A Guide to Industrial Paint Component Terms: Part 1

Sunday, July 27, 2014

When you read a paint label or hear about different painting and coating options for your industrial facility in Southern California, you might come across a number of terms that are unfamiliar. Choosing between different options like epoxy or polyurethane, low VOC or no VOC, etc, can be difficult without an understanding of paint elements and specifications. Since speaking the same language can be advantageous when you discuss options with your painting contractor, here is an overview of some common painting and coating elements.

Paint is generally made up of four components: a binder, liquids; pigments and additives. In this article we’ll discuss binders and go over pigment, but part two will go into the roles of liquids and additives as well as some other important factors in paint.

Pigments make up a very small amount of the paint’s content. They basically give the paint its color, but they also can affect its sheen and bulk. They’re made from powdered materials like titanium oxide, zinc, clay, and formerly even lead.

Binders or Resins are the essential ingredient of paint and coatings. This is the part that holds everything else together and affects qualities like gloss, hardness, strength, and curing. Plural component coatings, common in industrial applications, include a curing agent to cure the resin, while other paints cure by solvent evaporation. Common binders and resins include:

  • Epoxy — A resin typically used in plural component coatings and noted for bonding strength, abrasion and chemical resistance. Epoxy is used everywhere from aircraft to concrete floor coatings.d in concrete floor coatings, tank coatings, etc.
  • Polyurea —  Plural component, bonds well to concrete, etc, while also being relatively flexible.
  • Alkyd — An artificial resin and the main binder in “oil-based coatings.”  
  • Acrylic — Used in water-based paints, acrylics are flexible and very adhesive.
  • Latex — Another binder for water-based paints, latex is not actually made of latex rubber, but is rubber-like in consistency.

Although paint components and their roles can be much more complex, having this basic understanding can be a great tool for deciding what to look for and expect from different painting and coating options. Look for part two for more information on the other two components of paint: liquids and additives.

When you want to discuss specific options for your facilities in the Los Angeles area or throughout Southern California, the experienced professionals at Cor-Ray Painting Co. are ready to help determine the proper coatings and apply them using the best methods. Just call (562) 906-9770 or click here to contact us.

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