The Types of Paints for Ships

The Types of Paints for Ships

Shipbuilders use metal for the ships’ exteriors, which can corrode because of exposure to the elements and saltwater. The paints for ships and other marine vessels are special paints containing additives to prevent corrosion. Separate parts of the ship require different types of paints, but they all provide anti-corrosion properties.

paints for ships

Paint constitution

Paints typically have the following ingredients: binder, pigment and extender, and solvent. The binder and the pigment combine to produce the film that covers the surface when dry. The solvents aid in changing the paint’s consistency to ensure smoother and easier application.

The pigment and the binder constitute the colored paint layer when they dry. The solvents in the paint help in the paint’s application. The binder may come in a solid form that incorporates curing agents, liquid type, or solid type. The binder component of the paint determines the paint’s classification. Thus, boat paints may be alkyd, chlorinated rubber, or epoxy paints. If you want to know more, Durabak Marine Paint has a range of paints for boats and ships.

Varieties of marine paints

You can see many variants of ship paint, which are classified according to their binders/vehicles.

  • Pitch or bitumen. This type of paint uses white spirit or naphtha as its solvent. Heat can blend the paint with other items to produce an excellent paint base.
  • Oil-based paints. They use drying oils like Tung oil and Linseed oil, which are vegetable-based. Driers help to speed up the drying process by using how the oils react when exposed to oxygen.
  • Oleoresinous paints. The paints use artificial or natural resins with drying oils. The reaction of the resin with the drying oil makes the drying process faster.
  • Alkyd resin paints. These are fast-drying paints that use drying oils, oil-free acid, and oil-fatty acid to improve the paint’s film-forming and drying times.
  • Epoxy resins. The paints use epoxy resins from natural gas and petroleum. The paints adhere excellently and provide good chemical resistance. Epoxy resins are tough yet flexible.
  • Coal tar. This type of paint is like epoxy resin. But it replaces the hardener (curing agent) with the thick coal tar pitch, giving the paint a chemical resistance property similar to epoxy resin and coal tar’s impermeability.
  • Chlorinated rubber and isomerized rubber. These paints combine natural rubber with chlorine. They are soluble in natural solvents. When dry, the paint’s thickness is better than that of natural rubber. The paints are especially resistant to alkali and acid attacks.
  • Polyurethane resins. The paint results from the combination of urethane with polymeric compounds. Polyurethane paint has many properties, including weather and chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, gloss, hardness, and toughness. They customarily use polyurethane resins on a ship’s superstructures.
  • Vinyl resins. This paint does not adhere very well to bare steel. As the paint is relatively thin, it requires more layers to achieve the exact thickness. Vinyl resin paints are effective as primers before you apply the preliminary treatment primer. Vinyl resins are suitable for protecting steel underwater.

Painting ships is a tremendous task, requiring not only expertise and training. As the job requires utilizing the right type of paint for the specific parts of the ship, choose the right ship painting service provider to handle the job properly.


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