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Challenging the Organic “Zinc Rich” Primer Standard

This paper will examine the formulation and performance of new, activated zinc epoxy primers compared to conventional zinc-rich epoxy primers. We will demonstrate comparable corrosion resistance at reduced zinc levels in the dried film (Level 3 ≥65%) and show that zinc metal levels can be reduced to as low as 31% by weight without compromising galvanic corrosion protection while improving adhesion and mechanical properties of the dry film.

Product Number: 51220-301-SG
Author: Alex Yagüe, David Morton
Publication Date: 2020
Industry: Coatings
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 Zinc-rich primers are often the primer of choice during new construction of assets placed offshore for oil & gas production. The SSPC-Paint 20 specification covers both inorganic (Type I) and organic (Type II) highly pigmented zinc-rich coatings and the level of zinc dust is classified by the weight of zinc in the dried film. Oil & gas specifications demand at least Level 2 (≥ 77% and less than 85%) to meet the performance demands of this specification and the harsh conditions experienced when offshore. In conventional zinc-rich epoxy primers (Type II) the high levels of zinc are achieved by adding large amounts of zinc dust particles into an epoxy matrix as a pigment. The dispersion of the zinc is crucial to ensure electrical contiguity and hence galvanic protection of steel. Formulation is critical to ensure the correct PVC/cPVC ratio to ensure both galvanic protection and adequate adhesion plus mechanical properties. This paper will examine the formulation and performance of new, activated zinc epoxy primers compared to conventional zinc-rich epoxy primers. We will demonstrate comparable corrosion resistance at reduced zinc levels in the dried film (Level 3 ≥65%) and show that zinc metal levels can be reduced to as low as 31% by weight without compromising galvanic corrosion protection while improving adhesion and mechanical properties of the dry film.

 Zinc-rich primers are often the primer of choice during new construction of assets placed offshore for oil & gas production. The SSPC-Paint 20 specification covers both inorganic (Type I) and organic (Type II) highly pigmented zinc-rich coatings and the level of zinc dust is classified by the weight of zinc in the dried film. Oil & gas specifications demand at least Level 2 (≥ 77% and less than 85%) to meet the performance demands of this specification and the harsh conditions experienced when offshore. In conventional zinc-rich epoxy primers (Type II) the high levels of zinc are achieved by adding large amounts of zinc dust particles into an epoxy matrix as a pigment. The dispersion of the zinc is crucial to ensure electrical contiguity and hence galvanic protection of steel. Formulation is critical to ensure the correct PVC/cPVC ratio to ensure both galvanic protection and adequate adhesion plus mechanical properties. This paper will examine the formulation and performance of new, activated zinc epoxy primers compared to conventional zinc-rich epoxy primers. We will demonstrate comparable corrosion resistance at reduced zinc levels in the dried film (Level 3 ≥65%) and show that zinc metal levels can be reduced to as low as 31% by weight without compromising galvanic corrosion protection while improving adhesion and mechanical properties of the dry film.

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