chemical resistant coating in a glass preventing corrosion

Protect surfaces from solvents, acids, alkalis and more with chemical resistant coating

Almost all coatings will be exposed to chemicals and acids at some point, whether cleaning products, spills, or fumes. However most of these are mild, and the coating does not need a special formulation. Chemical resistant coating or paint is designed to provide protection from the harshest of substances. They need to perform safely and consistently under punishing conditions, and so need to be highly resistant. Without proper protective coating, solvents, acids, alkalis, salts, and other substances can be absorbed by the substrate, causing deterioration and contamination.

The right chemical resistant coating is the one that satisfies the requirements of the chemical, as well as the needs of the substrate. Choosing correctly requires fully understanding both. In this article we will explain the different chemical resistant paint options, and provide a guide to help you choose the right one as well as where to find products and contractors in India.

The chemical resistant paint types explained

Chemical resistant coatings are available in a wide range of formulations, suited to different applications. The main types are polyurethane, epoxy, phenolic, and fluoropolymers such as Teflon and Xylan. The choice of coating is further complicated by extra requirements such as high abrasion resistance, or sufficient lack of friction.

The table below shortly explains the different types of chemical resistant coating. Later we will also outline the factors that affect the choice of chemical resistant paint.

Chemical resistant coating typeDisadvantagesApplications
Polyurethane: Organic caustic fluids, acids and alkalis, fuel and hydraulic oils, and solventsSofter than epoxy coatings, polyurethanes are more likely to abrade. Extremely sensitive to humidity at application. Less resistant than epoxies.Where greater flexibility and an ability to deal with high temperatures is needed, polyurethane is the traditional alternative to epoxy. Polyurethane is also the preferred choice in the dairy industry where there is exposure to lactic acids.
Epoxy: Acids, alkalis, solvents, caustic fluids, fuels, fatty acids, salt or sugar solutions, chemical cleaning detergents and more.Tendency to weaken with high or fluctuating temperatures, not as flexible as polyurethane, also not good with UV radiation (which causes it to chalk and fade), and can be stained by chemical attack.An unprotected concrete floor can quickly deteriorate through exposure to chemicals, particularly flooring in the food and drink industry, garages, factories, and plants. Having a floor that can withstand these exposures is important to prevent bacterial contamination. Epoxy coating is suitable for metals, concrete and wood.
Phenolic: 98% sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, transmission fluid, gasoline, formaldehyde, phenol, and numerous other chemicalsNot recommended for exposure to some strong organic acids and solvents, and the less epoxy used in the makeup of the coating, the less resistant to chemicals it is.Protective coating for tanks, ducts, piping, immersion service for most acids, solvents, and salts (chemical storage). Applicable for flooring in healthcare, science, technology and electronics industries, as well as chemical and waste treatment plants, pulp and paper mills, and power generation plants.
Fluoropolymer: Chemical resistance at high temperatures:resistant to a wide range of chemicals, including concentrated sulphuric, nitric, hydrochloric and phosphoric acids at max 300°CPoor weather protection characteristics, and cannot withstand acetone, esters, ketones, and acetic acid.Normally used where a low coefficient of friction or a lubricious surface is required. Suitable for use on concrete or metal in secondary containment linings, acid plants, fertiliser plants, oil refineries, and more.

Choose the best chemical resistant coating by answering 5 questions

chemical resistant coating resistant to formaldehyde

To define the chemical resistant coating, know the chemical, concentration and the environment.

Substrates and environments which require heavy duty protection from chemicals include flooring, storage or holding tanks, pipelines, bunds, buried metal and concrete structures, treatment plants, laboratories, cooling towers, factories, machinery and equipment, just to name a few.

The range of substrates, environments, and chemicals is matched by the range of chemical resistant coatings. To choose the right chemical resistant coating you need to know:

  1. The Chemical(s) – From which chemicals the substrate needs protection? Which chemicals are present in the environment?
  2. The Concentration – How strong are the chemicals the coating must withstand?
  3. Temperature – What are the minimum, maximum and average operating temperatures the coating must withstand? How warm or cold is the substance during exposure?
  4. Degree of exposure – Will the substrate be immersed, or is it just contact exposure?
  5. Duration of exposure – How long will the coating need to withstand the chemical?

Chemical resistant coating India: products, contractors and more

With so many different environments and surfaces that require chemical resistant coatings, it is no surprise that the range of products and services is extensive. There are the coatings above, but there are also specially formulated coatings like methacrylate, which cures at low temperatures and is used for cold-store and freezer rooms. Below is a table outlining some of the available products. It is these coatings from reputable coatings manufacturers like AkzoNobel that contractors trust.

Chemical resistant coating typeChemical resistant coating productProduct suitability
Two component epoxyJotun Jotafloor TopcoatIdeal for industrial floors, laboratories, hospitals, food and beverage plants, kitchens, warehouses, factories, and manufacturing facilities.
Two component epoxy phenolicInternational Interline 850Tank and pipe lining for steel storage tanks and pipes containing a range of products including crude oil, gasoline, caustic solutions, potable water, and solvents.
Two component epoxy novolacSherwin-Williams Nova-Plate 325For use on steel and masonry surfaces in industrial and marine environments such as oil storage tanks, secondary containment, ethanol storage tanks, and more.
Two component novolac vinyl esterInternational Interline 955Reinforced with glass flake to increase chemical and abrasion resistance. Intended for use in internal lining of chemical storage tanks and vessels for hot media (up to 90°C) or acids.

Let a professional contractor apply chemical resistant paint to get the best result

A chemical resistant coating (or acid proof paint) should be applied by a trained professional to ensure an effective and flawless application. Fortunately there are many coating installer companies operating in India specialised in various chemical resistant coating applications. If you have a project that needs chemical resistant coating, our experts are here to help! In cooperation with our partners we can provide you with a tailor-made quote, and connect you with the right coating solution. Just get in touch via email or the request a quote- button at the bottom of this article.

 


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