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PPG Primeron®: The Role of High-Performance Primers in Combating Corrosion

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2024

Corrosion poses significant challenges for various industries in the United States.

The Cost of Corrosion Study conducted by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) estimated that corrosion costs the U.S. a staggering $276 billion annually. This amount represents approximately 3.1 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

For manufacturers of metal goods, high-performance primers are the first line of defense against corrosion and rust on metal substrates.

Powder primers offer many benefits when used in a powder system, including improved corrosion resistance and adhesion, better part and edge coverage and increased film build for longer lasting protection.

Powder primers can be applied to slow down the speed of oxidation, create more consistency in the application of the powder coatings, and allow the powder coatings to more easily bond to metal edges. Metals that are prone to corrosion will benefit from the extra protection provided by a powder primer to help guard against puncturing and flaking long term.

Traditional zinc-rich powder primers offer exceptional corrosion resistance and excellent adhesion even in challenging environments. But they do come with some disadvantages such as high specific gravity and lower transfer efficiency than other common powder platforms.

New Product Elevates Zinc Primer Performance Advantages
PPG recently introduced the PPG PRIMERON® epoxy zinc-rich primer, a powder coating formulated with an optimal balance of zinc for corrosion protection and high transfer efficiency.

The patent-pending primer offers a better balance of properties, including application ease due to a lower specific gravity than traditional zinc primers. Because of this benefit, the product delivers 80% better coverage, leading to lower applied cost, higher transfer efficiency and more uniform coverage.

Additional benefits include exceptional edge, face and scribe corrosion resistance and excellent adhesion on both smooth and blasted steel for a strong bond that resists peeling, chipping and degradation. The primer also passed 10,000 hours of salt spray testing on blasted steel.

PPG Primeron powder can be used in a two-coat, one-bake process on steel, hot-dip-galvanized steel, metalized steel and aluminum. The two-coat, one-bake process leads to faster finishing, a more efficient curing process and lower energy costs.

The primer is ideal for a wide range of applications, including trailers, gas tanks, pipes, automotive, machinery and other metal products.

“Corrosion protection is a decisive factor for the durability of a part and one of the most significant challenges for the coating industry,” said Paul Bradley, PPG manager, product development, Industrial Coatings. “Primeron offers improved adhesion and corrosion resistance, even in seacoast environments, and is easier to apply with better first-pass build rates than traditional zinc-rich primers.”

This new product joins a full portfolio of unique PPG powder primers engineered to provide exceptional corrosion protection on metal parts that are prone to rusting and corroding.

A Family of Unique Powder Primers
PPG's full PRIMERON® primer product portfolio is designed to provide high corrosion resistance for substrates including steel, hot-dip-galvanized steel, metalized steel and aluminum substrates.

The full primer range provides unique product features to meet various requirements depending on typical end use, operating environment and substrate. Other products in the Primeron family include Primeron AUTO, designed for the automotive specialty markets and engineered with layered protection; Primeron EDGE, offering best in class corrosion protection on substrates with sharp edges; and Primeron VERSA, which provides very good protection for multiple substrates, including aluminum.

PPG Primeron products meet important industry standards, including ISO12944, the benchmark for safeguarding steel structures from corrosion through protective paint systems. Architects, engineers, specifiers, applicators, and other stakeholders rely on this standard for coating application guidance. ISO12944 encompasses nine parts, covering aspects such as environment classification, protective paint systems, laboratory test methods, and systems for offshore structures.

These primers show very good corrosion resistance and have been tested accordingly to the corrosivity categories. The systems performance has been approved by Qualisteelcoat.

Real-World Case Study
A recent successful application of the new Primeron epoxy powder primer on a customer line is with Switch-N-Go®, a manufacturer of cable hoists and interchangeable truck bodies.

The company is known internationally for their systems that allow for a “single truck to do the work of multiple trucks.” The all-in-one truck systems provide ground level loading. Over 30 unique bodies are designed, developed, and fabricated in-house with the help of the company’s 70 plus employees. Located in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, Switch-N-Go has been in business for more than 20 years.

Switch-N-Go had performance issues with their previous powder primer from a leading competitor, specifically with spitting defects in the coatings. The company turned to PPG in the fall of 2022 and successful line trials for PPG’s new zinc epoxy powder primer were completed in early 2023.

With the new primer, the Switch-N-Go team noticed less spitting and a higher transfer efficiency that resulted in better coverage, less overspray and cleanup, improving their overall processes.

“The powder topcoat creates a durable, uniform finish that can be customized by our color experts,” said Edward Butler, PPG commercial territory manager, Automotive Refinish.

PPG Primeron zinc epoxy primer is a patent-pending breakthrough that offers impressive first-pass build rates due to high transfer efficiency and semi-conductivity, helping to reduce material usage. It delivers better corrosion protection compared to standard zinc-rich epoxy primers.

The product also offers sustainability benefits, including low-bake capabilities, lowering cure temperatures by 15 degrees and 10 minute lower cycle times. Switch-N-Go noticed decreased oven time and temperature, enabling them to improve cycle times and reduce energy consumption.

In addition to PPG’s high-performance coatings, Switch-N-Go was impressed by PPG’s technical service expertise and knowledge of the industry, including a special black color formulation in the PPG ENVIROCRON® PCTT99259 powder topcoat.

“The team took the time to understand our processes and helped us identify improvements from the actual coating all the way through the line,” said Ian Celo, plant manager, Switch-N-Go.

Today, Switch-N-Go relies on PPG to provide the durability their products demand with a resilient, high-performing finish that their customers expect.

“PPG products give a great overall look to our parts,” said Joe Myor, general manager, Switch-N-Go.

Pioneering Leadership in Powder Technology
Powder is considered to be a more sustainable coating platform. Powder coatings are reclaimable and generally formulated without solvents that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), playing a key role in PPG’s ongoing efforts to lower its carbon footprint, reduce water, energy and waste, utilize more renewable energy sources and achieve 50% of sales from sustainably advantaged products by 2030.

A world-leader in new and sustainable coatings technologies, PPG is committed to helping customers enhance the durability, performance and look of their products, as well as implement more efficient processes.

Learn more about PPG Primeron.