Damage analysis on high-gloss surfaces

Damage analysis on high-gloss surfaces

In recent years, we have been commissioned by paint manufacturers, insurance companies or paint users to assess damage to the interior high-gloss coating of mega yachts or to optimize the painting process in the production of high-gloss paint surfaces and avoid sources of error.

On-site assessment on the mega yachts

In each individual case, we first looked at the paint surfaces that had already been installed on the ships and carried out a visual and measurement inventory of the paint surface damage. In most cases, complaints were made about “approval” or problems with adhesion between the primer and the top coat of the high-gloss paint surfaces several weeks after installation. In addition, the recorded storage conditions of the painted components (temperature & humidity) and the climatic conditions on the respective ships were analyzed and evaluated during and after the installation of the components.

Processing parameters of the two-component polyurethane paints

The basic suitability of the materials was checked together with the respective paint manufacturers and the precise processing parameters and practical and written instructions that the user received were discussed.

Process testing of the coating process at the paint user

The entire production process from the manufacture of the carrier plates to the final inspection of the coated high-gloss surfaces was examined intensively in an audit. As a rule, a manufacturing report is created for each painted consignment. Here you can find all technical parameters with paint batch, climatic data, wood moisture of the carrier boards, drying times, drying temperature, consumption quantities, etc.). Possible error influencing factors were discussed and appropriate measures were taken in the user companies.

Analysis of the coated high gloss surfaces
In order to exclude that the hardener component was not underdosed or overdosed during mixing with the parent coating component, infrared spectroscopy (ATR spectroscopy) was performed between a defined reference sample and the defective coating surfaces. Both the primer and the top coating (high gloss coating) were examined individually. In addition, a layer thickness analysis of the primer and topcoat layer was carried out in our laboratory. In addition, the claimed surfaces were subjected to a chemical test according to DIN EN 68 861-Part 1B. In most cases, no underdosage or overdosage of the hardener components was observed. An overdose of the hardener component by 30% in the 2C-PU primer could only be demonstrated in a lacquered commission. An overdose of the hardener component used leads to an overcrosslinking (increase in the degree of crosslinking) of the primer and may affect the intermediate bonding between the primer and the subsequent high-gloss coating. The microscopic layer thickness distribution showed no abnormalities and was roughly in line with the specifications of the paint manufacturers. Likewise, the chemical resistance tests carried out.

 Measures and conclusion
The paint surface damage that has occurred in practice so far is primarily due to process errors during the production and drying/hardening of the high-gloss surfaces. The error rate can be reduced to a minimum by means of additional measures and training of the painting staff. Transport and climatic conditions during the installation of the painted high-gloss surfaces on the ships also have an impact on the “collapse” of high-gloss surfaces. We carry out regular audits of manufacturers of high-gloss surfaces and training the technical staff.