We’re going to let our company founder and President/CEO, Larry Van Iseghem, address this one:
What is a coating? As I guide my technical team, I begin by introducing the concept of “coating” as both a verb and a noun.
- As a verb, “Coating” is the “action of displacement of one material upon a surface by another material”. When coating a dry surface, there must be uniform and complete displacement of air upon that surface by the applied liquid coating. To do otherwise will result in voids and air bubbles in the final coated surface.
- As a noun, “Coating” is the resulting surface layer upon the target substrate after the action of coating. The potential combinations of substrate and liquid coating are incredibly numerous and mind staggering.
This fundamental understanding of the term “Coating” is essential when engineering a coating for a specific application and anticipating how the coating must work in a synergistic manner when used in a specific process. This synergy is what I term, “Chemechanical” and must also take into consideration the individuals responsible for controlling the coating process. When solving coating related issues, it is always important to factor into the solution people, process and chemistry – the chemechanics.
Lastly, for this posting, I’ll leave the readers with one more thought regarding coatings the serves as the starting point of any consideration of what a coating may exhibit upon a substrate or surface.
- Larry’s Rule #1: A Coating Has No Brains!
The first impulse people have at this statement is, “Obviously!” But think for a moment. We are often confronted with strange behavior seen in the application of a coating. It may be fish eyes, unusual defects, flow issues, gloss variations, or any number of unusual effects in or on the surface of an applied coating. Why? My recommendation is to always remind yourself first that a coating has no brains. The coating cannot decide to do something on one region of a surface and something else on another. It can’t do something on one part and something else on another part when they are presumably identical. When these phenomena occur, it is often a rapid rush to judgment that the coating is at fault. Reminding yourself that the coating cannot decide, and this will guide you to focus on the true nature of the problem.
Importantly, there are times where the coating is at fault. These circumstances usually show that the problem is randomly distributed across all areas of the surface. The indiscriminate occurrence of the defect is a sure sign that further examination of the coating is warranted. Understand that it doesn’t imply that the coating is the faulty factor only that it may be and should be further investigated.
I hope this has been fun and insightful and look forward to providing additional posts in the future.