CoatingsPro Magazine

JUL 2017

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22 JULY 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Notes From the Field Notes From the Field By James McDonald, Wind Segment Manager at Hempel It's Just Paint. Or Is It? H ave you ever been on a jobsite and overheard someone say, "It's just paint. W ho cares?" Inevitably, everyone in the group stops as if someone has hurled the vilest insult toward one's mother. Faces turn red, and blood pressures skyrocket. A quick glance of disgust gives way to a deep, cold tone of judgment exclaiming, "It's not just paint!" W hat does that statement mean, and why are we so quick to cor rect someone who dares to let such a thing leave their lips? W hy isn't it a l l just paint? Is there a d istinction that needs to be made w ithin and outside of the industr y? A re there connota- tions of impor tance that come w ith the ter ms? Let 's open up a can and ta ke a c loser look. Defining the Terms Let's be honest: To the trained and untrained eye alike, paint, coating, and linings all look pretty much the same. (Frank ly, the term lining might not even be on many people's radars at all.) For the most part, they're all liquid, they may smell similar, they all come in a bucket, and once you've picked up the spray gun or a brush, you're called a painter. So what's the big deal? First, it's probably fair (for ever y- one's sake and my safety) to seek a qualified, third-party opinion on the matter. So, I searched the most w idely recognized standards organizations to see how they defined paint, coating, and lining. According to NACE/ASTM G193-12D: Standard Terminolog y and Acronyms Relating to Corrosion, the follow ing are the definitions: Paint is a pigmented liquid or resin applied to a substrate as a thin layer that is converted to a solid film after application. Coating is a liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition that, after application to a surface, is converted into a solid protective, decorative, or functional adherent film. In a more general sense, it is defined as a thin layer of solid material on a surface that provides improved protective, decora- tive, and/or functional properties. Lining is a coating or layer of sheet material adhered to or in intimate contact with the interior surface of a container used to protect the container against corrosion by its contents and/or to protect the contents of the container from contamination by the container material. Interpreting the Meanings In my search, I had hoped to find some drastic difference between the terms — something that would forever entomb these jobsite squabbles so that we could move on to more important considerations, such as how to define nominal dry film thickness (DFT). However, what we have are a group of definitions that seem so closely aligned, with essentially the same wording, that only a bit of nuance separates them. e only one that offers any hope of clarity to the discussion is our definition of lining. From the inference to interior surfaces, we can easily assign linings as something applied to the inside of a vessel, container, or structure. But wait — our definition refers to a coating in intimate contact with an interior surface. So, even linings are coatings. ey just happen to be applied to the inside of something. In practice, linings are often used as a general term to describe a coating that will protect the steel from some sort of cargo, whether it be a liquid, gas, or dry cargo. Now, onto the more difficult discussion of separating paint from coatings. Both start as liquids, they are both applied to a surface, and they both convert to a solid film. Based on these characteristics, they are basically identical in every way. Right about here is where you start thinking, "W hy does it bother me when someone says, 'It's just paint'?" After some careful consideration, I came to a couple of conclusions. Leonardo da Vinci used oil paint for the Mona Lisa, my kids use finger paint, we shoot paint balls. None of these uses require(d) a significant amount of protection from some

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