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Archive for March, 2018:

VSC 1200: An advanced polyurethane industrial maintenance coating with superior long term performance

VSC 1200: An advanced polyurethane industrial maintenance coating with superior long term performance

US Coatings is excited to introduce a new 2K polyurethane finish and surface-tolerant epoxy mastic system that outperforms competing systems in almost every way—at no added cost.

Developed by Valentus Specialty Chemicals, the VSC 1200 Topcoat and VSC 1100 Primer are more durable, sustainable and productive on the job. This improved performance is thanks to the groundbreaking Tetrashield™ protective resin developed by Eastman Chemical Company.

High-performance industrial maintenance coating system

VSC 1200 Topcoat and VSC 1100 Primer represent the next-generation of heavy-duty industrial maintenance coatings. Owners will like the system’s superior asset protection for the price while contractors will enjoy the ease of use of this system leading to a lower overall cost of ownership for industrial asset owners. The performance-driven marriage of the VSC 1100 primer and the Tetrashield-enhanced VSC 1200 finish is a winning combination in the fight against corrosion with an attractive maintenance price tag.

VSC 1200 Topcoat

VSC 1200 Topcoat is a hard, tough and extremely durable two-part (4:1) solvent-based topcoat developed by Valentus Specialty Coatings using Eastman Chemical Company’s Tetrashield™ protective resin. Tetrashield ™ is the breakthrough at the heart of this heavy-duty industrial maintenance coating that provides the following advantages:

  • Consistent film build and easier application.
  • Exceptional adhesion.
  • Outstanding weathering, including superior gloss and color retention over standard acrylic-polyurethanes.
  • Contractor-friendly with longer pot life and shorter dry time compared to traditional acrylic coating systems.
  • Wide latitude application conditions with long recoat time, fast dry to the touch and faster through cure even at lower temperatures.
  • Environmentally-friendly formula uses high-solids formulation that requires no thinning solvents, thus reducing VOC emissions.

VSC 1100 Primer

VSC 1100 Primer is a two-part (4:1) epoxy mastic exhibiting outstanding wetting properties (for less than ideal surface preparation) and excellent film hardness for long term durability. Performance testing shows that it vastly outperforms competing primers. It boasts the following key qualities:

  • Superior adhesion to a wide range of surfaces, including steel, aluminum and concrete.
  • Exceptional corrosion resistance.
  • Superior wetting properties to perform even on marginally-prepared surfaces.
  • Lower-temperature cure.
  • Accepts a wide variety of weathering or chemical-resistant finishes.

Eastman Tetrashield™: Breakthrough protective resin

With the advanced Tetrashield™ protective resin at its core, VSC 1200 Topcoat provides more flexibility in application while providing superior performance in harsh environments over the long term.

The resin responsible for the superior performance has its origins elsewhere in the chemical industry. Before there was Tetrashield™, there was Tritan™—a BPA-free TMCD polyester Eastman developed that offered enhanced clarity, toughness, chemical resistance and impact strength for products used in medical, household and retail applications.

Eastman chemists then developed the Tetrashield™ resin to provide in the coatings industry the benefits that Tritan™ offered for consumer products. The result is a heavy-duty industrial maintenance coating that exhibits premium performance without a premium price. Coating projects are shorter, the coating dries faster and critical assets are put back in service sooner—and that keeps costs in check.

Find out more about how industrial coating projects can be made easier by reading our guide to a painless painting project. If you want to have a conversation about an upcoming job and whether the VSC 1200 Topcoat / 1100 Primer system is right for your site, let’s talk.

Archive for March, 2018:

VSC 1200: An advanced polyurethane industrial maintenance coating with superior long term performance

“Selecting the Right Coating – The 4 Basic Questions”

If one coating could do everything, coating selection would be limited to color and gloss choices and specification writing would be relatively simple.  Since that magic coating does not (yet) exist, we are left with hundreds of selections to choose from.  Many coatings will indeed perform multiple functions and are quite versatile in their many uses.  These then become very popular.  However real-world situations often demand more specific performance requirements that necessitate the selection of a more appropriate coating or coating system.

This article will address the key elements that influence coating selection.  These elements will center around “needs” … Performance Needs, Application Needs, Budget Needs (Restrictions), and Other (Special) Needs.  To uncover and define the “needs” we will approach the coating selection process through a series of four basic questions that the specifier, engineer or owner need to provide answers.  Only in this way can the proper selection be made that will narrow down the hundreds of coating choices to the “best fit” options (assuming one exists).  Sometimes however, the specific need or requirement exceeds the existing coating technology and compromises must be made to ensure a proper application.

Question #1: 

What is being coated and why is it being coated?

The question sounds pretty basic, but answers can be surprisingly deceptive. In one example, the reason for painting a vessel could simply be because the CEO of the company is making a plant visit next month.  Appearance then means everything and no one is really interested in the benefits of a 25-year corrosion resistant coating system.  The answer to this question exposes the real reason for painting, the scope of the project and the expectations of the owner.

Question #2:

What exposure will the item see?

This is perhaps the real “meat and potatoes” question to be answered.  It tells us what the real environment the coating will be exposed to.  There are many parts to this question which include;

  1. Is the item exposed to an exterior (weathering, marine, industrial) environment or inside (mild, moderate or harsh exposures such as shower rooms or food process areas)?
  2. Are there any elevated temperature conditions?
  3. Are there any harsh chemical fumes or anticipated splash and spills of chemicals?
  4. Will the coating be covered up with insulation?
  5. Will there be any thermal cycling/shock?
  6. How frequent will the coating be cleaned and with what chemicals?
  7. Will the coating see any abrasion? What type (cutting or small particulate)?
  8. What is the existing condition of the substrate (new steel, contaminated steel, rusted steel, old coatings)?
  9. What is the condition of existing coatings?


Question #3:

How, when and where will the item be painted?

Answers to this question will define how the painting project will be handled logistically; whether shop applied, field applied or in-situ at an operating plant.  It may uncover the need for a coating to handle early rain exposure or cold temperature cure. Certain coating systems will handle shop application better than others and will have less shipping damage to deal with later. If spraying the coating is not possible (overspray problems) then coatings that can be easily brush or rolled must be selected. If the speed of completion of the project is critical (most of course are) then fast dry/fast cure products will be preferred.  In many operating plants, open abrasive blasting (for optimal service cleanliness and profile requirements) may not be possible. While this restriction is fairly common, products that have surface tolerant properties must be selected. And while these products are technologically advanced, products that require higher degrees of cleanliness are preferred for longer service lives. Compromises must be made depending on what can’t be done.

Question #4:

What are the owner’s expectation in terms of service life?

On its face value, one would think that the answer should be “as long as possible”.  This is not always the case; especially with limited budgets.  In the earlier case where the CEO was to visit the plant, the need to “freshen-up” a vessel could be done rather inexpensively using a coating system with a minimal design life at minimal cost.  The argument makes even more sense if the vessel is to be dismantled in say 5 years.  It makes no sense to select a 30-year paint system for that vessel.  On the other hand, it may indeed make perfect sense to select a long-term service life system for say an elevated water tank with a design life of 90 years … and one that has the local high school mascot painted on its exterior.  Long term corrosion protection and long term appearance are vitally important.  In the end, one can choose a 3-5 year system, a 10-15 year system or a 25-30 year coating system.  The longer service life systems will cost more in terms of material costs and labor (surface preparation and application).



In the end, it is best to discuss your coating needs with a coating professional; one that will walk you through the basic needs analysis outlined here and match the right coating system for your specific set of circumstances and expectations of service life.


Archive for March, 2018:

VSC 1200: An advanced polyurethane industrial maintenance coating with superior long term performance

“The Top Two Considerations of Writing Coating Specifications: Performance-Based versus Specific Named Products”   

A coating specification serves many purposes.

In its basic use, it provides a roadmap for the proper installation of a coating system. Any number of painting standards are often referenced to provide the applicator or end user proper guidelines for carrying out the specified surface preparation and proper application of the specified coating or coating system.  The specification as written already assumes that the coatings specified are suitable for the exposure and will meet the expectations of the owner.

Unfortunately; all too often, specifications are poorly written, can cause ambiguities, fail to account for problems that may come up (example: failing to specify cold-cure products during winter painting) and probably the most problematic (to the end customer) specifying the wrong products.  Those are doomed to early failure.  If the products that are specified are wrong for the application; the rest of the specification is moot.

This article will discuss two commonly used types of coating specifications; one that uses “performance-based” requirements and the other simply calls out “specific named products”.  The assumption (for this article) is that the specification as written will indeed handle the exposure and will meet the owner’s needs and expectations.  A separate article will discuss how to select the right coating system.

Performance Based Specifications

These specifications do not call our specific products by name, but rather list a series of performance requirements (minimum performance) to which the candidate system must comply. It may call out a more general performance requirement or even reference independent (3rd party) specifications such as SSPC (Society for Protective Coatings) or MPI (Master Painters Institute) or others.  Often, each coating (primer, intermediate coat and/or finish) has specific performance requirements listed.

Well written specifications call out specific requirements that will satisfy the needs of the project.  For example, it may call out a certain corrosion resistance for the primer tested to say ASTM B117 (commonly known as the Salt Fog test).  It should spell out the extent of the test (say 500 hours) and then spell out the minimum performance requirement (say no more than 2 mm undercutting at the scribe with no plane blistering or rusting).  A poorly written specification will simply say “tested to 500 hours in Salt Fog cabinet” without any performance requirement.  Testing without performance requirements is meaningless.  Any product can be “tested”.

A finish coating may have performance requirements written around weathering resistance (gloss and color retention) or abrasion/scratch resistance.  In these cases, certain test standards are referenced and minimum performance requirements are defined. Examples of some of the common tests are depicted in the chart below.

A couple words of caution when using or interpreting performance-based specifications:

  1. Be careful that the performance test used actually matches how the coating will be used. For example it makes little sense to call out a weathering performance on a primer that will be topcoated.  Likewise, calling out a Salt Fog test solely on the finish coat makes no sense.  The test must match the intended use of the specific coating or coating system.
  2. Be careful when interpreting submitted coatings for consideration that are “close” to meeting the specification. There are countless examples of coatings that “miss” meeting the specification because of a too strict interpretation of the requirement.  For example:  When comparing two finish coats that have abrasion resistant numbers of 115 mg loss versus 125 mg loss and the specification calls out no more than 120 mg loss (more loss is less abrasion resistance), the one with 125 mg loss does not meet the specification.  From a practical standpoint these two finishes have essentially the same abrasion resistance and their reported abrasion numbers are certainly within the tolerance of the test method. Yet, a perfectly acceptable coating would be disqualified based on a strict interpretation of the specification.  So, a specifier should have a very good working knowledge of performance testing, their meaning, and the significance of reported values when qualifying coatings for use.
Shown below is a chart with some commonly used performance-based standards for primers and finishes used for atmospheric exposure.  This is by no means a complete list.  These referenced methods may change based on end use, such as tank linings, high heat coatings, etc.


Performance Need Test Method Example of Performance Requirement
Corrosion Resistance (Salt Fog) ASTM B117 <2 mm UC after 500 hours exposure
Corrosion Resistance (Cyclic Prohesion/QUV-A) ASTM D5894 <3 mm UC after 3000 hours exposure
Adhesion ASTM D4541 Minimum 800 psi



Performance Need Test Method Example of Performance Requirement
Abrasion Resistance (Taber Abrasion) ASTM D4060 150 mg loss using CS17 wheel; 1000 g weight and 1000 cycles
Weathering (QUV-A) ASTM G53 75% gloss retention after 2000 hours

No more than 2 dE color shift

Hardness (Pencil) ASTM D3363 2H


Specific Named Products

One of the advantages of specifically named products in a specification is that the specifier (engineer or owner) has already determined that the products listed will satisfy the intent of the specification and the needs of the owner.  These types of specifications will often list competitive products that may be quite similar to each other (equals) or may in fact be quite different from each other.  While the coatings may perform in service similarly, one coating system may have faster dry times or low temperature cure capability that might be favored for a specific set of circumstances.  It is then left up to the contractor to choose the system that best fits the application needs.

In the end, there are no right or wrong specifications.  There are good specs and bad ones and everything in between.  The best ones are those that are well written with minimal ambiguities and fulfill the needs of the owner for the anticipated exposure and the owner’s expectations.

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