Industries ranging from aerospace to transportation make use of industrial coatings to reduce the vulnerability of their equipment from a wide range of threats including corrosion, microbial growth, conductivity, and extreme temperatures.
Choosing a Coating for Metal & Other Materials
With so many different types of industrial coatings available, such as epoxy, nylon, polyester, and teflon, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your business needs.
Each option has its advantages; while some offer high flexibility and low friction, others boast high durability and resistance to harsh chemicals like jet fuels and Skydrol.
When choosing an aerospace coating, there are many factors to take into account, including the coating's weight, dry time, reapplication frequency, and the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted during the application process. By carefully considering all these elements, your organization can increase efficiency and save money with the right coating.
Three useful coating materials are epoxy-based resins, nylon-based powders, and nylon epoxy coatings. While nylon-based coatings are acclaimed for their flexibility, and epoxy-based coatings for their durability, nylon epoxy coatings combine these two key attributes.
Nylon Powder Coatings
Powder-based nylon coatings such as Nylon-11 and Nylon-12 are most often applied to protect metals such as steel or aluminum. Some Aerospace and automotive applications of industrial powder coatings are glove box strikers, door strikers, seat springs, and drive splines.
Some other materials that can be coated with nylon are office and institutional furniture, food processing equipment, marine hardware, industrial piping, and shopping carts.¹
Due to nylon’s unique combination of mechanical, physical, thermal, and chemical properties, it is a cost-effective way to protect your goods from a number of elements.
In fact, nylon-based coatings are resistant² to:
Corrosion from jet fuel
Microbial growth and waste water
Chemicals and extreme pH
UV radiation, weathering, and chalking
Abrasions, high impacts, and extreme pressure
Nylon is considered a “softer”³ material, which allows for high flexibility, low surface friction, noise reduction, and dimensional stability. Another benefit is its affordability. In fact, research is currently being done to produce Nylon sustainably from castor beans.⁴
As far as application goes, nylon coatings can be either water-borne or solvent-based, and are typically applied via spraying, dipping, brushing, or rolling onto the surface.
Epoxies are the most common coatings used in industrial contexts including aeronautical, automotive, military, and maritime. Epoxy coatings⁵ are widespread due to their quick dry time and remarkably hard coating in comparison to a pure nylon coating.
Through a process called curing, where an epoxide resin and a polyamide hardening agent combine in a chemical reaction, the extremely strong and durable epoxy coating is formed. Curing can take several minutes to many hours depending on the quality of the materials.
Applying epoxy coatings is typically done by diluting a thick epoxy resin into a solution, which can be either water-borne or solvent based, and spraying it onto the desired surface.
Because spray coating is relatively fast in comparison to heat cured powder coatings, it’s possible to coat multiple applications in a short amount of time.
This resin-based compound works best on materials such as aluminum, galvanized steel, carbon steel, fiberglass, polyester, ceramics, copper, and zinc.
Objects like airplanes, oil pipelines, construction and farm equipment, machine tools, pumps, and compressors all use epoxy based coatings to prevent damage from corrosion and more.
Clear Liquid Nylon Epoxy Coating
Each of the previous modalities have individual advantages, but when they are combined into a clear liquid industrial coating such as a nylon epoxy polymer, they reap the benefits of both.
This coating material, which has the flexibility of nylon and the hardness of epoxy, can be applied to numerous surfaces including metal, composites, stainless steel, leather, vinyl, and fabric. Designed by Lockheed Martin engineers, Nycote 7-11’s self-leveling and pinhole-free qualities make it ideal for coating numerous internal and external aerospace applications.
Unlike water-borne epoxy coatings, which are applied using water as a solvent, nylon epoxy polymers require application through a chemical solvent. Because Nycote 7-11 only requires a single pass application, it significantly reduces the amount of VOCs released into the atmosphere, which the EPA has regulations⁶ to limit.
A single pass application of liquid nylon epoxy polymer also reduces the net weight of airplanes. In this industry where losing just a few ounces can equate to saving hundreds of thousands of dollars⁷ in jet fuels, reducing airplane weight is economically preferable.
When aerospace OEMs and automotive manufacturers reach for Nycote 7-11, or as some refer to it "blue varnish," they experience shorter application times, allowing for higher throughput, vastly lowering maintenance and operating costs in the process.
Other benefits of a clear nylon epoxy polymer is that it prevents corrosion, conductivity, and microbial growth; three of the main challenges in airplane safety. Because Nycote 7-11 is a clear liquid, it does not compromise the aesthetic quality of the products it’s used on.
Which coating is best?
While there are many options for industrial coatings on the market, it only makes sense to choose the one that embodies all the best qualities.
Clear nylon epoxy polymers, such as Nycote 7-11, provide an extremely durable, yet flexible coating which can withstand some of the harshest environments. Switch to a nylon epoxy polymer coating on your next project and save money, time, and your assets from corrosion.