A clean, attractive layer of paint on heavy equipment reflects well on a company. Moreover, a protective coat of paint can protect equipment from corrosive elements that lessen the value of the machinery. The quality of paint used on heavy equipment should be both fade-resistant and abrasion-resistant. Routine inspections and maintenance control of corrosion (rust) are vital for the integrity and continued use of the machinery. Scheduled application of a durable rust protective paint coating can ensure the machinery has a long service life free of corrosion.
Steel Components of Equipment are Susceptible to Corrosion
Corrosion is the
deterioration of a metal alloy like steel. Steel is iron ore with its
impurities removed and then alloyed (mixed) with small amounts of carbon (0.5
to 1.5 percent). Iron ore looks like rust in its natural state. Iron ore is
stable and does not decay, covert, or change into another element. Iron ore
also has a tendency to hold moisture. Steel is less stable than iron ore. Steel
converts (corrodes) to iron oxide (rust) when exposed to oxygen and moisture.
Rust on the steel areas
of equipment is a problem because rust does not adhere to the steel and flakes
off. The flaking causes pitting on the surface of the exposed area of the
steel. Pitting weakens the metal and can lead to malfunctions, if not complete
breakdown of equipment. Rust can form on engine parts, interior components and
outside panels, along with steps, cab, doors, handrails, tanks, light and
mirror brackets. Preventing construction equipment exposed to corrosive
chemicals and physical stress from corrosion is vital for the longevity and
productivity of the machinery.
Paints Prevent Corrosion of Construction Equipment
Preventing rust (corrosion) from destroying heavy construction equipment is a tough task. Routine washing of equipment exposed to outdoor elements and corrosive chemicals is essential to preventing corrosion. It is also vital that the equipment has a durable rust protective paint coating. Protective paint coatings contain corrosion inhibitor chemicals that controls corrosion. Brown's Heavy Equipment Parts Store, located in Ames, Iowa, offers two protective paint coatings for heavy construction equipment; epoxy and polyurethane. Both coatings have corrosion inhibitors. The inhibitors are a combination of hardener and catalyst. Epoxy is 30 to 40 percent more expensive than polyurethane, but provides a thicker, more durable, corrosion resistant coating. Brown Heavy Equipment recommends epoxy paint for machinery exposed to a lot of moisture. In dryer environments, polyurethane coatings are fine for protecting outdoor equipment from corrosion. Brown also suggests that because construction equipment is run hard and exposed to outdoor elements, the equipment should be painted every five to seven years. Routinely repainting construction equipment protects it from corrosion and can add years of service life to the machinery.