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Understanding different types of paints

Industrial paint, as used to protect metal, wood, and a wide range of other materials, possesses a variety of traits that can be manipulated to provide application-specific coverage. Of course, these characteristics depend in a large part upon the ingredients of the paint and the performance specifications of the selected application. Application methods, too, can influence the quality of the paint coverage and determine how well paint adheres to the substrate.

Industrial paints are specially formulated to meet the needs of various industries including aerospace, over-the-road equipment, civil projects, canning, heavy machinery, marine, etc.

Sometimes paints are categorised as coatings but, generally speaking, paints dry while coatings cure.

Paint Types

Paints come in mainly five forms: polyurethane, epoxy, alkyd, high zinc, and acrylic.

Polyurethane paints

Sometimes called simply “urethane“ paints, cure by chemical reaction or by exposure to air, heat, or UV light and are available as one- and two-part coatings. These are particularly useful as colour coats where a tough, highly aesthetic finish is desired, for example for motor vehicles.

Epoxy coatings

These are usually two- or three-part formulations and impart good abrasion and weathering characteristics and high heat resistance. They bond well to many materials. Epoxy resins are used in food and beverage can coatings to prevent oxidation of the container and contamination of the product. High abrasion resistance makes them popular for flooring applications as well. They are used extensively in the oil/gas industry for pipeline protection.

Alkyd enamel coatings

These provide environmental protection in interior, exterior, underwater, and underground applications, and are also used for road markings, but tend to be slower drying than other paints. Although alkyd paints behave similarly to other oil-based paints, they have fewer petroleum-based ingredients, instead using fatty acids and triglyceride oils as their major components. Typical oils used in alkyd coatings include tung oil, linseed oil, sunflower oil, etc.

Zinc coatings

High zinc coatings, as they are often called, are particularly useful on steel as they provide both galvanic and barrier protection. They are available as organic (using epoxy or polyurethane binders) and inorganic coatings (using silicate binders) and are durable and abrasion-resistant.

Acrylic paints

This type of paing is useful as a primer to promote adhesion. Acrylics paints tend to use fewer additives than other paints (such as surfactants and pigment dispersants). Acrylic resin is more expensive than vinyl resin and both are used in the making of latex paints--with better quality paints having a higher acrylic content.

Acrylic paints are sometimes used as temporary coatings for shipping and long-term storage of equipment with additives added to make them easily stripped or peeled off.

Chemgrit Coatings supplies a variety of constituents used for the manufacture of various types of paints and coatings. These are sourced from leading suppliers around the world. For more information contact Chemgrit Coatings on or

[Information sourced:]

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