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Industrial Paints Information

Semihard, anti-fouling developed for the shallow draft trade. It offers a moderately high concentration loading of cuprous oxide and a chemically modified binder that only slightly dissolves upon immersion service.

Industrial paints are pigmented liquids or powders that are used to protect and/or beautify substrates. Industrial paints are used in the aerospace, architectural and construction, automotive, and electronics industries. They are also used in marine, medical, military, optical, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, and textile applications. Some industrial paints are applied with brushes or rollers. Others are applied with spray systems. Substrates for industrial paints include:

  • Asphalt
  • Ceramic
  • Concrete and masonry
  • Fabric and fiber
  • Fiberglass
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Paper and paperboard
  • Plastic
  • Rubber and elastomer
  • Wood

Types of Industrial Paints

Industrial paints vary widely in terms of chemistry. They typically include a resin, a solvent, additives, pigments and, in some cases, a diluent. Solvent-based paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the carrier. Water-based paints contain mostly water, but also chemicals such as glycol ethers and alcohols as the carrier. Different types of industrial paints include:

Acrylic - a synthetic resin used in high-performance latex or water-based paints, is suitable for bonding metal, oily surfaces, glass, ferrite, and plastics.

Epoxy - Used almost exclusively in aircraft components, are more resistant to environmental degradation than resins such as alkyds, which are typically used only in trim paints.

Polyester - Typically unsaturated and used in marine applications.

Polyurethane - include a tough, rubber-like elastomer that is based on the condensation of organic isocyanates with resins containing hydroxyl groups.

Inorganic or silicate - use titanium dioxide as an extender pigment.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) - a family of engineering plastics that is characterized by high thermal stability, almost universal chemical resistance, and low friction.


Specifications for industrial paints include:

Color - Colors vary widely and include black, blue, brown, gray, green, orange, purple, red, white, and yellow. Primers and finishes such as flat, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss are available. Coverage - Coverage is the substrate area that industrial paints can cover at a specific thickness.

VOC content - VOC content is limited by government regulation and represents the amount of evaporation of carbon compounds under test conditions.

Pot life - Pot life is the amount of time between the mixing stage and the gel stage in which industrial paints remain usable in a pot at 77° F. 

Viscosity - Viscosity measures an industrial paint’s resistance to flow. 

Specific gravity - Specific gravity is the ratio of the density of the coating to the density of the water at a specified temperature.


Industrial paints are available with a variety of special features including:

  • Anti-static or conductive
  • Heat resistant
  • Fire retardant
  • Rust preventive
  • Waterproof
  • Water repellant
  • Interior or exterior
  • Suitable for touch-up coatings
  • Able to withstand high temperatures
  • Elastomeric - suitable for substrates that are stretched to twice their original size and then returned to their original dimensions.
  • Electro-resistive - include both conductive and nonconductive materials.


ASTM 06.03 - Paint Pigments, Polymers, Resins, Naval Stores, Cellulosic Esters, and Ink Vehicles

ASTM 06.04 - Paint Solvents; Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Image credit:

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings


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