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What Factors Affect Coatings Success

Coatings selection for the protection of substrates needs to be approached in an organized manner that will eliminate or control these factors that determine the success or failure of a coatings job. A coating may fail as a result of a large number of potentially adverse conditions. Preliminary planning, job execution and inspection as well as post completion monitoring and maintenance are elements that will benefit the function, longevity and economics of a coatings system.

Beginning with the preliminary planning and factoring in the design of the surfaces to be coated, timely identification of any architectural or fabrication defects that will compromise the coating such as sharp corners, hard to reach areas, crevices that will accumulate debris and water, weld splatter etc., the planner can prescribe remedies such as caulking of crevices, grinding of welds, rounding of corners, strip coats etc. that will support the coatings system. It is also essential to take into account the working environment of service and careful selection from the available coating materials by experience personnel.

The economic consequences of poor coating practices can be disastrous. Proper surface preparation according to manufacturers and specification requirements, skilled workmanship with provision to suitable equipment for the specific tasks and promptly inspection during the phases of the process to address quality issues will assure the success of an expensive coatings job.

After the completion of a coatings job, a well planned maintenance program to monitor the identified weaknesses of the design and the impact of the working environment to the system will provide valuable information for the performance, failure analysis and future selection of coatings products.

Prudent address of the factors a coating may fail and integrate their solutions in a well planned system will guarantee functional, economical and long lasting protection for structures and equipment.

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