Battling CUI: How To Prepare Different Surfaces Before Spraying Industrial Coating


By now, you probably know how important it is to insulate your machinery, equipment, and pipework if you want to cut down your facility’s energy bills, prolong your assets’ lifespan, and protect your personnel from getting their skin burned. However, opting for a regular insulating material can prove to be costly. It can trap moisture and create the environment that will promote corrosion on your substrate. To battle Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI), choosing industrial coatings and making sure they’re applied properly is key.

Minimizing The Threat Of CUI

Experts agree that the fundamental way of combatting corrosion under insulation is prevention. And the most cost-effective preventive measure out there is the application of high-quality protective coating.

CUI occurs when corrosive elements like water and moisture make their way into your conventional insulation. By having a more resilient alternative, you’re essentially creating a physical barrier that will keep these corrosion-inducing substances away from the surface you’re protecting.

Thanks to innovations in this niche, you can now avail of industrial coatings that can be easily sprayed onto various surfaces. This simplifies the application procedure — you will reduce your downtime and labor costs. Additionally, you can protect hard-to-reach areas of your facility.

Proper Surface Preparation Before Spraying Insulating Coatings

One key in maximizing spray-on coatings is ensuring that the surface where they will be applied is well prepared.

If you are coating a brand-new stainless, galvanized or aluminum metal, you must remove traces of oils and protective compounds. You can do so by using a solving wipe.

For older metals, doing a brush-off blast is advised. Since you’re dealing with possibly-worn down substrates, it’s also a must to repair or replace any damaged sections before applying your spray-on coating.

To improve adhesion, you can also perform some light sanding.

If you’re coating a bare steel substrate, applying a primer first is necessary. Though the primer application varies from one environment to another, the general recommendation is to apply a primer system that can withstand a temperature level that’s 20% higher than the peak temperature of the substrate.

After the primer is applied, you can now directly spray the coating. There should only be a short gap between the application of the primer and the coating because foreign matter may land on or stick to the primer. If there will be a large delay, inspect the primer system first and ensure they’re free of dirt or any other foreign substance before the coating is sprayed.

For fiberglass applications, you must first sand the surface to ensure top-notch adhesion. You can determine that you’ve sanded enough if there’s no shine or sheen left on the fiberglass surface.

Before applying the coating, you need to remove any residual fiberglass powder using soap and water. Also, remember that the surface should be fully dried after washing.

As a general tip when applying coatings designed to combat corrosion under insulation, it’s best to use a sample area first so you can gauge the proper sprayer pressure. Then, make sure that all areas of the substrate are covered. Lastly, allocate a certain recommended drying time before touching the newly insulated substrate.

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