When Newer Isn’t Better with T&D coatings

By Dick Belliveau, Induron Sales Representative

We tend to think that newer is usually better, don’t we? A new car is better than your old lemon, new flowers bloom in the spring and who didn’t like the start of a new school year growing up?

But at Induron, we’ve found that sometimes, what’s tried and true – trumps what’s new.

When coating electrical substation equipment, the tried and true method has always been to use silicone alkyds with a flo-coating method. But lately, some of our clients have questioned this method, wondering if there’s a newer way to coat this equipment. I’m here to tell you how important it is to stick with the method you know in this instance.

As you know, with oil circuit breakers, regulators and power transformer bodies in substations, typical painting techniques work just fine – you can brush, roll or spray on your coatings. But this is not the case with the transformer cooling fin. Because the cooling fins come tightly packed – many in banks of 6 that can be 40 deep – regular coating methods just don’t work. Especially since the fins need to do their job of releasing heat. Additionally, the fins can be more than sixteen inches wide and up to twelve feet long – that’s a lot of coating in a tightly packed area.

So what should you do to get a lasting coating in all the nooks and crannies of your cooling fin?

NACE (The National Association of Corrosion Engineers) says that flo-coating – a painting method in which coatings are poured over the top of the cooling fin by a painter – is the only acceptable way to paint cooling fins. Each cooling fin requires three coats – a P-30 primer and intermediate, and an Indurasil finish coat.

Painters working on these T&D projects work in a niche market, which is why there are only 5 to 10 contractors in the U.S. who do flo-coating painting! They have to be incredibly accurate – the paint has to go on extremely thin, and often times has to be thinned down up to 40%. If the paint is too thick, the cooling fin won’t cool like it’s supposed to.

Induron’s Indurasil fits the bill perfectly for this niche market. That’s why we think our product is extremely important to the T&D industry, and why we hope you’ll understand that newer isn’t always better!

Founded in 1947, Induron manufactures high performance coatings that serve a range of industrial applications, including the wastewater, transmission and distribution and groundwater storage industries. Learn more about us at Induron.com.  


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