Ferries, boats, ships, other water vehicles, as well as other structures that are generally exposed to water use waterproof marine paints or marine coatings. The special paints give them protective layers against moisture such as rain, freshwater, saltwater, or brackish water. Offshore oil rigs are coated with marine paints as well to prevent the metal from rust and corrosion.
Types of marine coatings
Similar to other types of paints, marine coatings have base coats, clear coats, and topcoats. Moreover, you can find various primers, paints, stains, and varnishes that are specially made for watercraft and marine structures.
Besides paints, you will find surface sealants (sealers), marking materials, and inks that are specially formulated as waterproof.
As you can discern from the different types, marine paint is different from other paints according to its chemical properties and performance. You will likely hear about epoxy sealers and primers, wood finishing products, anti-fouling coatings, and epoxy fairing compounds when you talk of marine paints. Anti-fouling coatings protect ships from organisms that can hinder their performance. Epoxy fairing compound works like a filler to create a smooth surface free from holes and bumps.
Importance of marine paints
Shipping is just one of the many industries that rely on the protection of marine paints. Marine paints not only give watercraft color and identity. They protect by sealing the ship’s surface and shield the marine vessel from corrosive environments such as seawater. The marine paint makes the ship’s hull smooth, cutting down friction to help the vessel glide effortlessly through the water, lowering the demand for more power to move the ship, effectively reducing fuel use.
Leisure and commercial crafts and offshore structures like storage facilities, pipeline, tanker platforms and more rely on the versatile polyurethane marine coatings. Here are some of the vital benefits of polyurethane marine paint:
- Provides maximum retention of color and gloss
- Weather resistance, such as degradation due to sunlight, chalking, and yellowing
- High resistance to chemicals, oil, solvent, and water
- Resistance to impact and abrasion
- Fast drying
Features of marine paints
Marine paints differ in features based on the manufacturing technology and substrate materials that will work with them. Some technologies include:
- Ultraviolet radiation
- Moisture or reactive cooling
- Multi-component systems
- Laser marking and laser fusing
- Air setting
- Film drying
Marine paints can work with masonry or concrete, steel, aluminum, other metals, elastomers, rubber, plastics, asphalt, coal tar, bitumen, and fabrics and fibers.
Marine paint constitution
Marine paints include the following vital ingredients: binder (also called a polymer, resin, medium or vehicle), pigment, extender, and solvent. The binder and the pigment form the film that you see when the paint dries. The solvents ensure that the paint is in the right consistency to make it easy to apply. They are available in high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin and flat finishes.
Paint processing times
Again, different types of marine coatings differ in processing (application and drying times). They have different specifications, based on paint coverage, wet thickness, dry thickness, cure temperature, and cure time.
Be sure to use the marine paint that fits the type of application you need. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and prepare the material to be painted.