- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 17 May 2019
- Provide protection from some deleterious or unwanted effect, whether from rainwater, condensation, corrosive substances, (e.g zinc coating on iron, steel or other metal - called galvanising which provides a sacrificial zinc coating that protects the substrate from oxidation and corrosion.)
- To improve performance. For example, the properties of plain glass may be enhanced by a range of coatings which can improve its performance and aesthetic qualities, e.g reduce heat loss, minimise solar gain, apply a mirrored effect etc.
- Provide a decorative effect e.g paint (which also protects the substrate).
- Provide fire protection. Intumescent paint can be brushed or sprayed on and provides fire protection for a limited period. It works by swelling up when exposed to heat, increasing in volume and decreasing in density. The resulting ‘char’ retards the spread of flame due to its poor heat conductivity. Intumescent paints are used for passive fire applications such as fire -proofing structural steel.
- Seal a substrate e.g tensile fabrics, normally coated on both sides. If a fabric is to be used externally for a tensile structure, it is usually coated either with PVC or PTFE (Teflon) and can last in excess of 20 years. In some cases this may be further protected by a durable topcoat.
In most cases, coatings are very thin, sometimes just microns thick, depending on how they are applied:
- Brush, e.g anti-rust paints and graffiti-resistant wall paints.
- Spray e.g lacquers which can be applied to furniture to both protect and enhance.
- Heat-cured e.g powder coating (sometimes called polyester powder coating (PPC)) which comprises polymer or thermoplastic powder that is heat cured to produce a coating of uniform thickness. The result is a very tough coating which does not suffer the unevenness, drips, runs and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) normally associated with paints and sprays. Powder coating is typically used on aluminium profiles, household appliances and more recently, medium-density fibre-board (MDF). ‘Powder-coated’ aluminium door, window and structural profiles have become very common in the construction industry providing a full range of colours to harmonise with most designs.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The initiative to enhance the environment continues.
Could underused community spaces offer an alternative to working from home?
Keeping workers and workplaces safe in the United States.
A history lesson in geographic information systems.
A low tech, easy to use method of extinguishing small fires.
How can these valued spaces be reused?
Partnership avoids the need for listed building consent.
Connecting building design from inception to completion to operations.
Gregor Harvie predicts interoperability will be construction’s Uber moment.
Expert commentary and insight.
Guidance offered for stained glass window maintenance.
Define need before determining viability.