Abrasion and other wear caused by rubbing, impact, and friction damages your assets. Abrasion happens when one surface meets another and the friction between them rubs away material. That loss of material can compromise your asset’s performance over time. Also, scratched surfaces may be more susceptible to corrosion when an underlying substrate is exposed to corrosive agents.
Applications for wear-resistant coatings
Wear-resistant or abrasion-resistant coatings are used on many components.
Gears are a familiar example. Whether steel or plastic, whether used in an industrial assembly or a consumer product, gear teeth are vulnerable to wear as they mesh with other components. Both metal and plastic gears may be coated to resist wear and lengthen service life.
It is also common to use wear-resistant coatings on:
- Optical lenses
- Automobile windows
- Pipe or tank linings
- Bridge structures
Basically, any application that’s battered over time – whether from foot traffic, weather, dirt, or mechanical wear – might need an abrasion-resistant coating to avoid corrosion or damage.
Benefits of wear resistant coatings
When you have a component that may be subject to wear, treating it with an abrasion-resistant coating will give you:
- Better performance of the entire assembly
- Longer equipment life since components last longer
- Less required maintenance
- Lower costs over the lifetime of the asset
If you have a surface in your facility that is subject to wear, like a floor or deck, the right coating will provide:
- Slip resistance that minimizes injuries
- Durability and longer life
- Easier cleaning since dirt does not get ground in
- Impact resistance
Specifying wear-resistant coatings
From the gears in a machine to plastic automotive components to the factory floor, it often falls to the design engineer or facility manager to find an abrasion-resistant coating that protects surfaces from a variety of stresses.
While it can be complicated to find the right abrasion-resistant coating for your application, it usually comes down to the following factors:
- The material to be coated
- The environment
- How the asset is used
- Desired life
- Cost parameters — both initial cost and lifespan cost
This article provides an overview of the types of abrasion-resistant coatings for steel and plastic substrates. For assistance with your specific application, please contact CDN Paint. We can connect you with a top-rated coatings professional that specializes in wear-resistant coatings.
Below, we’ll provide a brief overview of the most popular types of wear-resistant coatings for steel and plastics. Your final coating selection should be made after consulting with an industrial coatings professional.
Abrasion-resistant coatings for steel
Summary: Polyurethanes are a type of thermoset material that are softer and more elastic than epoxy. Polyurethane is usually more “springy,” allowing for objects to bounce rather than crack the polyurethane material. They can still maintain their shape in extremely high and low temperatures, due to their thermoset nature.
- High gloss
- Good color retention
- Abrasion resistance
- Good corrosion control
- Protection of steel and concrete substrates on bridges
- Storage tanks
- Petrochemical plants
- High traffic commercial floors
Summary: Epoxy is another thermosetting material (i.e. it burns rather than melts when heat is applied) with two distinct parts: a resin and a hardening agent. They are harder and more rigid than polyurethanes, but also have strong chemical resistance.
- Wear resistant
- Corrosion resistant
- Good adhesion to many substrates
- Chemical resistance
- Used in a wide variety of industries
- Often used in marine environments
- 100 percent solids formulas perform well as interior tank linings
- Low to medium traffic industrial floors
Summary: Polysiloxanes are a blend of organic, epoxy-based, and inorganic systems. These coatings maintain their color and gloss characteristics even in high UV situations. They’re also hydrophobic, meaning moisture will bead up and roll off the coating.
- Excellent wear and corrosion resistance
- Retain color and gloss without fading or chalking
- High UV resistance
- Lower VOCs than polyurethane
- Piping in water and wastewater treatment
- Marine markets
- Storage tanks
- Insulating pipe
Abrasion-resistant coatings for plastics
Summary: Dry-film lubricants with desirable secondary properties. Can be combined with high-temperature organic polymers. Stand up to heavy loads, at high temperatures, in chemical and corrosive environments, and combinations thereof. Referred to as extreme performance coatings. Commonly applied in thin films.
- Low friction
- Wear resistance even under extreme pressures.
- Corrosion and chemical resistance
- Weather resistance against sunlight, salt water and road chemicals.
- Wide temperature operating range:
- Flexible curing schedule
- Wide color range
- Excellent adhesion: to most metals, plastics, ceramics, wood.
- OEM components
Summary: PPS is a polymer with stable chemical bonds that give it great molecular stability toward thermal degradation and chemical reactivity. Because of its molecular structure, PPS is inherently flame retardant. As well as being wear and chemical resistant.
- Combination of long-term and short-term thermal stability
- High modulus and creep resistance
- Resistance to aggressive chemical environments
- Precision molding to tight tolerances
- Stable dielectric and insulating properties
- Automotive – water pump impellers, thermostat holder, electric brakes, fuel injection systems and coolant systems.
- Chemical processing – molds, driers, valves, stirrers, gears and reactor linings.
- Commercial cookware – fry pan handles, toaster, microwave ovens, etc.
- Industrial – machine construction, oil & gas and HVAC industries.
Summary: A thermoplastic fluoropolymer good for baked-on lining applications. A chemical-resistant thick film barrier coating. Corrosion-resistant and unaffected by most chemicals and solvents. Has excellent wear and abrasion resistance. PVDF also has high dielectric strength, excellent resistance to weathering, and the ability to self-extinguish.
- Weather resistant
- UV resistant
- Radiation resistant
- Good thermomechanical properties
- High tensile strength
- High mechanical strength
- Low water absorption
- Flame resistant; can self-extinguish
- Chemical processing industries
Summary: Copolymer made of ethylene and chlorotrifluoroethylene. Excellent chemical protection and barrier properties. Resistant to many harsh chemicals up to 300°F. A flexible material with solid processability. Excellent electrical properties and thermal stability.
- Chemical resistance
- Strong thermal properties
- Corrosion resistance
- Permeation resistance
- Fame resistance
- High purity
- Smooth surface
- Lining in anti-corrosion applications like piping for petrochemical processing and wastewater treatment
- Storage container linings
- Pharmaceuticals industry: centrifuges, filters, and other equipment
Summary: Often used for its non-stick properties. Many formulations. Can be applied to a variety of substrate materials. Combines heat resistance and dielectric strength, and a low coefficient of friction.
- Wide range of formulations for many substrates
- Low coefficient of friction
- Automotive components,
- Consumer electronics
- Industrial components
Summary: Hard coatings that combine silicone-based abrasion resistance with optical clarity, resistance to chemicals, and stability during UV light exposure.
- Wear resistant
- Optical clarity
- UV resistance
- Chemical resistance
- Resists yellowing
- Architectural glazing
- Vehicle glazing
- Outdoor signage
- Safety & security windows
- Military & bullet-resistant glazing
- Prison and detention glazing
- Instrument and gauge lenses
Summary: Two versatile options: one a thermally cured, 2-component coating and the other a room temperature cure, single-component coating. Can be applied to metal, plastic, ceramic, wood, and composites.
- Optically transparent
- Excellent abrasion/scratch resistance
- Applied using standard coating processes, including dip-coating, spray coating, spin-coating, gravure, and reverse gravure
- Ophthalmic & sportswear lenses,
- Automobile and airplane windows
- 3D printed parts.
Find an abrasion-resistant coating supplier
As you can tell, there are a lot of coatings available that are resistant to abrasion and wear! Finding the right coating can be tricky, but CDN Paint makes it easy. Reach out today to get a recommendation from a top-rated expert.