers to turn out a new product that will meet military CARC specifications and hopefully grab a share of the $2 billion defense coating market.

The U.S. Department of Defense issued specifications in late 2010 to allow powder coaters to finish military vehicles and equipment which ‑ until now—could only be done using liquid paint.

CARC requirements

Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings are surfaces that resist the absorption of chemical warfare agents, making decontamination much easier to accomplish with vehicles, artillery pieces and missile launchers, rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, and support equipment such as communications vans, water purification units, generators and forklifts.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (Aberdeen, MD) released the specs—MIL-PRF-32348—to allow powder coating as a finish because of increased pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which wants the military to use coatings that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), volatile organic hazardous air pollutants (VOHAPs) and inorganic hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

“There are many advantages to allowing powder coating to a part of the program,” says John Escarsega, DOD CARC Commodity Manager for the coatings team at Aberdeen. “Environmental is a big reason, but there is also some reduced costs we should be seeing. It’s a good step forward.”

Read more: BEST DEFENSE: Military approves CARC powder coats

Market Update: Advances in Powder Coatings

What are some of the advances in powder coatings?

According to American Coatings Association:

Powder coating technology is viewed as a sustainable option in many industrial coating applications. It is most widely used to coat metal substrates, but efforts have focused on developing curing solutions that enable the application of powder coatings to temperature-sensitive materials such as wood and plastics. Growth in manufacturing and construction markets combined with growing demand for more sustainable solutions is creating new opportunities for powder coatings. Raw material suppliers and coating formulators are responding with the development of new powder coating technologies that can be produced and applied more efficiently, exhibit improved performance attributes, and have a greater range of potential end uses.

CoatingsTech surveyed resin, pigment, and additives suppliers and coating manufacturers regarding the current drivers of powder coating technology, recent developments, and what might be expected in the future. Their insights are presented below.

Participants in the discussion included:

Daniela Vlad—managing director, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings;

Robert Watson—research and development manager, allnex;

Cindy Fruth—sales and market development manager for Powder Coatings, Arkema Coating Resins;

Josh Gingras—North American Coatings business manager for Technical Polymers, Arkema Inc.;

Thomas Czeczatka—global end use manager for Powder Coatings, BYK;

Robert K. Roop—vice president of Global Refinish and Industrial Technology, Axalta Coating Systems;

Romesh Kumar—senior technical sales manager for North America, Clariant Plastics & Coatings USA Inc.;

Marten Houweling—global metal program director and product manager for Powder Coating Resins, DSM;

Brian Coutts—president, Erie Powder Coatings Inc./EPC Powder Mfg.;

Beth Ann Pearson—director of Marketing and Business Development, Estron Chemical; and

Kevin Biller—president, Powder Coating Research Group.

Q. What are the major drivers of new technology development for powder coatings? How have these drivers changed in the last 5–10 years? Do you anticipate any major shifts going forward?
Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group: Powder coatings’ pillars of efficiency, economy, excellent performance, and environmental compliance have compelled finishers to consider it as an alternative to solventborne coatings for decades. Interest continues for non-traditional substrates such as engineered boards, plastics, and composites. There have always been barriers to entry, with most centered around fear of radical change and the potential for failure. In the last 5–10 years, there has been a resurgence of interest in powder for novel applications as part of a rebound from the inertia experienced as the result of the economic downturn and industry’s subsequent reluctance to invest in capital equipment. My hope is for a major shift in powder displacing VOC-emitting liquid paint technology, but realistically the changes will be slow, deliberate, and incremental.

Pearson, Estron Chemical: For the past several years, the powder coatings market has been, and continues to be, in a mode of growth and innovation throughout multiple market spaces. The emergence of technologies that meet the ever-present challenges for cost and manufacturing efficiencies drive these needs. One example is the growth and expansion of compact process systems. Compact systems, known as short systems in the EU, are systems in which there is a chance to lower the overall processing costs; for instance, lower cure technologies for metal and plastic, faster curing times, coatings with dual-layer functionality, and dry-on-dry cure. The industry has also developed advanced technologies enabling the use of powder on wood and medium density fiberboard (MDF) substrates and offering enhanced corrosion protection on metal.

Watson, allnex: In comparison with some years ago, today there is a dual approach to new technology development. One aspect involves improvement of numerous coating performance targets, such as flow, edge coverage, and corrosion resistance, to achieve performance properties better aligned with those of liquid technologies. Improvement of the mechanical properties of durable and superdurable coatings is also important. The second approach relates to the need for affordable and reliable products without sacrificing overall technical performance.

Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: The main drivers for technology development are the increasing demand for sustainable solutions and meeting customer demands for enhanced performance. With an ambition to reduce environmental impact, customers continuously aim to improve process efficiencies, such as removing coatings steps or better utilizing coating materials. A reduction in baking temperatures means powders can be applied on more and more substrates, resulting in lower energy consumption, no VOCs, and therefore a more sustainable alternative to liquid coatings and anodizing.

Recent powder coating technology developments include creating a chrome look, hammered effects, textures, ultra matt, etc. There are also strong needs around durability, corrosion-protection, and lifelong aesthetics of coated products. We also expect the demand to increase for less uniform finishes so that they look more natural, such as stone or wood effect. In addition, wider color options will reinforce powder as a strong substitute for liquid coatings. Our ambition is to make powder coatings available to as many markets as possible, as it is a very sustainable technology.

Roop, Axalta Coating Systems: In the last 5–10 years, the focus has been on two-layer systems with the primer being formulated for corrosion, chemical, and edge coverage, and the topcoat formulated for weatherability and aesthetic appeal (e.g., metallics that resemble automotive finishes). A few current drivers for new technology development in the industry are high-performance direct-to-metal weatherable topcoats that do not require a primer, and enhanced corrosion resistance, edge coverage performance, and superior performance for heavy-duty industrial applications. Other notable drivers include self-cleaning technology, improved mar resistance, and low gloss finishes. In addition, environmental regulations will continue to make an impact (e.g., REACH).

Fruth, Arkema Coating Resins: Currently, Arkema sees three primary drivers in powder coating product development—improved durability, better cost in use, and the development of more products for use on non-metal surfaces. Durability has always been important, but as powder coatings gain new market share in areas like North American architectural coatings, they will need to consistently meet AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) 2604 and AAMA 2605 specifications. In addition, we have seen more requests for superdurable products for all markets for low temperature cure and improved corrosion resistant coatings. The shift to superdurable products versus standard solutions is going to continue for the foreseeable future. Superdurability will become the baseline in the industry.

Kumar, Clariant Plastics & Coatings USA: Drivers are higher durability (color and structural improvement) and bright hues (opaque yellow, red, and orange shades). Development of new and improved (more weatherfast) resins that require higher performance and expectations for non-lead pigments are ongoing trends. New applications include the use of powder coatings on wood (e.g., kitchen cabinets) and on metal substrates to offset coil coatings among others.

Coutts, Erie Powder Coatings: In the end, customers using powder coatings are the main drivers of technological development. Customers need something or need a powder to do something that they currently can’t, and we, along with our suppliers, develop the answers. I don’t think this has ever changed or will ever change.

Q. What do you identify as the most important recent advances in powder coating technology over the past few years?
Roop, Axalta Coating Systems: There are several important advances. Improved hardness and chemical resistance utilizing high crosslinked resin technology; polyester HAA and TGIC primer technology with anticorrosive additives, barrier extenders, and hydrophobic properties; dry-on-dry technology for improved productivity and reduced energy consumption; bonded metallic coatings that deliver a unique, quality appearance; sprayable thermoplastic coatings that enable the application of ultra-durable thermoplastic to a much wider audience of coaters; cool coatings that help lower energy consumption; and coatings designed to speed coating and curing for faster line speeds. These technologies are benefiting architectural, agriculture, construction, and earthmoving (ACE), heavy-duty truck, transportation, and spec-driven general industrial applications.

Czeczatka, BYK: Powder coatings have achieved more widespread access in new applications. It is, specifically, lower baking temperatures that have permitted access to new substrates like plastic, MDF, and wood. The technology is opening up new possibilities and new markets. This trend is highly supported by improvements in application equipment and process control, which offer a wider range of application fields like dry-on-dry systems.

Fruth, Arkema Coating Resins: The introduction of powder-on-powder application (applying primer and topcoat with one cure step) opened new application areas and potential for powder coatings. Being able to apply to non-metal surfaces has and will drive new powder coatings growth, as current markets have matured to near full potential. Short term, we see more potential in application to MDF, as there are still many obstacles to overcome in applying onto wood substrates. These products offer a wide range of attributes based on formulation, but the advantages most customers see include a reduced carbon footprint, reduced emissions, and improved operational efficiency.

Coutts, Erie Powder Coatings: For Erie, the most interesting advances by far are in corrosion control coatings. This has been an area where all the stars align; there is a huge customer need for better corrosion control in the market place. It is also an area where great advances can still be made, and the suppliers of raw materials are interested in helping to develop new strategies and products. Corrosion is a huge market, costing customers and the economy in general billions of dollars. There have been some advances, such as our easy-to-coat primers that haven’t been available on the market until now, but there are a number of new corrosion control advances that are just getting to the market or are still in testing.

Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: The ability to make weather-resistant, ultra-matt powder coatings (gloss levels <10) is an important advance because these coatings can mimic the sort of anodizing finishes that are currently very popular on commercial buildings, while avoiding the problems that often come with anodizing. Powder coatings can be applied to more than just aluminum, have greater color consistency between parts, and can be repaired. Specifiers of architectural coatings now have access to more sustainable alternatives to liquid or anodized ultra-matt finishes, backed by long-term warranties and industry certification. Powder coatings can also combine increased functionality, beyond the already appreciated aesthetic and substrate protection qualities, with attributes such as easy clean for outdoor furniture and high-temperature resistance coatings such as on vehicle exhaust systems. Pearson, Estron Chemical: There have been significant advances in flow control agents (FCAs) for compatibility and functionality. The advancement of these FCAs offer multiple advantages to the powder coating manufacturer, as they are designed to reduce cycle time, increase scheduling flexibility, and decrease part rejection rate with multi-technology use. These agents are invaluable for designing more functionality into one solution that “protects” multi-variant systems—meaning that an intended modification for improvement will only affect that single variable rather than multiple variables. Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group: Application equipment makers continue to optimize and refine powder delivery technology and color changing capability. Dense phase feed systems and quick color change modules are improving powder transfer efficiency and application system uptime. Fascinating bio-based resin technology is emerging that could alter the feedstock components of the supply chain. United Soybean Board funding of a Battelle Memorial Institute project has generated a low temperature cure resin system based on soybean oil that exhibits excellent UV durability and mechanical flexibility. The novel bio-based resin technology may offer an alternative to super- and hyper-durable powder technology that conforms to AAMA 2604 and 2605 architectural specifications. Q. What advances have been made in the area of smart powder coatings? Watson, allnex: The concept of smart coatings, which are intended as finishing materials that can dynamically adapt their properties to an external stimulus, has started to impact powder coatings as well all the other coating technologies. In summary, easy-to-clean, improved corrosion, and anti-microbial coatings are capturing interest in the market. Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: Smart coatings can be defined as those that respond in a controlled manner to a specific external stimulus, and are increasingly of interest. There have been several advances in powder coatings that add unique performance features, albeit in a passive form. Examples include: active corrosion protection primers where the coating interacts chemically to disrupt the electrochemical corrosion mechanism, thereby reducing corrosion; anti-microbial coatings that protect against degradation of the coating by bacteria; and thermochromic coatings that change color on exposure to heat. Low solar absorption coatings contain a reflective pigment that deflects infrared light, and thus the sun’s heat, from any substrate that it coats, helping to keep interior spaces cool and reduce energy consumption (air conditioning). Houweling, DSM: Typically the definition of smart coatings is related to new functionalities outside the decorative and protective field. For powder coatings there are numerous examples where new functionalities are formulated into powder coatings: antibacterial, easy-clean, self-healing, anti-static, conductive, EMS shielding, electrochroming, and also sensory, soft feel, and isolation functionalities are possible. Roop, Axalta Coating Systems: There have been many major breakthroughs in smart powder coatings recently. Most smart powder coatings are specifically formulated for the end use of the product and its functionality. For instance, anti-graffiti coatings feature easy-to-clean properties to protect surfaces, such as signs, lockers, indoor and outdoor recreation equipment, public areas, and transportation terminals, from the permanent effects of spray paint and markers. Another interesting advancement is a nanocomposite coating based on compounds specifically designed to only react to liquid hydrocarbons. Pearson, Estron Chemical: Smart coatings are those that are perceived as being passive, but are actually active, and vary based on the trigger mechanism. A prime example is coatings with flow control agents that manipulate the surface tension of a coating to give a resultant smoother surface finish, making it multi-functional. Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group: The smartest powder technology revolves around self-healing formulation schemes. Novel core-shell technology has been pioneered by Autonomic Materials Inc. that could be a game-changer. These materials repair breaches in the coating without the use of heavy metals or phosphates. Fun technologies such as mosquito-repellent powder coatings and pollution absorbing formulas have debuted. Market acceptance is still unknown as these niches are rather narrow. Anti-microbial technology has advanced beyond the common silver ion technique and is being evaluated for an array of microbe killing performance. Czeczatka, BYK: In addition to involving further developments in technology, smart coatings are also a marketing trend to promote powder coatings in more specialized application fields and niche areas away from commodity applications. In addition, smart powder coating technology also demonstrates that powder coatings nowadays are used in more specialized areas than in the past. Q. Have there been any notable developments in hyper-durable powder coatings? Watson, allnex: The possibility of going beyond superdurable with respect to weathering resistance with powder coating is not so new. Let’s consider for instance acrylic technology or fluoropolymer based chemistry, as both can be considered as hyper-durable technologies. The point is eventually to meet advanced weathering requirements without the limitations of those chemistries, including their intrinsically high cost and limited surface finishing effects. Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: Hyper-durable powder coatings are the most weather-resistant coatings available, using similar chemistry to liquid polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) coatings to give 10-year outdoor performance in Florida weathering tests. They meet the most exacting standard for coatings—AAMA2605 in the United States and Qualicoat class 3 in the rest of the world. Hyper-durable powder coatings are increasingly recognized as a relevant alternative to liquid PVDF, as demonstrated by the recent specification on monumental buildings, for instance the Hudson Yards development in New York. Houweling, DSM: The hyper-durable market is dominated by liquid systems but the powder coating market share is growing based on properties, economics, and carbon footprint. Roop, Axalta Coating Systems: Fluoropolymer technology is mainly used in architectural applications to promote weatherability; however, more ACE OEMs are requiring extended weathering performance. This technology has the capability to add 6000 hours of weather resistance under accelerated test conditions. Fruth, Arkema Coating Resins: New applications in the ACE markets are driving demand for improved durability on superdurable products. Our customers are experimenting with alternative chemistries looking for the right mix of improved durability and cost effectiveness. Pearson, Estron Chemical: Hyper-durable powder coatings are desired in the market as they are lower cost, easier to process, and demonstrate high durability. These applications require an advanced understanding of resin design and extensive weathering testing. The current technologies have a fluorocarbon base, which, in combination with a stabilized pigment system, make them extremely stable against degradation (both of the polymer and due to visual color loss). However, there are trade-offs, as this higher degree of crosslink density also results in a system that is more brittle and thus not recommended for applications involving high mechanical stress. The choice of pigment is also limited due to the stringent weathering requirements. Q. What are the latest advances in ultraviolet (UV) and near-infrared (NIR) curable powder coating technologies? Coutts, Erie Powder Coatings: UV coatings showed so much promise, but appear to have gone nowhere except for some very specialty applications. This appears to be due to safety issues with the chemicals, pigments blocking the UV light, and a number of other reasons including simple market inertia. Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group: UV-curable powder coatings are a conundrum. They are beyond a chicken or an egg proposition. Resin companies and formulators intensely pursued the development of this technology in the 1990s. A smattering of new applications arose, including fully assembled electric motors, MDF cabinetry, vinyl flooring, and automotive radiators. Most eventually fell by the wayside due to performance issues (mainly process related) and a lack of strong technical support. A few brave souls continued their quest in spite of economic uncertainty and a general disinterest in the industry. Recently, new opportunities have sprouted that are a good fit for UV-curable powder, including hardwood and composite applications. Technologists are seriously revisiting UV-curable approaches to meet these specifications. A big question remains if the major resin suppliers will be willing to support these new applications. Pearson, Estron Chemical: Neither of these technologies have really gained a strong foothold, largely because of the modifications that would need to be made to coaters’ lines, as well as recognized challenges for use. In an ideal world, UV-cured powder coatings should offer advantages such as faster cure cycles with lower cure temperatures, and can be used for substrates that are both heat sensitive and metallic. There are limitations in that there may be issues with some colors that can be cured due to interference with pigment choices, and the cure may not be as efficient with parts having a complex shape. NIR curing allows for selective heating of a coating with extremely high cure rates. Houweling, DSM: We see both UV and NIR as promising technologies that fit well with the high-growth trend to develop powder coatings for heat-sensitive substrates. Czeczatka, BYK: These are systems for low bake applications such as powder coatings on wood. They require special binders and special application equipment—mainly different ovens. Further improvements in equipment along the complete processing line combined with further developments in raw materials and formulations will help these products enter new markets. Watson, allnex: These are two competitive technologies that can be considered valid options for thermo-sensitive substrates. Recently, it seems that the market is more oriented to NIR in conjunction with thermosetting technology in competition with UV-curable systems. Kumar, Clariant Plastics & Coatings USA: These powder coatings could be used for wood, glass, plastics (recycled), and other non-metal substrates—even automotive interiors to replace soft touch paints. When good resins (UV and NIR curable) are available, this technology will grow, but for now their poor gloss and orange peel performance remain a challenge. [Note that Biller asserts that the gloss of UV/NIR coatings can in fact be very high and equal to that of liquids, while the orange peel is significantly less than conventional powder coatings.] Q. Have any noteworthy developments in functional powder coatings been made recently? Pearson, Estron Chemical: Functional powder coatings typically refer to those specifically made with fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) used to protect steel pipe, rebar, and metal wire from corrosion. Rapid or snap cure and excellent flow are commonly sought attributes. The powder must be able to deposit on a moving substrate with a resultant smooth and contiguous layer because of what is being protected. Targeted applications utilize these coatings because not only is the coating functional in nature, but the substrate or part being coated is also functional in its usage. Kumar, Clariant Plastics & Coatings USA: These low-priced, high-volume coatings remain based on epoxy resins. Epoxy resin prices have been on the upswing, however, and there is an opportunity for other resins to take away some market share in this high-volume business. The growing infrastructure market is also having a positive impact on the demand for functional powder coatings. Czeczatka, BYK: Functional powder coatings must fulfill high anti-corrosive requirements, be chip- and chemical-resistant, and flexible. When we consider all recent and ongoing changes in regulatory affairs, especially for solventborne coating systems, we can expect a further move to powder coating technology. Improved powder coating systems might even replace a certain part of the market share held by waterborne systems. This is a trend in all global regions and particularly strongly driven by China. New opportunities have sprouted that are a good fit for UV-curable powder, including hardwood and composite applications. Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: In our business, the term “functional powder coatings” refers to the market segment in which we supply our Resicoat range of functional powder coatings, which are totally different than other powders as most are hot-applied and in higher thickness, up to 1000 µm (1 mm). They are used for heavy-duty corrosion protection of cast iron valves and fittings, pipelines, and rebar, as well as for insulation and corrosion protection on lamination stacks, bus bars, and electronic components. Advances include higher Tg-powders to extend in-service lifetimes and the ability to operate in more aggressive environments. Powder coatings with preheating temperatures approximately 50–60°C lower (from 230°C to 160–170°C) offer the applicator significant energy savings and improved productivity while also reducing both the carbon footprint and the manufacturing costs associated with the paint application process. Roop, Axalta Coating Systems: Axalta recently developed a pipe-in-pipe product technology for the oil and gas industry that creates a durable internal vessel able to extend the usable life of damaged pipes. Functional powder coatings also protect valves and fittings for fluid and gas handling systems, fire hydrants, and even large storage tanks. The term can also include products for wire encapsulation and electrical insulation. Gingras, Arkema Coating Resins: As functional powder coatings become more attractive vs solventborne liquids for corrosion protection applications, products made completely from renewable resources such as castor oil may attract more attention. These powders are used to protect metal in industries like automotive, oil and gas, medical, and more. Q. What gaps remain to be addressed by advances in powder coating technology, and what actions are being taken to do so? Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: Everything we do is driven by market needs and providing more sustainable solutions for our customers around the world—whether that’s reducing baking temperatures, removing process steps through dry-on dry-application, improved material usage through lower applied film builds, improving the longevity of the coated article through improved UV durability/corrosion-protection performance, or adding more functionality to the coatings. Providing the ultimate powder solutions and helping our customers to reach their sustainability goals are at the core of our work. For example, AkzoNobel recognized the desire for a low gloss finish several years ago, when matt and textured surfaces started to become more popular, and were the first to bring to market a range of ultra matt coatings with high scratch resistance. Fruth, Arkema Coating Resins: There is still some uncertainty around the future of triglycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC) crosslinker technology outside of Europe, where it has already been regulated out. Enhancing the performance of hydroxyalkyl amide (HAA) crosslinkers remains a topic of interest for global paint companies. Our customers have expressed a desire for a “global” crosslinker technology that performs as well as or better than the existing systems. Gingras, Arkema Coating Resins: In order for powder coatings technology to advance, there must be acceptance from the entire value chain. The end customers must appreciate the value high-performance powder coatings provide, while the powder coating supplier must invest resources to develop and promote the new technology. To this end, in the past nine months, Arkema announced capital investments in polyamide 11 chemistry to demonstrate its commitment to the market. Functional powder coatings also protect valves and fittings for fluid and gas handling systems, fire hydrants, and even large storage tanks Roop, Axalta Coating Systems: A gap Axalta is addressing is coating performance on blasted steel substrates vs hot or cold rolled steel or smooth/polished aluminum. Currently, we have to formulate differently depending on the surface type particularly for grit blasted profiles. Customers are coating complex parts, and in some cases, will have both preparations on a finished part. In addition, Axalta is developing a new generation of FBEs to protect the world’s pipelines. As oil and gas producers drill into deeper reservoirs, pipeline operators must raise temperatures to facilitate the movement of this thicker, more viscous crude. Traditionally, FBEs formulated for high-temperature service are more brittle, less flexible, and have less adhesion to the substrate. Axalta’s new generation of FBEs are changing that. With respect to quality gaps, Axalta has created an approved applicator program for architects working on global projects that involves evaluation and approval of the consistency of all applicators of Axalta powder products globally. We’ve found that this grants our customers peace of mind when choosing Axalta for their aluminum façade and architectural projects. Czeczatka, BYK: The drawback of powder coatings continues to be their optical surface appearance, which differs from the visual properties of liquid systems. The finish and surface quality are a little lower than wet-look systems. The visual effects, for instance of metallic finishes, is slightly less brilliant in powder coatings, than in liquid coatings. All of these drawbacks are known, but new and further developments in raw materials and processing of powder coatings will tackle some of them. BYK as an additive supplier actively works in areas where our products can overcome existing gaps, with adjustments to local requirements in different regions from a global perspective. In addition, we are working closely together with our customers to support their new development activities. Kumar, Clariant Plastics & Coatings USA: Achieving high gloss like that obtained for liquid solvent-based coatings is still a challenge for powder systems. Cool coatings with IR reflective pigments (duller shades only; bright ones are too expensive) are also needed. Clariant is also focused on the development of unique pigment combinations based on pigments with high opacity, high chroma, high gloss, and high durability. Metallic shades remain far poorer in appearance than those achieved with liquid coatings, which is another issue we are looking to address. Houweling, DSM: We keep improving the sustainability of our powder coating solutions because we see this attribute as the key success factor for powder in combination with lower curing temperatures (heat-sensitive substrates and heavy mass), improved appearance, improved corrosion resistance, and epoxy replacement. Coutts, Erie Powder Coatings: Our focus has been on corrosion control. We see many gaps and potential for advances in this area. Our main focus has been on solving problems such as the re-coatability inter-coat adhesion issues that were common with existing products, and developing new technologies with new chemicals, pigments, and smart technologies. Pearson, Estron Chemical: Challenges continue to exist with increasingly stringent specifications for degree of cure without sacrificing appearance or performance. Estron is focused on overcoming performance deficiencies associated with manipulation of coating components—the physical mobility of the resin reactive groups finding each other during the cure process at a pre-determined time and manner—and how to determine the most effective method to deliver a product that aligns with the needs of the individual markets. Estron has developed a proprietary manufacturing process resulting in the uniform dispersion of additives while minimizing the potential for reaction between resin functionalities and additives. The process has also been proven effective for dispersion of additives into coatings that are challenging to work with using conventional methods. Biller, The Powder Coating Research Group: PCR Group is working on a wide array of new technologies, including improvements in corrosion resistance for both primers and polyester topcoats; coating technology for composites, MDF, and hardwood; and sustainable resin systems based on plant material feedstocks. Significant advancements are being realized with formulating techniques, new materials, and corresponding processes such as infrared and UV curing. Q. Is there anything else about advances in powder coating technology you would like to mention? Czeczatka, BYK: Powder coatings have clear environmental benefits. Their VOC content and carbon footprint are often far superior to those of liquid, i.e., solventborne and even waterborne, systems. Watson, allnex: Recent regulatory reclassification for some crosslinking agents will drive reformulation. New architectural standards for the Chinese market will also drive development to obtain the specified performance. In addition, there is focus on identifying the use of sustainable raw materials and eliminating materials of concern, which will further underpin the green credentials of powder coatings. Pearson, Estron Chemical: There are areas that readers may be interested in with respect to architectural powder coatings and their advancement in Europe vs North America. The acceptance of powder in the architectural market in Europe is greater than in the United States, with a recognized barrier to entry being color and gloss variations. Europe is more accepting of the low gloss that is achieved with technology blends, but this technique results in a sparkle effect that has not been widely adopted or accepted in North America. [Note that Biller disagrees. He states that the difference in consumption is due to different requirements for UV protection. Europe requires coatings with significantly less UV resistance. The continental United States is exposed to significantly higher doses of UV, hence the need for higher performance. Fairly standard resin technology meets most European architectural standards. In the United States, fluoropolymers are required to meet commercial architectural specifications, creating the higher barrier to market entry.] Vlad, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings: Customers want to be able to make faster and better-informed decisions. The growth of digital innovation in the powder coatings industry is bringing powder coatings closer to the end users, making the decision process easier. Color digitalization and digital tools are a key area of development; AkzoNobel has rolled out a number of digital apps across different market segments supported by Instamatch, a highly accurate color-measurement tool that pairs with mobile software to allow fast and accurate color selection while on the go. Apps enable easy and convenient research and in some cases, like AkzoNobel Design, can even be used to develop a bespoke technical specification in a matter of minutes, by offering a choice of filters at each stage of the decision process. Filters might range from type of substrate/construction material, environment, geographical location, durability requirements, color choices, finished look, etc. Fruth, Arkema Coating Resins: Not much has changed for powder coatings in the past 40 years. Most innovation seems to come as technology transfer from the plastics engineering sector. Until there is a significant breakthrough in polymer design and how coatings are manufactured, powder will continue to occupy a niche position in the coating market. That said, Arkema continues to look for new ways to serve and support our customers in this market sector. Original Source

Liquid Nylon Coating

What is Liquid Nylon?

According to Corrosionpedia:

What Does Liquid Nylon Coating Mean?

A liquid nylon coating is a coating that is used to protect an underlying base material. As the name suggests, the coating material is made from nylon, plus epoxy for bonding purposes. A liquid nylon coating can be adhered to many different types of materials.

Corrosionpedia Explains Liquid Nylon Coating

Liquid nylon coatings provide many benefits, including:

They are suitable for a wide range of operating temperatures.
Surface preparation, while important, may not be as critical as for other coating products.
Full curing can occur in just a few days.
They can be tinted for an increased aesthetic appeal.
They can be applied through a variety of means including paintbrush and spraying.
They have great abrasion resistance and ductility.

A liquid nylon coating can be used in a variety of industries. Common examples of industries that employ liquid nylon coatings include aerospace, structural applications, automotive, and other transportation sectors.

A liquid nylon coating can be applied to many different materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, fiberglass, galvanized metals and anodized aluminum.

Original Source

Basic Facts in Metal Cleaning

How do you clean metal?

According to Corrosion Doctors:

Preparation for processing it for application 0f a non-metallic zinc phosphate for either corrosion protection or painting
In metal cleaning it is generally overlooked that water plays the most important part. Its condition (hard or soft), and degrees thereof determines the performance of the chemicals dissolved in it. The efficiency of any cleaner is directly proportional to how if performs in water. The chemical must do three important things. First, it must tie-up or inactivate hard water ions for better rinsing and cleaning. Second, it must lower the surface tension of the water— in effect, it makes water wetter. Third, it must ionize or dissociate when it is added to water.

An ion is an electrically charged chemical particle in solution. And in all acids and also in water the electrically charged particle is the Hydrogen ion. It is this ion that has such a pronounced effect on the activity or strength of an acid. The counterpart of this ion in an alkaline water solution is the Hydroxyl ion, the degree of presence which determines the alkalinity of the solution.

Oxygen is the one chemical ion which is present in all alkalies, acids, water, and in air, and it is needed to maintain the chemical reaction known as oxidation. Two examples of this are: the rusting of iron or steel, and the white corrosion products on zinc plated surfaces. Also, Oxygen is the cause of breakdown or decomposition of certain chemical products .

Although all acids and alkalies have an effect on all metals to varying degrees, some react so minutely that physical evidence is not observable. In the extreme cases. the reaction is violent, manifested in the form of boiling and gassing at the metal surface, which is a sign of a pronounced attack on the metal. In effect, the metal is being dissolved. Generally, strong alkalies have the most drastic effect on aluminum and zinc, while strong acids more particularly attack steel. Strong oxidizing acids such as Nitric and Chromic readily attack copper alloys.

Metal cleaning is decidedly affected by the type and degree of attack a particular chemical has on a given metal. Also of importance on the clean-ability of a chemical compound is the hardness of the water. That is, in the amount of calcium and magnesium dissolved, and the wetting ability.

Other factors having•a significant and influencing effect on the cleaning ability of a chemical compound are, namely:

HEAT – The higher temperatures accelerate cleaning.

CONCENTRATION – of the chemical determines reaction time, speeding up removal of the soils and oils and greases from the surface by the simple reason that it brings fresh solution into contact with the contaminants, and the physical action itself helps to dislodge the materials clinging to the surface.


Remember, the above four factors are the most important ones to be learned, because all metal cleaning situations can be related back to one or all of them. If properly applied, these four factors will enable you to perform all your cleaning with a minimum of problems.

Original Source

Global Sand Blasting Equipment Market 2021

Curious about the global sandblasting market?

According to MarketWatch:

Global and Regional “Sand Blasting Equipment Market” 2021 Industry Status, Growth, COVID-19 Impact Analysis Research Report Standard Version-: The global Sand Blasting Equipment market was valued at 121.98 Million USD in 2020 and will grow with a CAGR of 5.05% from 2020 to 2027, based on Researcher newly published report.

The prime objective of this report is to provide the insights on the post COVID-19 impact which will help market players in this field evaluate their business approaches. Also, this report covers market segmentation by major market verdors, types, applications/end users and geography(North America, East Asia, Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Oceania, South America).

Abrasive blasting, more commonly known as sandblasting, is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface or remove surface contaminants. A pressurised fluid, typically compressed air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the blasting material (often called the media). There are several variants of the process, using various media; some are highly abrasive, whereas others are milder. The most abrasive are shot blasting (with metal shot) and sandblasting (with sand). Moderately abrasive variants include glass bead blasting (with glass beads) and media blasting with ground-up plastic stock or walnut shells and corncobs. A mild version is sodablasting (with baking soda). In addition, there are alternatives that are barely abrasive or nonabrasive, such as ice blasting and dry-ice blasting.The increasing demand for sand blasting equipment drives the market. Technical advancement, lung diseases like silicosis caused by manual sand blasting operation and rapid industrialization are key drivers for sand blasting equipment market. Substitution of manual labor improve productivity and efficiency. Inhalation of silica, which has been traditionally used as an abrasive material in sand blasting machines, causes health hazards such as silicosis and other lung diseases. Sand blasting equipment prevent contracting any lung disorders, which is thereby expected to propel market growth.

Asia Pacific sandblasting machines dominated market owing to low costs and high demand for these products. China is predicted to be the major revenue contributor for APAC. Europe sandblasting machines market size is expected to increase over the forecast period, followed by North America.

The report gives – Who are the global key players in this Sand Blasting Equipment market? What are their company profile, their product information, and contact information? What Was the Global Market Status of the Sand Blasting Equipment Market? What Was Capacity, Production Value, Cost, and PROFIT of Sand Blasting Equipment Market?

Original Source

CARC: The Impervious Nature of an Important Paint

New to CARC? Consider this.

According to Medium:

Chemical Agent Resistant Coating, commonly referred to as CARC, is a paint applied to military vehicles. CARC ensures their metal surfaces remain resistant to oxidation and puncturing by chemical or biological agents.

CARC is a robust and adaptable automotive-grade polyurethane paint. Automotive-grade polyurethane coatings have the common attributes that any protective coating has. These attributes include high shine, exceptional durability, and high resistance to abrasion and corrosion.

However, CARC offers distinctive qualities that differentiate it from other products readily available in the market. Here are the attributes that make CARC the coating of choice for military vehicles and equipment.

CARC Coating is a Military Requirement

All CARC coatings have a very matte finish. This type of finish means they don’t have the luster or gloss of most automotive-grade polyurethane paints. The matte finish reduces visibility generally caused by the glow or reflection of the sun or other sources of shining light.
First developed in 1974, the military made CARC coating a requirement for all combat, combat support, tactical transport vehicles, aircraft, as well as all support machinery. The finish is a low-gloss adaptation of polyurethane paint designed for military use with a coating that is very difficult to destroy, with a four times longer life span than the alkyd paint previously used by the army.

CARC Has Low Porosity and High Durability

CARC is a paint coating with very low porosity. This feature enables it to stop chemical or biological warfare agents from getting absorbed into the finish. Porosity makes the process of decontamination easier, considerably lowering battlefield decontamination time.

The finish not only has a chemical makeup that hinders toxic warfare agents from pervading military vehicles and equipment but can also easily withstand wear and tear.

For a while now, CARC has been used in battle zones to safeguard vital military infrastructure, vehicles, and apparatus from harmful chemical and biological substances such as mustard gas and various types of poisonous agents. In case there’s a chemical or biological attack, personnel uses ordinary military decontamination solutions for getting rid of the contaminants.

Essential Attributes of CARC’s Effectiveness

Apart from chemical resistance and durability, CARC has other distinctive features. One worth mentioning is the base green color, which the army referrers to as Green 383. This color imitates the reflectiveness of chlorophyll, which found in all flora. This feature makes vehicles harder to detect by infrared detection equipment. Visual and infrared camouflaging is a significant plus for the military when they want to avoid detection or want to confound enemies that are using infrared technology.

Another significant development with the CARC coating is the Tan 686 color redeveloped with higher reflectivity shades to lessen the number of solar heat vehicles would take in. The amount of sun absorbed by vehicles was causing a genuine and significant concern throughout Operation Desert Shield.

Later, a color change with the label Tan 686A got introduced to lessen the proportion of light on the surface of military vehicles. New batches of Tan 686A were produced and brought in to cater to the supply requirements, and the latest version became the preferred paint for the surface of military vehicles.

Safety Concerns Regarding CARC Painting

It is essential to be safe when painting vehicles or anything else with Chemical Agent Resistant Coating, just like you would when using any paint. It would be best to protect yourself using a respirator with a HEPA filter. You should also make sure you are sufficiently covered, so coveralls and rubber gloves are a must. Instead of wearing safety glasses, you should put on splash goggles since they will protect you better from the paint’s thinner.

Make sure the thinner and the paint itself are kept far away from any open flame sources. When painting with CARC, make sure you do it in an area with adequate ventilation. Once it’s dry, CARC is completely safe unless it’s compromised by sanding or grinding. Over the years, CARC has become essential to military strategy and operations. Today, vehicles and equipment in the military can be used repeatedly without anxiety about future contaminants. By using CARC, you can rest assured that any surface it covers will resist future chemical and biological attacks.

Original Source

The basics of liquid and powder coatings

New to liquid and powder coating? Consider this.

According to the Fabricator:

“Almost all metal fabricators consider on-time part delivery a key metric. In today’s just-in-time manufacturing environment, the parts need to be there so the customers don’t miss a beat in their own manufacturing facilities.

“To maintain their ability to get parts where they need to be and when they need to be there, more fabricators are investigating in-house finishing capabilities. They know that once metal parts leave the shop to receive a liquid or a powder coating, they have lost their ability to guarantee a delivery date. It is quite literally out of their hands.

“Now, a finishing contractor may be a good supply chain partner, but a metal fabricator is one of its many customers—perhaps one of the smaller ones. If the custom coater needs to clear the production schedule for one of its largest customers, guess where that leaves the small batch from the metal fabricator?

“Metal fabricators looking to take on finishing should know about two of the most common finishing alternatives—liquid and powder coating—and the requirements involved for a company hoping to apply one or both.

What Makes up the Coating?

“Liquid. The basic raw materials comprising a liquid coating are additives, carriers, pigments, and resins. Additives make up the smallest portion of any liquid coating composition, but they impart special characteristics on the overall finish; for example, they might assist with rust prevention or UV protection. The carrier is the main liquid used to formulate the paint. The carrier can be water, solvent, or a combination of the two. Liquid coatings heavy in solvents traditionally have been the dominant form of liquid finish applied to metal parts over the years, but more interest has been directed to waterborne and high-solids coatings, which release a minimal amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during application when compared to traditional solventborne coatings.

“Pigments play a role in final appearance and performance to some extent. As a rule, the volume of pigments influences the gloss of the film. The more pigment present, the lower the coating’s gloss. Resins act as the base of the liquid coating. They primarily govern the overall performance of the coating, helping the paint to excel for particular applications.

“Powder. Powder coatings don’t require a carrier. The additives, pigments, and resins are formulated in a powder form. To apply the material to parts, the powder is electrostatically charged and conveyed via compressed air. The charged powder is attracted to a grounded part. The part is then taken through an oven, where the heat changes the powder from a solid to a liquid and then to a solid coating. Generally, powders do not have any or extremely low VOCs.

How Does the Coating Affect the Environment?

“Liquid. Solventborne coatings are often specified for a finish because of their dependable performance and ability to air-dry in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, most of the traditional liquid paint formulations from yesteryear no longer are around because of the need to reduce VOCs emitted during application.

“That has led to the development of more environmentally friendly coatings, such as new waterborne formulations and high-solids coatings, that emit low VOCs. The waterbornes, which have come a long way from the early versions used 15 years ago, are slowly growing in acceptance. However, some manufacturers still have reservations about applying a water-based product directly to metal. High-solids are liquid coatings that have a solids content of at least 65 percent, which means minimal solvents are present. But fewer solvents also means that the coating is more viscous. That has led to the development of multipart application systems (referred to as 2K systems if two parts are mixed, 3K if three parts are mixed, etc.) that are formulated to be mixed only seconds before application.

“All finishers that apply liquid coatings spray to waste. The overspray can’t be reclaimed. If filters are used to capture the overspray, the finisher has to dispose of the filters according to regulations established by local authorities.

“Powder. The powder booth does not require an exhaust. As stated previously, if any VOCs are emitted during the powder coating process, they are typically very low.

“Powder coatings can be recycled with the right reclamation equipment. Companies looking for Class A finishes have reclamation systems that depend on thorough cleaning and maintenance because any cross-contamination of reclaimed material ruins the original material’s ability to deliver a specific color.

“Again, disposal of unreclaimed powder coating material is governed by local regulations. In some instances, local law may require disposal in sealed containers or require that the powder coating material be baked into the form of a brick for disposal in a local landfill.

What Are the Characteristics of the Final Coating?

“Liquid. When someone talks about a Class A finish, typically used to define the coating quality on a new automobile, most people think of liquid coatings. Specialty finishes, such as those incorporating metallic flakes, also are possible in liquid coatings.

“Durability has improved over the years as well, especially with the emergence of 2K coatings. These are typically used on large metal parts that can’t be powder-coated because they can’t fit into a typical booth and oven setup.

“Liquid coating finishes can be applied in various thicknesses. Obviously, the more mils applied, the better the protection. In many instances, a manufacturer, such as an automaker, will seek to balance maximum protection with the minimum amount of paint mil thickness.

“Powder. Powder coatings offer the same characteristics that come with liquid coatings.

“Properly cured powder coatings can offer superior protection against chipping, scratching, UV rays, and corrosive elements. This is why powder coatings are often specified to coat metal products destined for outdoor use.

“Material development has progressed to the point where powder coatings can deliver a Class A finish. In fact, a major European automaker and a U.S. motorcycle manufacturer are using powder coatings for their clear coating. However, many manufacturers, including automakers, still prefer liquid coatings for that topnotch finish.

“Standard powder coating finishes are applied in the thickness range of 2 to 4 mils. Specialty finishes like a hammertone or a texture are usually 3 to 5 mils thick. Functional coatings can be 10 to 40 mils thick.

What Type of Cleaning Is Necessary Before Parts Are Coated?

“Liquid. A lot of fabricators simply wipe the part clean with a rag soaked in solvent. Others rely on a wash of some kind with pretreatment chemicals.

“Solvent helps to prepare the metal surface because it has aggressive cleaning action and actually prepares the surface for adhering to the paint. New coatings that have less solvent content may require much more formalized pretreatment processes to achieve a quality finish.

“Powder. Pretreatment is critical when it comes to powder coating. If a powder coating is going to last, the part needs to be thoroughly cleaned.

“Pretreatment can range from a simple abrasive media blasting chamber to a multistage pretreatment system with several chemical application and rinse stations and an oven. (Parts have to be dried and cooled before any application of powder takes place.) Some of the pretreatment chemicals, such as zinc phosphate, have to be treated before disposal, but newer, environmentally friendly pretreatment chemicals have emerged in recent years to ease the disposal hassles. The Environmental Protection Agency, however, likely will seek changes in the near future that will call for treatment of all wastewater prior to discharge.

What Are the Basic Booth Requirements?

“Liquid. Booths or stations used in liquid coating are typically made of metal. Whether in a manual or an automated setup, the paint is often sprayed to waste.

“Fumes are exhausted outside during the painting process to keep the work environment in and around the paint booth free from the strong odors.

“Powder. In some instances, particularly if batch finishing is occurring, a shop might use the same booth for both liquid and powder coating. But fabricators need to keep in mind that if they choose to powder coat in a liquid application booth and exhaust overspray outside the building, employees could be walking out to cars with all new finishes at the end of the shift on a very hot day—depending on where that powder overspray landed. For the most part, however, filters and correct powder coating technique should prevent most powder overspray from going outside.

“If a company is doing any kind of high-volume powder coating, it should consider a reclamation system. Single-color reclamation systems are cartridge-based and typically made of stainless steel. Multicolor systems, which are designed for fast color changeout, are plastic, making them easier to clean. Sophisticated fan setups keep the overspray in the booth, and the polymer-based interior walls prevent the powder from adhering to them. The overspray is collected and recycled for another application.

How Do the Application Guns Work?

“Liquid. Conventional spray guns for liquid coatings rely on highly pressurized compressed air (2 to 3.5 bar) to propel atomized coating material to the surface. These guns have a low transfer efficiency when compared to more modern paint application guns and may not be approved for use in some areas. However, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.

“High-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) spray guns also atomize the paint like a conventional spray gun, but use low-pressure air, usually less than 0.7 bar, to propel the paint onto the object. The lower velocity of the air results in less paint jetting through the spray gun’s air nozzle and allows for a more controlled application. Higher application rates are then possible.

“Other spray gun technologies are airless spray guns that force the paint through a smaller nozzle and electrostatic-based guns that rely on paint being “attracted” to the object to be coated. (In electrostatic application, a charge is applied to the liquid coating while it is being atomized. In turn, the coating is attracted to any surface that is grounded, which happens to be the workpiece. Obviously, this approach works very well with metal workpieces.) For new users of paint technology, conventional or HVLP spray guns are typically the choice for paint application.

“Powder. Powder coatings rely on the charging of material for application as well. Today’s market primarily uses corona guns to do this.

“These guns impart a strong electrostatic charge on the powder material as it leaves the spray gun via compressed air. As the powder coating is discharged, it is attracted to the grounded metal part hanging from a metal rack. It is necessary for the rack to have some area of exposed metal to ensure a solid grounding for good electrostatic powder application.

“Tribo guns also are used for powder application. With this method, the powder material picks up a positive charge while rubbing against the gun’s interior Teflon® walls.

“An operator needs less experience to apply powder coatings in an efficient and effective manner than someone applying liquid coatings.

What Are the General Oven Requirements?

“Liquid. Because most liquid coatings can air-day, ovens aren’t necessarily needed. However, if a manufacturer wants to speed up drying times, it needs an oven that is capable of heating between 130 and 170 degrees F.

“Powder. Powder coatings need a much hotter oven to melt the particles so that they can flow and react chemically to form a smooth finish on the workpiece. Most powder coatings reach this stage in an oven heated to 350 to 400 degrees F. For a proper curing, the substrate must be at this temperature for at least 10 minutes.

“On some occasions a manufacturer can use the same oven for drying liquid coatings and curing powder coatings (as long as both coating chemistries are compatible with each other). The key is scheduling parts headed through the oven so that the temperature can be adjusted accordingly for specific coating jobs.

Why Use a Liquid Coating?

“This coating technology is prevalent for many reasons:

“It can be cured quickly, resulting in faster production cycles.

“It is cost-effective in the sense that the initial investment for the equipment is much less than for powder coating equipment (although liquid material is more expensive than powder and can’t be reclaimed).

“The coating can be used to finish parts containing sensitive materials, such as a metal cylinder with a rubber seal, because it does not require dramatically high temperatures to dry.

“It can be used to finish very large parts that are not able to fit into an oven or can’t be moved easily.

“A thin coating is achievable. It can routinely be applied as thin as 0.5 mil.

“It provides an automotive-quality finish (although this performance advantage over powder coatings has been narrowed greatly over the years).

Why Use a Powder Coating?

“Users of powder coatings turn to this technology for a few specific reasons:

“As soon as the workpiece has cooled after curing, the part doesn’t require overly protective handling and immediately can be sent to downstream processes such as assembly or packaging.

“It is very durable. It is commonly used for outdoor applications ranging from outdoor furniture to agricultural.

“The process does not emit VOCs, which means local air quality regulations aren’t likely to be an issue for the manufacturer undertaking powder coating. Additionally, the material can be reclaimed, if the right equipment is installed, which limits the amount of waste material that has to be placed into the waste stream.

“Although it requires a large upfront investment, the long-term costs of applying powder are less than those for a liquid system. In some instances, the price of liquid material may be four times more.”

Original Source

“CARC” (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating)

New to CARC? Consider this.

According to Military Trader:

“Chemical Agent Resistant Coating or CARC is, in simple terms, a low gloss military version of the polyurethane paints that were developed for use in commercial industry. CARC has a low porosity that prevents chemical warfare agents from “soaking in” to the finish and makes decontamination easy to perform. TB 43-0242 states, “[Chemical agents] just bead up on the surface like water on a newly waxed car.” More importantly, the CARC finish is not affected by the solvents used in the decontamination process.

“The finish is also much more durable and resistant to fading, lasting up to four times longer than the alkyd paint previously used by the Army. This durability promised to keep fielded vehicles looking better for a longer period of time and to reduce the number of times a vehicle would need to be repainted in its life cycle, thus reducing maintenance costs. The resistance to solvents allows regular washing of vehicles without fear of damaging the finish.

“To provide some idea about the durability of the CARC finish, TB 43-0242 gives the following as a test to determine if a vehicle is painted with CARC, “wet a cloth with acetone and rub hard on the painted surface for 10 seconds. Wet a clean corner of the cloth with acetone and rub another 10 seconds if no paint comes off the second time, it’s CARC.”

“The first chemical agent resistant coatings were developed as early as 1974, and by 1983 the Army was ready to make CARC the required coating for all combat, combat support, tactical wheeled vehicles, aircraft and tactical ground support equipment. The US Army officially adopted CARC in May of 1983.

“Besides its chemical resistance and durability, CARC has some other unique properties. For example, the base green color, “Green 383.” uses pigments that mimic the reflective properties of chlorophyll which is found in living plants, making the vehicle harder to detect using infrared detectors. During the Gulf War, “Tan 686” was reformulated to reduce the amount of solar heat absorption and keep vehicles cooler in the desert environment. The new color became “Tan 686A” and was standardized in the latter stages of the conflict.

“To create these special pigments, CARC is a two-part coating that is mixed before application. The components are not interchangeable, it is not possible to mix component A of one color with component B of another color, and intermixing components from different manufacturers is also not feasible. Once mixed, unused CARC will not keep and must be disposed of as a hazardous material. CARC is also highly flammable and it is recommended that the cans and mixing equipment be grounded when mixing the paint. A one part CARC was also made available for brush or roller touchup at the unit level.

“One problem of CARC is the toxicity of its components. Polyurethane paints were in use in the commercial and automotive industries for some years before the Army adopted CARC, so the health risks associated with them were well documented. All polyurethane paints contain isocyanates, and this alone poses a significant health risk. Add to this the array of volatile solvents and cleaners needed and you have a recipe for serious health risks.

“Hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) is the isocyanate found in CARC. It can be released when CARC is being sprayed, and it is also released when CARC burns making the smoke from welding and vehicle fires a greater potential health hazard. HDI is also a known sensitizer for asthmatics; soldiers with asthma were not to be involved with the application of CARC as “a severe life threatening allergic reaction may occur.”

“CARC poses no known health risks once dry unless disturbed by sanding or grinding. As a result of the hazards involved with applying CARC, individual units and crews were no longer responsible for the painting of vehicles. Complete repaints had to be done at the direct support, general support or depot level, provided the facility had an OSHA approved paint booth.

“This rule also applied to complete repaints of non-CARC painted equipment as the Army strove to become compliant with ever more stringent environmental regulations. Moving the responsibility for major painting tasks to the maintenance level also served to improve the quality of the paint finish and help maintain greater uniformity in camouflage patterns.

“The October 1990 version of TB 43-209 is the source for CARC patterns for several military vehicles.

“Soldiers at the unit level were limited to touching up their vehicles using a brush or roller; they were not supposed to spray CARC for any reason. Touch ups for cosmetic reasons were also officially prohibited; only blemishes in the paint that went to bare metal were to be retouched, to inhibit corrosion. Unit level touch up was only supposed to be performed using the one part CARC. Rules governing CARC application were spelled out in AR 750-1, paragraph 4-41.

“It was determined that brush or roller application of CARC could be done outdoors without needing a respirator, as long as the individual was exposed to no more than one quart each day. It was, however, required that the individual wear chemical goggles, NBC gloves, a hat, and long sleeves. Use of the M40 NBC mask was permitted at the commander’s discretion.

“As with any army, rules are not always followed. The U.S. Army provides a good barometer in its PS Magazine. According to PS Magazines online article index, from 1990-2000, there were 22 articles on CARC, 8 of which were about CARC touch up and what painting was allowed at the unit level. It would appear that many soldiers were unfamiliar with AR 750-1!


“When the Army adopted CARC in 1983, it issued a set of guidelines on how the transition from alkyd to CARC was to transpire. The transition began in October 1985 (start of Fiscal Year 1986) for systems already in the field. The guidelines were as follows:

1. At the unit level, crews were to continue touching up the existing paint jobs until such a time as the whole vehicle was in need of a repaint, complete repaints were to be done only as needed.
2. Any vehicle in a depot level repair program would be repainted using CARC and the 3-color scheme.
3. If an approved 3-color CARC pattern was not available for the vehicle, the Green 383 base color was to be applied.
4. Vehicles painted in CARC were to be marked near the data plate with “CARC mo/yr.”

“It was spelled out that any new systems in procurement as of the May 1983 message would be procured with CARC in the 3-color patterns. Systems already in production would convert to CARC as soon as possible, but no later than October 1985.

“Some fielded systems that were near the end of their life cycles were left in the old 4-color alkyd patterns until they left service. By the onset of the Gulf War in 1991, most everything was CARC painted, but the occasional piece of support equipment could be found in the old pattern into the 1990’s. Once a piece of equipment was painted in CARC, all markings were to be applied using CARC or lusterless black pressure sensitive decals.

“Certain items were not to be coated with CARC, they were spelled out in AR750-1, paragraph 4-41, line 10:

a.) Painted items that attain surface temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit serve a heat-conducting function or serve a function of expanding and contracting during operation. Examples are manifolds, turbo chargers, cooling fins, and rubber hoses.
b.) Displacement watercraft that will be subject to prolonged salt-water immersion. Examples are the logistical support vessel and the landing craft utility.
c.) Non-deployable equipment and fixed installation systems. Examples are railroad rolling stock and fixed power generation systems.
d.) Installation / TDA equipment such as military police cars, non-tactical fire trucks and buses.
e.) Aluminum transmissions that are enclosed in combat vehicle powerpack compartments. However any ferrous components of the transmission must be protected with CARC or other rust-preventative agents.

“AR 750-1, paragraph 14-4, also spelled out, “If items do not require painting, do not paint them. For example, items made of fabric or which have anodized or parkerized surfaces are not painted.”

“The old practice of continuing camouflage pattern painting onto vehicle soft-tops was also ended, as there was no flex agent available to mix with CARC paints.

“It was found that CARC did not last well on wood. Wood expands and contracts with weather changes and CARC lacked the flexibility needed move with the wood, so cracks would form and the finish would begin to peel. It was recommended in TM 43-0139, “Properly seasoned wood shall be sealed prior to application of CARC with a polyurethane sealer …wood shall be treated…dried to a moisture content no greater than 20% and pressure treated in accordance with [the] American Wood Preservers Bureau…” At some point in the 1990s, it was decided that CARC was not to be used on wood at all because it simply did not last.

“Given the volatile and toxic nature of the CARC coatings, research to develop more environmentally friendly coatings with the same properties as CARC were underway even before CARC became standardized. CARC has a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content of 420 g/L. This was pushing the limits of federal and local regulations stemming from the Clean Air Act of 1990.

“The Army, as well as the private sector, began experimenting with waterborne coatings in an effort to meet the requirements of new clean air regulations. By the close the century the US Army Research Laboratory had developed a coating that had a VOC content of 220g/L while exhibiting many of the same characteristics of CARC. Development and testing continued as the century drew to a close.”

Original Source

Top 5 Myths about Powder Coating

When it comes to powder coating, be wary of these myths.

According to ICI Online:

“Many people have their preconceived notions about powder coating which are not all very accurate. Before discussing the top 5 myths about powder coating, let’s go over the process and how it works.

What is powder coat?

“Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between conventional paint and powder coating is that powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The result is a paint-like finish.

“Once a metal is prepared for powder coat, depending on the application process, a powder is applied to the metal with an electrostatic gun, this creates a positive electric charge and when sprayed on the metal part, adheres to the metal. Once applied, the metal part goes into a sizeable hi-temp oven where it melts down and creates a film.

Myth #1. Powder coat doesn’t crack or chip.

“Although powder coat creates a film over the part, it, unfortunately, is not damage proof. Like many materials, under certain conditions powder coat can crack or chip and then peel away like an eggshell. Even when the powder coating is applied correctly, the environment can play a role in the effectiveness of the coating. Extreme heat, cold, or rough grainy substances, such as dirt, or salt may corrode the coating faster than you intended.

Myth #2. Powder coat can be applied to the same materials as wet paint.

“Although used as an alternative to wet paint, this is not the case for all materials. Earlier, when I talked about the powder coat process, you can see why it would not work on materials such as plaster, wood, rubber and other non-compatible electrostatic materials. The primary utilization for powder coat is on metals.

Myth #3. Powder Coat is great for covering imperfections.

“This one is a little tricky because the powder coat applies to the top of a surface, it seems logical that it would hide flaws. If there is discoloration on the surface, the powder coat can usually cover that depending on the color of the blemish. However, if the surface is scratched, dented, or has other imperfections the powder coat will not hide these. Powder Coat can end up drawing attention to such flaws.

Myth #4. Powder coat has a quicker dry and cure time than wet paint.

“Powder coat does not have a dry time, only a cure time. The powder remains dry during the entire application process, so there is no “dry-time” as opposed to liquid paint. For the curing process, the object is placed in a large “oven” to bake the powder into a “skin.” For example, at ICI for a standard bumper, we first prime the bumper with powder coating, cure it for 15-30 min and then use the black powder coat and cure it at 420 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 min.

Myth #5. Powder coat prevents rust and corrosion.

“This one is one of the most common misconceptions amid powder coating. Although the powder coat creates a skin, it does not prevent rust or corrosion, especially for exterior parts. Primer and proper application are essential to the longevity of your powder coated components.”

Original Source