Gas Catalytic Heaters Provide Quicker & Better Finish on Boats
“The new system allows me to complete a job in a fraction of the time and provide a top class finish for my customers.”
Jorge Borges - Owner International Marine Composites
Liquid Finish On Boats - Gas Catalytic IR Heater Case study. The International Marine Composites company in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA is at the center of the vibrant East Coast yachting industry. The ability to complete a wide range of boat repairs, and paint refinishing is key to the company’s success. Generally, the marine industry relies upon wet finishing systems which usually comprise a wet epoxy primer underneath a two part polyurethane finish which gives the desired hull colour. Further protection to the high gloss finish can be provided by an extra two part polyurethane clear coat.
Multipurpose boat sheds tend to be big, cold and dusty which makes high gloss finishing difficult to achieve. The cold atmosphere can cause an “orange peel” effect on the finished paint, so the generally accepted method of heating the shed is to use a hot air circulation system, prior to wet spraying. Unfortunately the air movement causes dust to become airborne which can then land on the newly painted surface. Curing of each coat can take up to 24 hours, which means that a simple paint job can take 3 – 4 days.
Jorge Borges, owner of International Marine Composites approached Heraeus Vulcan (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) for help in speeding up the complete process, and improving the finish on completed boats. Our engineers quickly determined that 30 minutes of Gas Catalytic Heatcould be used to pre-heat the boat hull prior to the wet spraying of the epoxy primer. This was then followed by a further 20 minutes of IR heat. Heaters were arranged on a movable and easily adjustable framework, which can be positioned up to 2.5m away from the boat hull. By using this method there was no unnecessary air movement and a tack free and dust free primer could be achieved and cured very quickly. Previously, the epoxy primer coat required 24 hours of cure time before it could be rubbed down. With Gas Catalytic heaters, this can take place after just 6 hours. The same process can be repeated when applying the polyurethane paint and clear coat.
The end result is a boat hull which finish which meets proud owners expectations of a high gloss finish with no imperfections. The added advantage is that Jorge can complete a simple paint job in a day.
Key improvements by switching to Catalytic Heaters
- Quicker job completion
- Improved gloss finish
- Flexible system
- Safe to use in hazardous environment
- 30 % operating cost saving