In any heavy industry, and especially in the oil and gas industry so familiar to residents of Houston, there is a strong demand for coating technology that protects pipelines from both internal and external degrading factors such as corrosion, chemical breakdown, and physical abrasion. Fusion bonded epoxy coatings, also known as FBE coating, have been a popular choice for this application since their introduction in the 1960s.
What is fusion bonded epoxy coating?
FBE coating is a type of powder coating consisting of a resin and a hardener which, when heated at high temperatures, causes the material to melt into liquid form and flow to cover a substrate to be protected. Once the surface is covered, the piece is allowed to cool, which sets the coating into a solid form. The process of curing and then cooling the powder coating is called fusion bonding. Fusion bonded epoxy coating is different from conventional paint coatings in that it takes advantage of a process called cross-linking in which polymer chains are linked together; this results in a stronger and more resistant coating.
What benefits does fusion bonded epoxy coating offer?
Most consumers who are considering FBE powder coating products and services are more interested in the potential benefits than the science behind the process. Thankfully, FBE coating shines in this regard, especially when applied by a qualified facility offering powder coating in Houston. Covering both internal and external surfaces, FBE coating can provide superior flexibility as well as resistance to corrosion and chemicals.
Proper application of FBE coating involves a phenolic primer layer that improves the substrate’s resistance to corrosive compounds as well as elevated temperatures and pressures, which is important in any oil and gas pipeline operation. The fusion bonding process also allows for a thicker layer of coating than with other coating applications, leading to improved resistance as well as a smoother finish.
Fusion bonded epoxy has become a popular choice for industrial coatings, and for good reason. The process involves the application of multiple layers and a little bit of chemistry to produce an epoxy pipe coating that stands the tough conditions of any pipeline application.