To help facilitate uniform application of clear protective finishes applied to water storage tanks and vessels, a patented fugitive colorant has been introduced by Tnemec Company, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Series 44-500 Skip-Saf not only enables the contractor to see any omissions of the clear topcoat, it aids in application of correct film thickness and makes apparent any runs or sags, according to Mike Bauer, senior vice president of technical and regulatory affairs.
Added while in the field to Tnemec’s clear urethane topcoats, Skip-Saf is a translucent-colored tint that "dyes" the urethane topcoat purple, enabling the applicator to clearly see his work in progress and to prevent skipping any areas. Within four to 72 hours of exposure to direct and indirect sunlight, the purple tint disappears, allowing the substrate to retain its original colors while leaving a clear topcoat that protects the coats beneath from the weather’s ravages. (Indirect sunlight and lower temperatures will slow the disappearance of the colorant.)
"A uniform application of topcoat provides better overall protection to underlying pigmented coatings from weathering and fading," Bauer said. "If clear coats are applied unevenly, the skipped areas will begin to fade over time, resulting in an unsightly water tank and an unhappy owner. Engineers can be confident in specifying clear protective finish coats since Skip-Saf reduces the need for frequent repairs and repainting, saving the tank owner both time and money."
According to Walt Neumann, president of Neumann Company Contractors Inc. in Romeoville, Illinois, the product has made it easier for his employees to apply clear coatings to water tanks. "When using a clear coating, the applicator is prone to miss spots that won’t appear for three or four years," said Neumann. "On bright, sunny days it’s extremely difficult to see where the coating is being applied due to glare. Skip-Saf prevents this potential problem from occurring."
Series 44-500 Skip-Saf is patent-pending and currently available for use with Series 76 Endura-Clear, a clear polyurethane coating from Tnemec. With a shelf life of 12 months at recommended temperatures (20°F to 110°F), the new product is packaged in a pre-measured vial and sealed in a Mylar packet that is included with Endura-Clear.
Nick Visvardis, operations manager of Tecorp, Inc. in Palos Hills, Illinois also has had success. "Skip-Saf mixes easily with Endura-Clear and eliminates the problem of missing spots," he said. "With Skip-Saf, the potential for cost savings down the road is evident."
"We feel Skip-Saf is so essential for the correct application of a clear coating that we made it available immediately with every shipment of Series 76 Endura-Clear," added Bauer. "A slight three percent increase to product cost will have minimal effect on the total job cost and is more than outweighed by the money it will save on costly repairs in the future."
Established in 1921, Tnemec specializes in industrial coating for new construction and maintenance. The company produces about 100 architectural and industrial coating products used in a wide range of applications. Examples of applications include primers and finishes for steel, concrete and other substrates resulting in corrosion protection for a wide range of facilities including food and beverage processing, water and wastewater processing, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical and biotech, industrial process manufacturing, and water tanks.