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Dry Film Thickness: is More Coating Always Better?

Coating thickness is one of the most important parameters influencing durability of a protective coating system. As a general rule-of-thumb, the thicker the coating, the greater the protection. But is there any upper limit to this general rule? This paper looks at durability figures of common protective coating systems for atmospheric and immersion exposure as a function of dry film thickness. 

Product Number: 51219-188-SG
Author: Saiada FuadiFancy & Kingsley Lau
Publication Date: 2019
Industry: Coatings
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Coating thickness is one of the most important parameters influencing durability of a protective coating system. As a general rule-of-thumb, the thicker the coating, the greater the protection. But is there any upper limit to this general rule? This paper looks at durability figures of common protective coating systems for atmospheric and immersion exposure as a function of dry film thickness. The examples are from studies in North America as well as International and Australian standards. While these studies show there is increasing durability with thickness for low overall film thicknesses, there is strong evidence that this improvement flattens out at a total thickness of around 250 microns (10 mils) for atmospheric coating systems, and a somewhat greater thickness for coatings exposed to immersed conditions. The paper discusses some reasons why this behavior may arise. It also describes some practical hints for ensuring coverage of edges and corners when applying coatings at lower thicknesses.

Coating thickness is one of the most important parameters influencing durability of a protective coating system. As a general rule-of-thumb, the thicker the coating, the greater the protection. But is there any upper limit to this general rule? This paper looks at durability figures of common protective coating systems for atmospheric and immersion exposure as a function of dry film thickness. The examples are from studies in North America as well as International and Australian standards. While these studies show there is increasing durability with thickness for low overall film thicknesses, there is strong evidence that this improvement flattens out at a total thickness of around 250 microns (10 mils) for atmospheric coating systems, and a somewhat greater thickness for coatings exposed to immersed conditions. The paper discusses some reasons why this behavior may arise. It also describes some practical hints for ensuring coverage of edges and corners when applying coatings at lower thicknesses.

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