How Does Industrial Ceramics Act as a Protective Metal Coating?

protective metal finishes series

Protective metal coatings are a group of metallic coatings that protect other surfaces against corrosion. Because of their exceptional qualities and anti-corrosion properties, industrial ceramic coatings are one of the most popular protective metal coatings. The main application area for industrial ceramics is the chemical sector, commonly used in pipe systems, heat exchangers, etc.

Metal finishing companies apply industrial ceramics on almost any metallic surface and offer protection against corrosion and chemicals. It is extremely resistant to high temperatures and acidic environments as well. Industrial ceramic coating is also easy to repair if necessary, which makes it an excellent protective metal coating material. Let’s take a deeper look into how this protective metal coating works and its benefits:

What is an Industrial Ceramic Coating?

When we talk about ceramic coating, we refer to a group of materials applied on metallic surfaces turning the metals into ceramics. There are many ceramic coatings types; the most common types are silicon carbide, silicon nitride, and Zirconia. Silicon carbide is the most common ceramic coating used in the chemical industry, offering great protection against corrosion in wet and dry environments, high temperatures, and aggressive chemicals.

Various chemical, petrochemical, power, and refineries industries use silicon carbide, suitable for cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, and other ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Industrial ceramic coatings protect the metallic surface by encasing it in ceramic, so corrosion or high temperatures won’t affect the surface. The protective layer may vary in thickness, depending on the desired results and the surface to be coated.

Here’s a quick video illustrating the application of an industrial ceramic coating.

Benefits of using Industrial Ceramic Coating

There are many benefits to using industrial ceramics as a protective metal coating: 

Resistance: Industrial ceramics, and silicon carbide, in particular, are highly resistant to chemicals and corrosion, meaning the protected surface remains intact and not affected by corrosion. The coating provides excellent heat resistance, so the surface won’t crack or discolor when exposed to high temperatures.

Adhesion: Industrial ceramic coatings have excellent adhesion to the surface to be coated. A strong binding between the two surfaces means the coating is more durable, even when exposed to high temperatures.

Repair: Industrial ceramic coatings are easy to repair. Silicon carbide is easy to remove and reapply if there is a leak or some other damage, making it less expensive than other coating materials.

How does it work?

Industrial ceramic coatings work through a chemical process: the coating material bonds to the surface of the metallic part, creating a strong and durable ceramic coating. The surface to be coated should be clean and free of any oils and contaminants.

Once applied, the surface has to be heated to a certain temperature for the silicon carbide or Zirconia to melt. The molten particles are then released and bonded to the surface of the metallic part. They apply the silicon nitride coating using a chemical reaction.

Limitations of industrial ceramics

Industrial ceramic coatings have some limitations; They use silicon carbide in different industries as a protective metal coating for its excellent corrosion, high temperature, and good adhesion to ferrous and non-ferrous surfaces.

Silicon carbide has great thermal stability and high chemical resistance, making it an excellent choice for industrial applications. Industrial ceramics are very good in adhesion, thermal conductivity, and chemical resistance. They coat different metallic surfaces, such as pipes, heat exchangers, and other equipment. Industrial ceramics are relatively cheap, easy to apply, and have a long lifetime.

How to pick the right coating?

When coating a surface with industrial ceramics, it is important to consider: 

Thickness: The thickness of the coating varies depending on the application and the desired protection. The thickness of the coating determines its lifespan of the coating. 

Temperature: The coating changes at a certain temperature and may change color or break down. The temperature of the coating determines when maintenance is needed. 

Chemical makeup: The chemical makeup of the coating determines its corrosion resistance, and the coating should be resistant to the chemicals present in the environment. 

Metal type: Apply the coating on a clean metal surface. The metal type determines the best coating type.

Summing up

Industrial ceramics are one of the most commonly used protective metal coatings. They work by encasing the metallic surface in ceramic, thus protecting it against corrosion, chemicals, and high temperatures.

Industrial ceramic coatings are easy to apply and have many benefits, including high chemical resistance, corrosion resistance, and high-temperature resistance. Industrial ceramic coatings have some limitations and should be carefully selected to ensure they are suitable for the environment.

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