Protective Coatings: What Are They?

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Protective coatings are used to protect items from damage and improve their function. Examples include polymer coatings on electrical wiring, nonstick coatings on cookware, and metallic coatings on outdoor metal products. Coatings help products last longer and hold up well under normal use.

Protective coatings are coatings intended to provide a layer of protection from anything that could damage the function or integrity of an item. The application of a surface coating is common to many different products, ranging from electrical wiring to printed labels. Coatings are also useful for preventing rust or improving product function, as is the case with coated cookware.

One of the most common examples of protective coatings is electrical wiring. The wires that actually carry the current flow are covered in polymer coatings designed to contain the energy generated by the wires. At the same time, the coating protects the wires from exposure to any external elements that could cause a short circuit or corrode the wires.

Along with wiring, cookware with nonstick surfaces are another example of protective coatings found around the home. By using coatings such as Teflon&Reg;, food does not stick to the cooking surface of pots or pans. This quality helps extend the life of your cookware while also helping the cleanup process after preparing a meal less difficult.

Metallic coatings are often applied to the surface of metal plates or sheets intended for outdoor use. The thin polymer coating is often transparent and not easily detectable with the naked eye. However, the coating can go a long way in limiting oxidation on the surface of metals such as tin or aluminum, while also acting as an anti-rust agent. Metal roofs and fences are often treated with some type of coating in order to maintain the appearance and also ensure a longer life for the products.

There are even examples of protective coatings found with printed products. An example is the pressure sensitive address label. A thin liner is used to keep label information clear and legible during transit from a supplier to a consignee. Documents like restaurant menus and other printed materials that get handled a lot are likely to be coated with some type of laminating agent, making it easier to wipe stains or other items off the surface.

In all cases, the primary function of protective coatings is to allow a product to remain in good condition for an extended period of time. Coatings allow many products to last longer than would be possible if no coatings were applied. While not usually waterproof, protective coatings tend to hold up very well under normal use.

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