The basics of high temp coatings
As their name suggests, high temperature coatings are those that are able to provide corrosion protection even under extreme heat. Industrial high temp coatings are widely used in process-based facilities such as refineries, petrochemical plants, pulp and paper mills and power plants. These facilities usually contain extensive networks of pipe that need to be diligently protected from corrosion under insulation and away from the naked eye. For this reason, it’s essential facility managers have confidence in the effectiveness of their high temp coatings.
Predictably, high temp coatings are also often used on smokestacks, kiln exteriors, portable fireplace units and so on. Different uses require different properties from high temp coatings. Often our customers will ask if a high temp coating will still provide the corrosion protection they’re looking for, or if it is safe to use on a barbeque pit. Here we’ll discuss a few features to consider when selecting a high temp coating.
Ease of application should be a major consideration when selecting a high temp coating. It can be the deciding factor when choosing between two products. The reason being, high temp coatings are often not applied as a part of some massive recoating initiative, but rather on an as-needed basis, with touch ups occurring at various points around a facility.
With a product that is easy to apply, such as a single-component, direct-to-metal coating, assets that have been taken out of service by corrosion can be returned to duty quickly. In the case of coatings under insulation (CUI), single-component systems are easier to apply in sections where the insulation has been removed, but more on the issues presented by CUI in a later post. Single-component systems are also easier to keep in stock for spot touch-ups, ideally as a part of a regular coatings maintenance plan.
To avoid needing to shut down entire portions a facility, it also helps to have a high temp coating that can be applied even to a hot surface. This feature will make spot coating portions of a facility a much more manageable undertaking and cause less of a disturbance to day-to-day operations.
What is the effective temperature range of this product? It’s one of the first questions a customer will ask when seeking a high temp coating. And it’s really important. One of the most common sources of failure occurs when these coatings are expected to perform outside of the range they were manufactured to tolerate.
Some coatings are rated between 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, some are rated up to 1200 degrees and beyond. Different resins and chemical compositions of individual products will determine their effectiveness at high temperatures. Whatever their rating, protecting substrates from corrosion is always the main goal.
Aesthetics and food safety
In areas where piping is color-coded, or painted certain colors for purely aesthetic reasons, it’s important to confirm that exposure to high temperatures won’t lead to discoloration. Coatings with poor color retention can lead to recoating more frequently than would otherwise be necessary.
In some situations it’s essential to verify that high temp coatings are food-grade safe. Consider the black coating on the inside of a traditional barbeque pit. Those coatings must consistently stand up to high heats while giving off no harmful chemicals that could compromise the food being prepared.
Stay tuned to our blog for more on high temp coatings, or to browse our full line of these products, download our product catalog through the link below.