What is the Difference Between Coating and Impregnation?

A coating is any covering used to apply a desired quality to the substrate (surface) of an object. Specialized services are often used to apply these qualities to keep costs low and gain dependable results. When evaluating potential methods for adding a covering, the shear magnitude of options is simply overwhelming. The chosen process depends on the type of substrate, materials, and required attributes. One frequent topic in this area is the difference between coating and impregnation.

When discussing impregnation or saturation coating, it is important to remember that this process is actually used to cover a porous substrate. The materials penetrate the pores in the substrate to deliver further reinforcement by adding carefully selected covering materials. The process may be used in combination with other coating measures such as when you need to achieve strength in order to add a second material for attaining additional qualities.

What is Impregnation?
Impregnation is used to create a number of end products including: fiberglass, computer circuit boards, reinforced tapes, and finished parts for automobiles. It is typically a two-part method involving total immersion within a dip tank. The required materials are frequently dissolved in a solvent to ensure every pore is saturated. Next, excess solution is removed by using the standard methods for any coating.

Machines for this process have the same basic components as with any other coater; however, tension control is highly important when using this application method. As you can see, the main difference is not in the process but rather in the result. With a standard covering procedures, the materials simply conceal all or part of the substrate and impregnation involves saturating the actual pores for further strength or to prepare it for additional coating applications.

What Are the Benefits of Impregnation?
In some instances this process is necessary to achieve the required end qualities. For example, bandages and fabrics are sometimes subjected to impregnation to gain a specific attribute. Besides creating a stronger substrate, the method makes it easier to eliminate the chance of a traditional coating seeping into the pores of the substrate. It also aids in preventing a topcoat from having blemishes or creating an uneven surface.

For many products impregnation is required to deliver a quality to the consumer. This is because alternative choices will not work as the primary substrate must remain intact. This process functions as a preparation step for further coverings so attributes can be layered between the substrate pores and its surface. Traditional coatings are often used to cover the surface for achieving one or multiple qualities such as anti-corrosion, non-stick, or non-reflective.

An experienced provider will be able to recommend one or both options based on your needs, the type of materials, and the substrate. In some cases, impregnation may not be feasible thus requiring another coating process. It is important to thoroughly discuss the materials, desired qualities, and production needs for this endeavor with a professional before making any decision. At Jessup MFG, we have experience in these among other processes. Our experts will take the time to understand your needs to ensure that the best choices are made.

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