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Functional Coatings Should be Part of Building Design

Feb. 14 2014 -- Orlando, FL-- Jeff Theo, Vulcan Painters vice president for business development, presented a paper titled "Commercial Contractor and Applicator Certifications," at the SSPC-Society for Protective Coatings 2014 Convention in Orlando FL Feb. 11. The paper discussed the latest revisions to the SSPC QP 9 Standard and the benefits of certifications, for contractors, applicators, owners and specification writers. He serves on SSPC's Commercial Coating Committee, formed in 2011.

In his paper Theo says that commercial coatings are often much more than aesthetic, and as such should be considered part of the building design by the architect, and not just as an afterthought. "This is seen in that many commercial specifications have a section called 'High Performance Coatings,' which is outside of the traditional Section 09900," he said. Some functional coatings used in commercial and institutional architecture include:

  • Reflective coatings used in "cool roofs;"
  • Anti-slip coatings to improve safety;
  • Intumescent coatings provide fire protection;
  • Anti-graffiti coatings make it easier to remove graffiti;
  • Breathable coatings used to let moisture escape from the interior of buildings, while other coatings provide a moisture barrier;
  • Coatings used to highlight hazards;
  • Biocides added to coatings to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other organisms.

Coatings that perform a function may also have mix ratios, induction times, pot life, wet film thickness and dry film thickness requirements, recoat windows and cure times, and even experienced commercial painters may not have the training to apply them, Theo said. The Commercial Coatings Committee's mission is to develop consensus based standards on guides to surface preparation, coating selection, and application. The Committee uses the Coating Application Specialist (CAS) program as the basis for developing a training and certification program for commercial applicators.