Off-Shore and High-Performance Applications of Xylan® Coatings: Pretreatment Essentials

August 20, 2014

For the use of Xylan® in general, Whitford recommends wiping down the part with a solvent. We’ve also heard of coaters trying vapor degreasing. These can work for Xylan applications that aren’t going be used in demanding environments.

But if you have a part that needs to meet any of the following criteria, you need an industrial coater that understands the specifics of pretreatment for Xylan:

  • Salt spray exposure

  • Chemical exposure

  • Ongoing weather exposure

  • Extreme temperature exposure

  • Post-coating stamping or machining of parts

  • Chipping or embrittlement is an issue

At AIC, we consider a controlled burn off and then sandblasting with aluminum oxide as a the absolute minimum for every part we coat with Xylan. It’s true that you could solvent wipe and then just spray, but in most cases, you’re leaving a lot of performance on the table by doing that.

One advantage to this method, is that the sandblasting creates a profile on the part’s surface that encourages adhesion. We have our sandblaster in-house, and so we modify the sandblasting in function of the profile we need to create (differences in substrate and desired coating thickness require different profiles).

For subsea machinery or other parts that require salt spray or chemical resistance, we always have some sort of phosphate pretreatment happen after cleaning – usually zinc phosphate or manganese phosphate. This makes a big difference when it comes to long-term performance under high exposure to salt.

One note: not all parts can undergo sandblasting. We once had a very thin blade in that would have been damaged by the sandblasting process. This is when an experienced coater can get creative. We so, but we still held it to the standard of burnoff and profile creation while avoiding sandblasting and adding in a few cleaning steps.

Simply put, most companies using Xylan on a part are using it because serious performance is required. Going for high-quality pretreatment is the best way to avoid failures and save costs in the long run.