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Spraying Vinyl Ester – A Guide

Vinyl Ester is a unique coating that is applied for a variety of purposes. It is well known for its resistance to chemical exposure and can be used in power plant applications along with many other uses. Vinyl Esters are a two component coating and as a result, require special considerations when you are evaluating how to spray them. This article will cover the various things to consider when spraying vinyl ester and how you can potentially spray them.

Factor 1 – The Viscosity of the Vinyl Ester

Vinyl ester comes in a variety of viscosities. The higher the viscosity the higher ratio the pump that supplies the vinyl ester has to be. Additionally, it may require specific considerations on how to supply material to the pump, if the vinyl ester is highly viscous it may not work with a standard siphon tube that comes on common vinyl ester outfits. For lower viscosity materials

Factor 2 – The Catalyst Ratio

Different types of Vinyl Ester require different ratios of catalyst to the coating and this can range pretty significantly. Vinyl ester outfits are typically designed with a specified ratio of the A to B Component. You want to ensure that the outfit you purchase to spray Vinyl Ester is designed to properly portion catalyst to the coating, failure to do so can make the unit not useful.

Factor 3 – The Vinyl Ester Outfits Design

In addition the ratio you need you may want to consider the design of the outfit.  If you are only spraying vinyl ester a dedicated system for vinyl ester spraying only can make a lot of sense. If you need to spray a variety of other plural component materials like gel coats you may want to consider a broader spectrum plural component spray system that is able to handle a variety of ratios. You can learn more about general plural component spraying equipment and whether it would make more sense here.  However, to be able to spray multiple coatings from the unit there will be a variety of other factors to consider which you will want to ensure a potential system can work with the variety of coatings you use.

An additional important factor to consider is whether you would rather use an internal or external mix design. An internal mix design combines the catalyst into the coating within the gun while the external mix vinyl ester outfit mixes the two separate components after the material leaves the spray gun. An external mix plural component system doesn’t require as much flushing as the spray gun doesn’t have catalyzed coatings left in it. Additionally, it tends to be a bit more forgiving as catalyst is not left in the gun. An internal mix gun combines the two coatings in the gun and then the coatings are sprayed. With a less experienced plural component painter this can create problems if they forget to flush the spray gun as it can harden and ruin the gun which is often a highly expensive gun. Additionally, an internal mix system introduces the coating through a mixed system with a small opening in the gun at high pressures which can introduce excessive bubbles into your coating (especially with Gel Coat) this can create a rougher appearing finish.

Technique Considerations

Once you have the equipment selected properly you then want to ensure you spray the vinyl ester appropriately. Each vinyl ester will have pressure settings that are recommended, catalyst ratios to mix, and additional considerations. It can take a bit of time to ensure you properly set your equipment settings to apply the vinyl ester properly. If you are using an internal mix spray gun with your vinyl ester you will want to make sure that you flush the gun routinely which will depend on the time before the material hardens.

Ultimately spraying vinyl esters is a unique application. By considering the type of outfits that will work well for your needs you can ensure you get high production and a good result from your spraying. If you need additional help with vinyl ester outfits contact us today.

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