Hempel Launches AvantGuard Primers

Hempel announced the launch of HEMPADUR AvantGuard, a portfolio of three new anticorrosive zinc primers designed for C4 and C5 corrosive conditions. Based on new patented AvantGuard technology, the primers are significantly longer lasting than zinc epoxies without AvantGuard but can be applied with the same application techniques, the manufacturer said.

Zinc epoxies are used in a range of industries to protect industrial structures and equipment in highly corrosive environments where saltwater and high humidity corrode unprotected steel. However, back in 2006, Hempel made a discovery: only around one-third of the zinc in a standard zinc epoxy has any anticorrosive effect.

“When we realized that roughly two-thirds of the zinc is not utilized in zinc epoxies, we set out to develop a new technology that would increase zinc activation,” explained Pernille Lind Olsen, Group Protective Product Director at Hempel. “We wanted to increase the coating’s anticorrosive protection, while also increasing its mechanical strength to improve durability. At the same time, we understand that productivity is important to our customers, so we aimed to make a coating that was easy to apply and as versatile as possible.”

After approximately 7,000 hours in the lab, Hempel has found the solution.

According to Hempel, the new technology, known as AvantGuard, could have huge benefits for a range of industries, from wind energy and infrastructure to oil and gas. AvantGuard coatings can be used in all types of applications, but are specially aimed at structures in tough environments that will benefit from low maintenance costs and long maintenance intervals.

AvantGuard uses hollow glass spheres and a proprietary activator to activate more zinc in the coating. The resulting coating delivers higher galvanic protection than zinc primers without AvantGuard technology and also enables barrier and inhibitor protection. The formulation also improves the coating’s mechanical strength, which is essential for applications where the steel is exposed to extreme mechanical stress, such as large temperature fluctuations. This is down to a unique action that Josep Palasi, Hempel R&D Director, refers to as “self-healing”.

“In a standard zinc epoxy protective system, the zinc primer is the weakest mechanical point and, as a result, cracks can form in the coating as the steel expands and contracts under extreme conditions,” he explained. “AvantGuard zinc coatings are different. The glass spheres absorb most of the impact from the initial crack to stop it from developing. Then the sub-products formed during the zinc activation process occupy the space left by the micro-crack, preventing it from developing into something more serious.”

The first coatings in the HEMPADUR AvantGuard series were released worldwide on September 23, 2014. The series currently includes three coatings: HEMPADUR AvantGuard 770, HEMPADUR AvantGuard 750 and HEMPADUR AvantGuard 550.


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