Generations of Underwater Epoxies

October 15, 2009

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Years of technological advances in the research and development of underwater epoxies have borne fruit, giving facility managers more choices of marine epoxy coatings. The years of progress have resulted to three generations of underwater epoxy coatings, which are the following:

1. First generation epoxies are formulated with the consistency of bubble gum. They are kneaded and applied on the target area by sticking them in. These epoxy coatings are known to contain harmful substances and a short pot life. Many existing marine structures still use them until today, because owners prefer to replace instead of repair problematic surfaces.

2. Second generation coatings have improved adhesion, eliminating the bubble gum formulation and the stick-on application method. These epoxy coatings continue to have short pot lives and contain hazardous materials. When it comes to bonding with cathode-protected substrates, performance of these coatings is also very low.

3. Third generation underwater coatings can be stored longer, and have zero-VOC formulations that make them more environment-friendly. Epoxy coatings of this generation have also addressed the poor bonding characteristics with cathodic surfaces.

The breakthroughs in underwater epoxy coatings are slowly being appreciated by facility managers, with an eye in keeping repairs costs to a minimum. Instead of total replacement, on-site repairs using these marine epoxies are becoming a more attractive choice.

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