Surface Preparation for Epoxy Coating

February 19, 2009

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The fusion-bonded epoxy (FBE) coating method follows three important steps during its application. These are surface cleaning and preparation, heating of the steel material at the correct temperature, and the application and curing stage.

Epoxy coating plants commonly coat steel materials that are pre-cut in straight lengths of around 40 to 60 feet. The steel bars are then cut and bent to meet project specifications before being carried through a conveyor system and subjected to the epoxy coating process. The pre-cut shapes of these pipes and bars pass through the blast cleaner room, the dry powder application booth, the drying section, until the process of epoxy coating is completed for each part.

To prepare steel surfaces for the epoxy coating process, the first stage which is blast cleaning is done on each steel part. Blast cleaning releases compressed air unto the steel surface, launching steel abrasives such as grit, garnet, or coal slag that strikes against the steel surface. The abrasives effectively remove rust, scales and dirt from the steel surface. The abrasives also create minute indentations or pock marks in the surface of the steel material, resulting to a rough surface finish called the profile. The profile provides better anchorage for epoxy coating when it is later applied to the steel bar.

Proper blast cleaning of the steel materials ensure that the surfaces of these materials are fully prepared for the succeeding processes in epoxy coating which are heating the materials to proper temperature, fusion-bonding the epoxy to the materials, and curing and drying them in the final stages.

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