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A comprehensive guide on the best epoxy for marine coating applications

Marine applications are a very specialist area of strengthening and rehabilitation – so don’t be surprised that we’ve managed to write this lengthy guide on the best epoxy for marine coating applications and this topic alone. Along with exploring specific epoxy resin products that we rate, we’ll also explain why epoxy is so special and what the benefits of using these super-strength coatings are. We hope you learn a lot – and please get in touch if you would like any further help or advice, whether you’re trained to use marine coating applications yourself or are looking for a specialist to complete a project for you.

What is epoxy?

Before we explain the uses of epoxy and which epoxy coatings are best, let’s take a look at what epoxy is actually made up of. Even if you work in specialist construction such as strengthening and rehabilitation, these high school science class-esque terms can get lost on you. Or, perhaps you use them already and you don’t know much about their chemical make-up.

Epoxy is the basic component of all epoxy resin products (or polyepoxides, to use their fancy name). They come from a class of reactive polymers and prepolymers and contain the powerful epoxide group which gives them their short name – epoxy. When the epoxy is present in any type of resin coating, it leads to the curing or hardening of the product. Without epoxy, your resin coating would not have its famous curing quality!

In terms of marine coating applications, epoxy coating products are often also referred to as marine-grade epoxy paint, marine epoxy finish, or epoxy adhesive paste. If you can’t find what you are looking for whilst using one product term, try another! Just remember that each type of product – whether a paint, a finish, or a paste – has its pros and cons. But more on this later!

Why do marine structures require the use of marine epoxy resin coatings?

Largely, marine epoxy resin coatings are used to protect ships and their parts that sit underwater (such as hulls, ballast tanks, cargo tanks, decks, etc.) from persistent and repetitive corrosion. It is far easier to coat a large structure in a coating to take the full brunt of corrosion, rather than allowing the actual structure to get eaten away by rust and other types of damage caused by corrosion. There is a handful of natural elements that are to blame for the corrosion of marine structures – including salty seawater, waves repeatedly crashing against surfaces, and salt being carried at speed by the wind.

Not only do marine epoxy resin coatings protect the functional qualities of the coastal structures they are used on, but they ensure the structures remain aesthetically pleasing, even to their original standard before corrosion and weathering got to them.

Take a look at our recent case study:

East Sussex Bridge Repair and Protection Scheme

What are the benefits of using marine coating applications?

  • Preserves the aesthetical value of marine structures like ships, decking, pipes, and more
  • Protects marine structures and ensures they are in their original working order, or as good as
  • Creates a barrier against harsh salty seawater, stopping and preventing future corrosion
  • Prevents the surface from being penetrated and damaged as a result of corrosion
  • And more!

Qualities to look for in a marine epoxy resin

Before we name specific brands and types of marine epoxy resin, we think it’ll be useful for us to explain the qualities you ought to be looking out for. This way, even if you don’t take our recommendations, you’ll have a chance to find your dream marine epoxy finish. Of course, your desired qualities will depend on the project at hand (for example, you might take using gloves and goggles if the product will produce the result you need). As we say, pros and cons!

  • Marine-grade epoxy – VERY important!
  • Easy to apply
  • Quick setting time – if needed – some can handle a speedy setting time even in extreme environments (if you know, you know!)
  • Strong – some coatings have a strength comparable to steel!
  • Resilient
  • Flexible and able to coat a diversity of construction materials
  • Long-lasting and low maintenance
  • Available to buy from a reputable supplier
  • Kind to the environment
  • Safe to use (albeit, you will need gloves and goggles for most)

Cons of marine epoxy resins and similar products

We wouldn’t call these cons as such – but just things to look out for while you’re using marine epoxy resins, paints, pastes, and other super-strength epoxy products.

  • Some will require the use of PPE such as gloves and goggles
  • Some are sensitive to temperatures which can affect setting times and make it quite tricky if the environment is extreme
  • Some can damage or stain your skin – hence the need for PPE
  • Some can scratch or tarnish easily once set – one to look out for if you treasure the aesthetical restoration of your structure
  • Some epoxy products `go off` very quickly and can therefore be easily wasted

Product suggestions: Which is the best epoxy for marine coating applications?

Now, let’s look at specific products! Every specialist will have a varying opinion on the best products to use – depending on their experience in the industry and of using the products themselves, budget, project requirements, personal preferences, and more. Here is a handful of epoxy resin products that our specialists at CCUK use and rate (not an exhaustive list)…

  1. For a quick & easy solution we use: MarineWeld Marine Epoxy by J-B Weld.
  2. For repairs on structures made of various materials, we use: Epoxy Adhesive Paste by PC-Products.
  3. For a high-quality all-rounder, we use: Clear Marine Epoxy Resin by Old Timer Industries.

If you’d like to learn more about the epoxy resin products we use and which ones are best for your repair or restoration project, please get in touch with our coating specialists today. We’d like to learn about your repairs so we can diagnose a suitable epoxy – for example, it could be your pipes, or it could be your boat decking!

Book your FREE feasibility study and cost analysis today

Hungry for more advice about marine coating applications before you complete a project, or looking for a specialist to get the job started right away? The best way to get started is by getting in touch with our epoxy coating specialists today to book your FREE site visit and quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

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How Effective are Marine Coating Applications for Submerged Structures? 

A Brief Guide to Erosion Protection in Coastal Zones 

Different Types of Corrosion in Offshore Structures