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EonCoat Introduces its Latest Protective Ceramic Coating with Zero VOC

Published on 2011-03-01. Author : SpecialChem

A new type of protective ceramic coating now on the market is not only completely VOC-free but is also promising to deliver an abrasion, corrosion, chemical, flame and high-temperature resistant finish that can be applied in a cost-effective, aesthetic, single coat for rapid return to service.

Sound too good to be true? Perhaps, but the 100% VOC-free product originally conceived at Argonne National Laboratory for the Department of Energy as a method of shielding radioactive waste is an intriguing reinvention of the way paint has traditionally been manufactured and applied.

With the drive toward lower VOC paints and coatings throughout the industry, the trade-off has been in the performance of the product. The ingredients in coatings that emit VOCs, after all, serve a vital function-essentially keeping the components from reacting and hardening prior to use.

The answer, it turns out, is to remove the very reason VOCs exist in paint in the first place. The new ceramic coating does not come pre-mixed. Instead, the coating consists of two, non-hazardous ingredients that do not interact until applied by a plural component spray gun like those commonly used to apply polyurethane foam or polyurea coatings. Since the components are not mixed and do not meet prior to application, the need for VOC-generating ingredients is completely eliminated.

The final ceramic coating, which is more comparable to a thin layer of cement can be applied thicker than traditional paint, and bonds chemically to nearly all substrates except plastic. Since the material is a true ceramic-not a polymer with ceramic beads like many so called "ceramic" paints-it delivers a tough-as-nails, corrosion resistant coating that can stand up to just about any application in the industrial or commercial sector.

Applications can range from painting a steam line for corrosion under insulation (CUI) protection at temperatures over 1250 °F to painting hotel and restaurant walls for a beautiful, tough, fireproof barrier. In testing, the ceramic coating has proven up to 10 times more scratch resistant than most paints and even epoxies. A chemical-resistant barrier for cement, steel, and wood substrates, it's chemically stable and nearly insoluble, so it's waterproof and even most acid spills can be cleaned up without damaging the coating.

When Andy Robbins, CEO of A & K Painting, a Charlotte, N.C.-based industrial and commercial paint contractor that does work in five states, first heard about the new ceramic coating - called EonCoat - at a conference about a year ago, the concept intrigued him.

"The environmental guidelines of the last decade are rapidly becoming standards," explains Robbins. "Since environmental codes are tightening for new builds, remodels, and existing facilities, reducing or eliminating VOCs in paint has been a growing concern for us and our customers."

Robbins stayed in touch with its developer, Wilson, N.C.-based EonCoat LLC, ultimately visiting the plant, participating in testing, and providing R & D feedback.

"For industrial and commercial customers looking to limit VOCs and HAPs to meet stricter regulation, EonCoat is a proactive way to do so," says Robbins. "There are no fumes. Contractors could literally spray within 10 feet of someone working in an occupied space with no concern for odor or getting residue on carpet, computers, or office furniture."

In contrast to typical paint polymer coatings which sit on top of the substrate, EonCoat bonds through a chemical reaction with the substrate, and slight surface oxidation actually improves the reaction. This makes it virtually impossible for corrosion promoters like oxygen and humidity to get behind the coating the way they can with ordinary paints. Because of this and its capacity to resist high heat, it can be applied to steam lines to prevent CUI. CUI can be a particular problem in power plants, when corrosion reduces steam line wall thickness and the pressure the line will withstand.

Since a true ceramic shell covers the corrosion barrier, it resists water, fire, abrasion, chemicals, corrosion, and temperatures up to 1250 °F. It goes beyond waterproofing to protect against high-pressure power washing and steam cleaning. Able to withstand water pressure of 4500 psi/310 bar and steam at over 380 °F/193 °C, the ceramic coating allows facility managers to convert interior spaces into sanitize-ready, wash-down areas. For instance, entire floors can be converted in a day into wash-down spaces for food preparation.

EonCoat also has a flame spread rating of zero, which means that flame can be directly exposed to its coated surface and it will not catch fire unless enough heat is generated to make the substrate behind the coating self-ignite. This can help prevent flame spread on coated walls, ceilings, equipment, cargo holds or wherever a fire barrier is needed. Unlike most paints that release hazardous fumes in a fire, the ceramic coating does not release any fumes when exposed to fire, making it a safer choice for environments with people present.

"The anti-fire, anti-water, anti-abrasion, and anti-corrosion benefits of the new protective ceramic coating make it a promising product to use for a host of applications from extending the service life of tanks, machinery, steam pipes, and cement floors to serving as a slimmer, less costly alternative to existing bulky firewalls," says Robbins.

One coat application and minimal prep for the protective ceramic coating can save facility managers a bundle. The ceramic coating typically costs less than the high-temperature paints or specialized epoxies it replaces, and paint contractor labor can also be cut in half. Unlike paint, which usually requires a primer coat and two topcoats with at least eight hours drying time between each, the ceramic coating has an ability to bond directly to most substrates and because it dries within seconds of exiting the spray nozzle, high build coatings in one coat are possible.

Another plus for facility managers is how the protective ceramic coating can be applied on hot or cold surfaces from 35 °F to 200 °F, which, unlike paint, makes it suitable for all-weather indoor, outdoor application. This further accelerates facility maintenance return to service.

"The protective ceramic coating is dry to the touch in seconds so there's no wait to recoat," says Robbins. "Contractors can high build exterior on interior surfaces immediately-even pipes, substrates, or machinery at near-freezing to near-boiling temperatures-which can expedite tight customer schedules. That means many coating jobs in occupied areas could get done in a single day or weekend, instead of taking several weekends waiting for multiple coats of primer or paint to dry."

Because the ceramic coating can readily blend with dozens of additives, it can be used to create custom textured finishes like high-end stucco, sand plaster, and even spray-applied "tile." Since the coating is unaffected by UV, it resists fading when exposed to sunlight.

For extra safety in facility or commercial settings, adding granite to the ceramic coating can also make for durable non-skid flooring. "Unlike multi-colored latex coating systems on the market, EonCoat can mix with special materials to give color and texture to high traffic areas that must withstand abuse such as corridors, entry ways, or accent walls in offices, healthcare and childcare facilities," says Robbins.

About EonCoat

Formed in 2002, Latitude 18, Inc owns the intellectual property and licenses it to EonCoat, LLC, the manufacturer of EonCoat coatings. EonCoat, LLC manufactures EonCoat in a 100,000 square foot facility near the research triangle in Wilson, NC. Well funded, EonCoat, LLC has solid technology, good systems & processes, and talented people.

Source: EonCoat

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