Types of Aerosol/Spray Coatings 101: Epoxy, Acrylic, Alkyd, and More
Aerosol coatings are spray paints applied from pressurized cans. They are convenient and user-friendly because they are portable, have a long shelf life, and cover irregular or hard-to-reach surfaces. People use industrial spray coatings for various applications, such as protecting components against abrasion, corrosion, grease, and slipping.
Here we’ll cover the different types of spray coatings and factors to consider to select the right one for your project.
Why Industrial Spray Coating Is Important
In the oil and gas, petrochemical, wastewater, and other demanding industries, equipment and facilities undergo high levels of stress on a daily basis. Containment systems in these industries often must withstand UV exposure, extreme temperature swings, and age-related cracking. Industrial spray coatings are an ideal solution for floors, piping, containment vessels, and other machinery. When applied to the right components, industrial aerosol coatings offer the following benefits:
- Corrosion and chemical resistance
- Long-lasting leak repair
- Fills joints and cracks that cannot be repaired with sealants or caulking
- Simplifies maintenance
- Prolongs service life of equipment
Types of Spray Coatings
Epoxy sprays are durable coatings used for adhesive and protective purposes, usually on shop floors. They can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including metal, wood, tile, and more. Epoxy spray coatings are made by combining two chemicals: polyamine hardener and epoxide resin.
Epoxy resin sprays are known for their outstanding chemical and heat resistance, electrical insulation, and adhesive properties. For best results, consider the thickness and pot life of the desired epoxy coating, as well as the equipment needed to apply it.
Acrylic paint is common in arts and crafts, but it is also a suitable coating for industrial applications. It consists of color pigments suspended in an acrylic polymer blend. These paints are easy to clean and require little maintenance.
Acrylic coating sprays offer a great barrier to both humidity and moisture and have excellent fungus resistance. This makes it a great choice for electronic circuitry and roof surfaces.
A primer may be required to provide better adhesion, but acrylic is generally easy to apply because it paints evenly. Apply several thin layers for best results—each layer dries quickly.
Alkyd paints are ester-based polymers that contain fatty acids. They are effective binders in industrial and commercial oil-based coatings. Durable, glossy, and flexible, alkyd spray coatings provide an enamel finish similar to oil paints. As a result, alkyd paint is a top choice for architectural, machinery, and other metal and wood applications.
Other Spray Coatings
Thermal spray coating is the process of melting a material—like a plastic or metal—and spraying it onto a surface to be coated. Thermal spray coatings tend to have a longer lifespan compared to a painted coating. Although some thermal spray coatings may be expensive initially, they cost less in the long run because re-application and removal are less frequent. Thermal spray coatings also result in less waste, as over-spray can be collected and used again.
Touch-Up Spray Paint
Industrial touch-up spray paint coatings are suitable for repairing minor damage and scratches. Acrylic, enamel, or other types of coatings are available based on the type of touch-up work required. Standard colors are adjusted to match the existing industrial paint.
Key Coating Selection Considerations
Choosing the right industrial spray coating can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:
- Substrate: The substrate to be coated will largely determine the right type of coating. Consider whether parts are made of multiple materials and where in the manufacturing process the industrial coating takes place. Make sure the chosen coating will help achieve the required protection, such as food safety compliance and corrosion resistance.
- Controlled environment for application: Proper spray coating processes require a clean, climate- and humidity-controlled environment. Exposure to contaminants or chemical fumes during application or curing can compromise the efficacy of the coating.
- Application method: In addition to the type of industrial coating, manufacturers must also determine the best way to apply that method, whether it’s dipping, brushing, or spraying. Generally, spraying is preferable for large areas where accuracy isn’t a priority.
- Coating characteristics: The right industrial coating depends on the intended application. For example, epoxy coatings can withstand physical impacts and chemical exposure, but they do not withstand UV exposure very well. Water-based coatings like acrylic sprays can be safer for people applying them, but they may not be as effective at protecting the substrate from corrosion in the long run.
Aexcel’s Spray Coating Offerings
Keeping your industrial machinery and facility in pristine condition can be challenging, but Aexcel Corporation has solutions for all your industrial painting needs. With over 50 years of industry experience, we can provide custom industrial coating formulations to fulfill your specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities.