What Are Construction Coatings And Their Uses?

Coatings are used in the construction industry, and their types and uses evolved with research and development over time. In general, construction coatings protect surfaces from various external and environmental elements, including sunlight, UV exposure, acid rain, and corrosion.

In this article, you’ll learn more about construction coatings and their practical uses to keep you guided as to the best product to choose for your construction project.

What Are Construction Coatings?

Construction coatings include protective coatings and sealants applied to various surfaces to improve surface properties, including appearance, corrosion, adhesion, and scratch resistance. The common construction coatings widely used nowadays include acrylic, epoxy resin, and polyurethane coatings.

Each type of coating has a combination of ingredients, and the uses highly depend on the application and final color of the coating. Here are the principal ingredients of a coating system:

  • Resin: It serves as the coating’s binder that holds the pigment to the base material or substrate.
  • Pigment: It provides color and chemical resistance to the coating.
  • Solvent: It’s the vehicle for solids transported to the surface of the substrate.
  • Additives: These chemicals are added in small amounts, delivering special coating effects.

Types And Uses Of Construction Coatings
Construction coatings come in different types and use, which includes the following:

Epoxy Coatings
Epoxy surface coatings protect pipelines to sealing floors against corrosion and decay. While epoxy coatings cost more than other surface coating materials, this coating provides superior corrosion resistance, flexibility, and adhesion.

The common types of epoxy surface coatings include phenoic novolac, bisphenol A, and bisphenol F. Some examples of co-reactors or hardeners used with epoxy coatings include amidoamine, polyamide, and phenalkamine. The best resin and hardener combination highly depends on application purpose and the performance requirements.

Epoxy floor surface coatings have specific environmental requirements to ensure the successful application. For example, you need to remove the corrosion layer forming on the steel surface when applying epoxy surface coatings. Epoxy surface coatings require a temperature above 55° F for drying in the first 72 hours, and some use high heat for thermal curing.

The common applications or uses of epoxy surface coatings in the construction industry include the following:

  • Binding subfloors
  • Sealant
  • Gluing a detail to a larger structure
  • Reinforcing a fastener
  • Securing decorative moldings
  • Attaching countertops to substrates
  • Repairing a tank hole or a leaky pipe connection

Acrylic Coatings
Acrylic surface coatings refer to protective coatings that come in paints and floor polishes. This type of surface coating is the leading finish used in the construction industry. Acrylic surface coatings have acrylic, copolymer, or methacrylic polymer base noted for excellent color retention and inertness.

Acrylic materials based on emulsions and methacrylates have an excellent construction industry market share because their properties useful for various construction applications. Check the following uses of acrylic surface coatings:

  • Adhesives: Acrylic coatings have an excellent adhesion property to concrete, wood, and masonry. Most acrylic products can be applied without primer, still giving satisfactory adhesion.
  • Coatings: Acrylics have higher molecular weight polymers, making acrylic coatings touch and abrasion-resistant.
  • Decorative And Structural Panels: Because acrylic coatings have more carbon atoms, this coating is very flexible, perfect for panels.

Polyurethane Coatings 
Polyurethane comes from polymers, an incredible compound used for coatings. If you’re looking for a versatile coating with the right balance of hardness and elongation, polyurethane coatings are highly recommended.

Check these common uses of polyurethane coatings:

  • Used in insulation, adhesives, and elastomers
  • Floors of commercial complexes and industrial buildings such as bowling alleys (provides shine and luster)
  • Give metal roofing a long lifespan (to save on costly repairs)

Paint coatings provide color and protection to the surface. Here are some examples of paints used in construction aside from epoxy, acrylic, and polyurethane paints:

  • Enamel Paints: Colored enamel paints are used for painting windows, doors, decks, stairs, etc.
  • Emulsion Paints: It is widely used for masonry works, such as stucco plaster brickworks, containing free alkali.
  • Oil Paints: Construction workers apply this type of paint on walls, windows, doors, metal structures, etc.
  • Casein Paints: It is used to coat ceilings, walls, woodworks, etc., mixed with driers.
  • Plastic Paints: They dry quickly and provide a better appearance with high covering power. Plastic paints are used to coat decks, walls, slabs, etc.

You have just learned the different types of construction coatings and their uses. Applying construction coatings on various surfaces brings many benefits, such as avoiding rust and corrosion in metal construction materials. These coatings come in different types, including acrylic, epoxy resin, and polyurethane coatings. Paints are also widely used in the construction industry for aesthetic and protective finishing purposes.

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