The range of anti-corrosion protective coatings increased with the addition of polyurea elastomeric coatings to the list. Although relatively new, this class of elastomeric coatings is slowly gaining wider market coverage because of its unique properties to combat corrosion.
Research in urea coating technology began in the late 70s, intended for use by the automobile coating industry. Early products suffered from application issues. Injection of the material into car parts was difficult and plagued with gelling problems. But with gradual developments, application equipments and methodologies improved in sophistication. Spray guns with plural-component application abilities have been developed, as well as quick-mix and quick-spray equipments that can handle urea elastomeric coatings applications.
One of the most important properties of urea elastomeric coatings is that it has a fast-curing ability. It also has a good tolerance to moisture and varying temperature levels. As for protection, it offers superior resistance to physical damages, performs well in intense high and low temperatures, and is impervious to water, acids and alkaline materials. These properties make urea elastomeric coatings suitable for many types of applications.
Polyurea-based elastomeric coatings are different from polyurethane-based formulations. The former’s second component is a polyether amine, whereas the latter has polyol resin component. Performance-wise, the former has fast-curing abilities because it does not require a catalyst, while the latter needs one. The use of catalysts is dependent on good temperature. Low temperatures interfere with the reaction and causes coating blisters.