Metal coating protects everything from bridges to funfair rides.

Metal coating – for protection and problem solving

Metal is a strong, durable, tough material used for countless purposes across every industry. From the medical sector to pipelines, construction to the automotive industry, metal coatings enhance, protect, and modify the metals we use to improve and perfect them for their particular applications. In Australia, metal coating protects everything from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the stands of the WACA, and a wide range of coatings and coatings manufacturers are represented across the country. Our infrastructure and transportation industries rely on metal coating – just look at aerospace, automotive, marine, and rail.

In this article we look at the range of metal coatings and how they protect or modify their substrate, as well as the metal coating manufacturers and suppliers in Australia.


The benefits of metal coatings

As mentioned above, metal coatings protect and modify (and decorate) their metal substrates. The reasons for applying a polymeric coating to a metal include:

  1. Durability – Polymeric coatings give metal extra impact and abrasion resistance, as well as sealing them off from the elements. This provides the metal substrate with extra durability and strength, extending its lifespan.
  2. Lubrication/friction reduction – Metals are tough but they also wear and cause friction between moving parts. A coating used as a dry lubricant reduces galling and keeps these surfaces low friction.
  3. Corrosion resistance – Corrosion is one of the greatest threats to metal. By protecting a metal from the atmosphere, water, chemicals, weather exposure, and moisture, coatings also protect it from the substances that cause corrosion.
  4. Chemical resistance – Chemical exposure also causes corrosion in metal substrates. These coatings are chemical resistant, meaning that the metal is completely protected from corrosive elements.

Protective metal coating types and their applications

Metal coating is a broad umbrella covering a wide range of coating types. Each coating type has its own strengths and weaknesses which affect which area they are used for – for example, polyurethanes are particularly UV stable and so many exterior coating applications use polyurethane as a topcoat. Below is a list of the most common metal coating types and their applications:

Metal Coating TypeDescriptionApplications
Acrylic/alkydUsually single-component, corrosion resistant coatings with good gloss and colour retentionDirect to metal finish for farm equipment, corrosion protection, handrails, steels tanks, OEM coatings
CeramicExtreme temperature resistant and low friction coating with abrasion and chemical resistanceCorrosion and thermal protection coating for pipelines and machinery, coatings for bearing surfaces and mechanical parts
EpoxyA durable, chemical and water resistant, abrasion resistant coating. Commonly used as primers.Tank and pipeline protection, anti-corrosion protection, automotive paint, architectural hygiene coatings, marine coatings
FluoropolymerThe non-stick coating, low friction and temperature, chemical, and water resistantCoatings for cookware and food processing machinery, medical devices, electronics and corrosion protection
PolyurethaneA durable, UV stable, chemical and water resistant coating with an attractive high-gloss finishTank protection, anti-corrosion protection, automotive clear coats, architectural coating
PowderAbrasion, chemical, water resistant coating with an attractive range of finishesCorrosion protection, appliance coating, architectural coating, pipeline protection, automotive coating

Beyond corrosion – the other metal coating properties

Though the biggest sector in metal coating is corrosion protection, there are polymer coatings used for other purposes too. These include:

  • Fire protection – Metals may not burn easily, but fire does cause them to lose strength. Intumescent fire protection coatings insulate and protect infrastructure from this.
  • Anti slip – Metal is a slippery surface material, and in areas where a slip could cause serious damage, such as stairs, boat decks, or warehouses, metal coatings are used to give the metal non slip properties.
  • High temperature protection – Some metal coatings (like industrial ceramic coating) protect the metal from heat as well as being low friction.

Industrial metal coating manufacturers and suppliers in Australia

When it comes to metal coating, Australia has a wide range of protective metal coating manufacturers and suppliers who sell their products on our shores. International companies like AkzoNobel have their Interpon powder coating range available for steel, aluminium, and other metals, while homegrown companies like Dulux have a vast Protective Coatings range that covers everything from Melbourne’s Federation Square to massive offshore structures like the Apache Energy Stag Platform off Western Australia.

If you have a project that requires protective metal coating and would like to be connected with our coating partners, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Simply use the “Request a Quote” button beneath this article and use our contact form to tell us about your project. We then collaborate with our coating partners to connect you to the best coating and company for your needs.


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