Polyaspartic Urethane Coatings Reduced Application Times

polyaspartic urethane coatings steel beam
Polyaspartic urethane protective coating applied to a steel beam ready for installation.

As Approved Applicators of Protective Coatings we share some of the benefits of using Polyaspartic Urethane Coatings

Here at D&D Coatings we understand how important productivity is for our clients. The more quickly our protective coating applicators can get the job done the better.

We therefore use the best fast curing coatings on our projects which require fewer layers. We have been doing this for many years now with polyaspartic urethane systems. Conventional two-coat and three-coat polyurethane systems often feature a zinc-rich primer or an epoxy as their base layer. This is topped with one to two additional coating layers which enhances its aesthetic appearance and long-term durability.

polyaspartic urethane coatings

The advanced polyaspartic urethane systems we use here at D&D Coatings exclude one of those layers. Corrosion resistance, edge retention along with color and gloss retention properties at the very least match and often exceed, those of traditional systems. By dropping this full application notable efficiency gains are achieved which translates to cost savings for our clients.

The high film-build characteristics of our polyaspartic urethanes provide the necessary thicknesses and protective properties that were once only possible with extra coating layers. The coatings can either be applied directly on to the metal or as a two-coat system. This therefore replaces the old three-coat system. These coatings are fast drying and curing.

How polyaspartic urethane systems outperform older systems

Below are some examples of how polyaspartic urethane systems outperform their traditional counterparts. Information from www.paintsquare.com

Accelerating Shop Throughput

In a shop environment, fast-curing, reduced-coat polyaspartic urethane systems offer unmatched productivity gains. Due to the systems’ short dry-to-handle times, applicators can realize wait-time reductions of over 75 percent—whether shifting from a three-coat to a two-coat system or from a two-coat to a single-coat, DTM system (see Tables 1 and 2).

This fast-curing capability greatly reduces grit and dust pickup for better aesthetics, while also accelerating shop applications by allowing crews to handle, transport and install coated assets sooner.

Table 1. Wait-Time Comparison for Three-Coat vs Two-Coat Systems

Conventional Three-Coat Zinc/Epoxy/Polyurethane System Two-Coat Zinc/Polyaspartic System
Polyurethane Topcoat 6 hours to handle 2 hours to handle Polyaspartic Urethane Topcoat
Epoxy Intermediate 8 hours to recoat
Organic Zinc-Rich Primer 2 hours to recoat 2 hours to recoat Organic Zinc-Rich Primer
Total Time Waiting 16 hours 4 hours (75% time savings) Total Time Waiting

Table 2. Wait-Time Comparison for Two-Coat vs Direct-to-Metal (DTM) Systems

Conventional Two-Coat
Epoxy/Polyurethane System
Direct-to-Metal (DTM) Polyaspartic System
Polyurethane Topcoat 6 hours to handle 2 hours to handle DTM Polyaspartic Urethane Coating
Epoxy 8 hours to recoat
Total Time Waiting 14 hours 2 hours (86% time savings) Total Time Waiting

Polyaspartic urethanes offer dry-to-handle times as low as two hours, enabling high-throughput shop applications to go even faster.

Boosting Productivity in the Field

For field applications, polyaspartic urethane systems enable much faster turnaround with lower costs. The reduction of a complete application layer is a primary factor in these efficiencies. In addition, the systems’ fast-drying characteristics facilitate faster returns to service and reduced downtime. Further aiding efficiencies in the field, polyaspartic urethanes can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the formulation, which extends coating application windows and painting seasons to minimize scheduling delays.

Delivering Over a Decade of Proven Performance

From third-party accelerated testing validations to more than 10-year field application studies on bridges, railcars and other assets, DTM and two-coat polyaspartic urethane systems demonstrate long-term durability that equals or exceeds the performance of traditional two- and three-coat polyurethane systems, respectively.

protective coatings envirolastic polyaspartic urethane drums

For example, a performance study on more than 250 standard rail hopper cars coated with a DTM polyaspartic urethane showed less than 1 percent rusting after being in service for 11 years. Even better, the cars likely won’t need to be recoated for the rest of their service lives. The applicator also realized over 30% labor savings—from 15.5 hours to 10.5 hours per car to complete surface prep through final stenciling—by using the DTM polyaspartic urethane compared to a two-coat polyester urethane.

A long-term study of a bridge coating project in Virginia showed that a two-coat polyaspartic urethane system provided the same level of corrosion protection as a three-coat system on 15 bridges exposed to similar conditions after 10 years. A similar study on a Connecticut bridge showed less than 2 percent rust on steel beams coated with a two-coat polyaspartic urethane following 13 years of service. Both studies demonstrate the system’s long-term performance potential.

Enhancing Outcomes for Numerous Applications

Ideal for use in maintenance or new construction projects, polyaspartic urethane systems can be used for bridge and highway projects, production and storage tanks, steel fabrication, other structural steel, rail cars, pipes, and commercial and architectural applications.

With over a decade of proven performance, polyaspartic urethanes demonstrate the long-term performance, durability and aesthetics of conventional two- and three-coat systems in just one or two coats. The systems’ fast-curing, reduced-coat performance, high film build and long-term performance capabilities are making polyaspartic urethanes the systems of choice for anyone focused on faster throughput shop applications, faster turnaround field projects, and reduced costs.


We provide steel and concrete protective coatings services across the UK and Ireland, to find out more visit our Coatings Services page or contact us on 01606 554040, we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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