Coating: meaning and definition

Definition: Coating, meaning ‘the act of applying a coat’ or ‘a paint’

Coating acts as both a noun and a verb: It is both the act of applying a coat or paint, and the paint itself. A coating is a thin layer (or series of thin layers) of a substance covering the surface of a substrate. It is applied to the substrate in order to enhance and improve certain properties, to create a protective barrier, or to create a decorative, attractive appearance. Just because a coating is functional does not mean it cannot be decorative, and vice versa – most decorative paints also provide other functional benefits, too.

Below we go deeper into coating, meaning a quick look at what counts as a coating, how one applies a coating, and the different functions a coating can have.


The most common coating types and materials

At its most basic, coating is the combination of a resin, pigments, a vehicle, and in some cases, additives. The function of the coating is based on the different formulations of resin, pigments, and additives. The resin binds the pigments and additives together and to the substrate, while the vehicle thins the resin into the consistency and viscosity required for successful application. A coating is named for the resin component, for example an epoxy coating is one which uses epoxy as its resin. Five of the most common coating types are:

  1. Epoxy
  2. Polyurethane
  3. Acrylic
  4. Polyurea
  5. Fluoropolymer

The many functions of coating – from protection to decoration

Industry standards define three types of coatings; metallic, organic and inorganic. However, most coatings contain a combination of organic, synthetic and inorganic materials, including solvents, pigments, fillers and extenders. These additives improve the application and curing process, as well as imparting special properties once applied, like antimicrobial coatings.

With so many chemicals blends available, there is an engineered coating for almost every industrial and commercial application. Coating may be applied to provide:

10 different types of coating methods for application

Different regulations and technical requirements for each market and application dictate different types of coating. It is also important to choose the right type and method of coating as each type of coating method accomplishes a different goal and has its own appearance.

If you need any help to determine the best coating method for your project, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help!

Here are 10 common coating methods:

  1. Powder coating (electrostatic spray deposition)
  2. Spray Painting
  3. Brush painting
  4. Roller coating
  5. Thermal spraying
  6. Dip Coating
  7. Hot dipping (Galvanizing)
  8. Electroplating
  9. Coil coating
  10. Plasma spraying

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