The Facts of the Matter
In any new industry, the perspective and bias tend to be set by the founders of that industry. This has been shown time and again throughout history.
Voyager'™' Portable Spray System
New Application Markets
Voyager Portable Spray System Overcomes These Industry IssuesThere have been some impressive breakthroughs in hot-spray equipment over the years and there are many applications for polyurea systems that will require hot-spray equipment for a number of reasons. However, this section will objectively discuss some of the barriers that prevent existing polyurea applicators from entering new polyurea application markets, as well as potential new applicators from entering the polyurea industry.
Polyurea market applications that demand the specialized high-pressure and high-temperature equipment create an economic barrier to many potential polyurea systems applicators. This barrier can hurt the polyurea industry as a whole in two significant ways. First, most contractors that may be interested in applying polyurea systems do not have the financial resources to purchase their own hot-spray equipment. This limits the number of new applicators that would use polyurea systems, thereby hindering the growth of the polyurea industry as a whole. Secondly, the high cost of this equipment, in turn, greatly reduces the potential number of non-industrial markets that could otherwise be profitably pursued by a polyurea systems applicator.
Hot-spray equipment requires a significant demand for electrical access. It is common for hot-spray to need 220V with amps ranging from 75 to 90. Therefore, the applicator is generally required to bring his own electrical supply. This is usually in the form of a tow-behind generator, which adds to the cost of equipment.
Many market applications are simply inaccessible for the existing hot-spray equipment that is often in a trailer. In some cases hoses that can reach up to 200’ without significant loss of pressure are the answer. However, there are many job applications greater than 200’ away from trailer access that require additional hoses and pumps.
Some jobs that are within reach of the 200’ hot-spray hose may have a property manager/owner who is reluctant or unwilling to allow the hose to be stretched out between the trailer and the area to be coated because of the potential for a trip-fall hazard for patrons or guests. These conditions may require additional personnel in order to continuously monitor the entire length of the hose.
Hot-spray equipment that uses high-pressure carries risk to all personnel exposed to the atomized coating material. Therefore, interior ventilation shafts and ducts will have to be blocked and secured to reduce the chance of air contamination. An additional risk factor is that some polyurea system suppliers continue to formulate with heightened levels of monomer or solvent. This greatly increases the chance for health problems and, therefore, increases the legal liability potential of the contractor during the application process.
The high-pressure of hot-spray can potentially result in significant physical property damage caused by overspray. While there is also overspray risk with cold-spray equipment, most high-pressure equipment sprays a much greater distance than its low-pressure counterpart.
The final barrier discussed here is the heightened technical expertise required to operate, troubleshoot, maintain, and repair hot-spray equipment. While training is certainly available, personnel turnover and continuing developments in the equipment make the job of assuring technical competency an ongoing battle.
A Third Option for Equipment
That’s right. Polyurea applicators now possess a third option for polyurea systems spray equipment. Arguably the most common equipment is the high-temperature, high-pressure, plural-component spray equipment which uses a spray gun, commonly referred to as “hot-spray”. The second option is the low-pressure, non-heated, plural-component spray equipment, or “cold-spray”, which uses either a spray gun or a cartridge system. The latest entry to the market is a medium-temperature, low-pressure, plural-component spray equipment that is also applied through a spray gun, which we will term “warm-spray.”
The reality is that the entire polyurea industry will benefit from polyurea becoming known and accepted universally in a multitude of applications. This includes everybody: the raw materials suppliers, system suppliers, equipment suppliers, applicators, supporting contractors, and supporting businesses. To accomplish this acceptance the industry must come to terms with the knowledge that one type of application equipment does not meet the needs of all markets or applicators. In the high performance coatings market there is room for hot-spray, cold-spray, and the new emerging warm-spray. With its new Voyager™ Portable Spray System, Creative Material Technologies, Ltd. is indeed “Spanning the Gulf Between Needs and Solutions.”