Customer education is critical in the polyurea industry. Teaching our customers about polyurea’s wide range of chemistries, physical attributes and performance characteristics is central to establishing strong relationships and building trust in the coating and application.
Polyurea isn’t paint or a powder coating, and while everyone is familiar with paint, not everyone may understand what polyurea can offer by way of substrate adhesion, impact and abrasion resistance, and real-world longevity. That’s where education is essential.
At Ultimate Linings, we’re deeply invested in “showing the polyurea ropes” to customers, so they can make the best decisions for their needs and have confidence that one of our coatings is optimal for their product and material. Getting there involves rounds of application testing, process evaluation, equipment choices, and constant communication. We look at customer needs from every vantage point and offer solutions based on those requirements. We assess the environment that the coating will perform in—high or low impact, abrasive, water permeability, chemical resistance, weather—and develop a formulation and process that meet those parameters.
It’s all about getting it right—early in the relationship.
Start with samples
Facilitating this customer education process is the in-house applications spray lab at Ultimate Linings.
New, state-of-the-art, and ISO9001-certified, it’s equipped with the majority of polyurea spray guns on the market as well as high-pressure machines from Graco, the leading machine manufacturer in the industry. This allows us to test-spray customer samples with the identical equipment that they will use and lets us work through and modify processes long before customers pull the trigger in live production. In the rare case where we can’t perform a particular test, we’ll contract with a third-party laboratory to conduct it, but under our strict guidance and oversight. There are also occasions where customers, typically those with multi-machine operations and multiple products to coat, choose to perform their own sample testing. Again, Ultimate Linings provides technical capabilities and testing support if desired by the customer.
Testing for adhesion is job one at Ultimate Linings. Will the polyurea formulation adhere to the product or material, and how well does it do so? Different substrates require different preparation methods prior to coating. We test for adhesion after sanding, sandblasting, grinding, priming, and conversion to determine which offers maximum “stick” based on the substrate and customer requirements.
After we test-spray samples and confirm the coating formulation, we talk with customers about the application process and cost variables and test different ways to spray their product. We provide supporting metrics all along the way.
Whether it’s an inexpensive but versatile urethane hybrid or a more costly pure polyurea that’s UV-stable and fire-rated, finding the right chemistry is key for all our customers’ applications. When customers truly understand the differences in polyurea and the countless formulations available, they can make the best choices for their coating operation.
It’s a learning experience.