Protective coating formula improves

Jon Lawson

Belzona has revealed its latest formulation of a chemical resistant epoxy coating - Belzona 4311 (Magma CR1). Originally introduced in 1986, this material has long been known for its barrier properties, resisting the attack of the harshest chemical compounds, such as sulphuric and hydrochloric acid, among others.

Improved application

Over the last few years, Belzona’s R&D chemists have been working to enhance this material in order to improve its performance. Richard Collett, Chief R&D Chemist, commented: “Our first objective was to improve the application process. As secondary chemical containment areas in need of protection are getting bigger and bigger, we wanted to make this new formulation sprayable. We have also reduced the amine bloom to a minimum resulting in an overcoat window of up to 24 hours. These improvements mean that large secondary containment areas can be protected more efficiently and economically, saving on both time and labour costs.”

UV resistance has been boosted to reduce film thickness loss over years in service. It has been tested in the Q-Sun cabinet according to the ISO 11341 standard for 10000 hours, where samples saw exposure to extreme rain and sunlight conditions. This accelerated weathering data showed minor thickness loss of 5% in comparison to a standard epoxy coating’s 50%. These results prove that the coating does not only resist harsh chemicals but can also withstand weathering in various climates, even after decades in service.

Unchanged chemical protection

Despite the reformulation, the chemical resistance of Belzona 4311 remains unaffected, and still provides lasting protection against a range of harsh acids and alkalis. This performance has been proven in various industries.

For example, a power plant in the US experienced secondary containment coating failure, not once but twice, allowing sulphuric acid to deteriorate the underlying concrete. Acid then began to seep into the ground, contaminating the environment. This premature failure prompted the owner to consider a longer lasting solution. Since the acid tank itself had already been coated with Belzona 4311 and remained in service with no incidents for 12 years, the decision was taken to protect the surrounding concrete with the same coating. After eight years in service, only minor touch-up repairs were ever necessary.

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