Electrocoat has long been recognized as a cost effective, environmentally friendly coating process. Today, electrocoating is comprised of three basic chemistries or product lines … cathodic epoxy primers, cathodic acrylic finishes and anodics.
Over the past 30 years, growth of electrocoat has been significant, primarily due to the use of cathodic epoxy primers as low cost, corrosion resistant coatings for the automotive and appliance industries. More recently, cathodic epoxy primers have also shown steady growth in the HVAC, heavy construction, and electrical switchgear markets for various applications such as air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, radiators, earth moving equipment, castings, and transformers. These primers, combined with powder topcoats, are the benchmark for cost effective, environmentally friendly, high performance coating systems in use today.
Cathodic acrylic/epoxy hybrids have also shown widespread growth as “one-coat” finishes, providing a combination of good corrosion resistance and UV durability. Further advances in both corrosion and UV resistance have accelerated the growth of these coatings into applications such as lawn and garden equipment, 2 and 4-wheel recreational vehicles, appliances, fencing, and wheels.
The growth of anodic finishes over steel substrates will continue to be limited to interior uses such as air diffusers, seating components, shelving, and tool boxes. However, anodic electrocoatings have inherently shown excellent performance over aluminum and will continue to be used as a low cost finishes for this substrate. Typical aluminum markets or applications include home radiators, extrusions, insect wire screen, consumer electronics, and hardware.
John Martin is a Manager of Performance Learning at PPG, ppg.com