The weakest part of any object is its surface. The surface is where the object and the elements first meet. On the surface, the object may be subject to the sun, rain, ice, and wind. The typical effects seen on the surface include rust on metal surfaces, cracking of the pavement, and rotting wood. There are also other types of abuses that are seen on surfaces such as scratches or dents. Coatings help protect the object by extending its life with application. Some coatings are specifically engineered for certain objects or conditions. Others can be used on a variety of surfaces or conditions. Coatings are also used for decorative reasons. Coatings can be applied to add color and luster to an object. Thus coatings serve two purposes, to protect and/or decorate an object.
Let’s all think about how important coatings are to the US infrastructure. Our bridges are covered with specialized coatings to meet the demands of the environment. A bridge would weaken tremendously quicker without this protective coating. The protective coating lengthens the life of the bridge and reduces the cost of upkeep. We all benefit from coatings in many ways that are typically overlooked.