Palfleet Truck Equipment uses LINE-X coatings on several aspects of its fleet bodies. line-x is featured as the yellow coating on the top of the bumper and inside tool box compartments.
With more than 30 years of proven performance in the automotive industry and beyond, polyurea coatings are trusted as the best way to protect surfaces that take a ton of abuse, starting with truck beds. These coatings have become a must for pickup truck owners, and their proven performance over time has sparked an increase of use in a variety of different industries and applications, both inside and outside of the automotive world.
Sprayed around 125 mils or 1/8 of an inch, polyurea bedliners form a thick, textured surface that is extremely durable and resistant to impacts, abrasions, and other hazards. It doesn’t take long to see and realize the incredible effectiveness of these coatings in adding durability to truck surfaces. But what happens when someone needs surface protection yet has limitations, like tight tolerances between body panels, toolbox doors, or other components? The answer is a thin-build polyurea coating.
Introduced about four years ago, thin-build polyurea coatings quickly became the perfect solution for those needing surface protection—but without the thickness or added weight of a standard bedliner coating. In this short time, thin-build polyurea coatings are now used in thousands of applications normally reserved for paint or powder coating. Sprayed between 10 and 20 mils, thin-build polyurea coatings provide strong surface protection and still maintain sharp contour lines and tight clearances. Far more aesthetic options now also exist to meet various preferences—especially with smoother textures available.
While thick protective coatings and thin-build polyurea coatings share similar chemistry, the thin-build polyurea coating doesn’t need the thickness of a bedliner material to provide incredible surface protection. And, some thin-build polyurea coatings are sprayed with a flat texture that creates a smoother look and feel that is better suited for different exterior truck surfaces and compartments.
These products are a thick material that are sprayed on parts of a vehicle that take the most abuse like truck beds, bumpers, step bars, and other areas that need the most robust protection possible. Because of the thick application, bedliner material adds some extra weight to the vehicle. Standard polyurea coatings cure in seconds and are resistant to harsh chemicals like petroleum and solvents. Other properties include:
- Forms a mechanical bond to surfaces—permanent application prevents water damage, leaks, and corrosion
- Protects against impacts, scratches, and abrasions
- Resistant to staining from harsh chemicals, like petroleum and solvents
- Fade resistant and UV stable, depending on the type of bedliner
- Sound-dampening and impact-absorbing
The newly engineered, thin-build polyurea coatings are like standard bedliner material but are designed to be applied much thinner while still offering protection from impact, UV damage, and corrosion. Because of this, thin-build polyurea coatings are often applied to exterior parts of a vehicle and are at times used to coat entire vehicles. More and more, they are integrated into components that would have been treated with paint or powder coating in the past.
One of the unique properties of thin-build polyurea is that it can be elongated up to twice its original size without cracking or tearing. In comparison, paint and powder coatings do not have those levels of elasticity, so dents and impacts typically result in flakes or chips—as well as exposing the substrate to water and chemicals. When this happens, the paint or powder coating must be repaired, which can take time and special equipment.
LINE-X, a manufacturer of proprietary polyurea coatings for the last 25 years, recently engineered a thin-build aliphatic polyurea coating called LINE-X ULTRA and has scientifically tested it against paint and powder coating to find that ULTRA is 15 times stronger than both of those materials. ULTRA can be sprayed in any color and is also aliphatic, which means it is inherently UV stable and resistant to fading. It can even be repaired in minutes on a jobsite using a proprietary repair process. Other properties include:
- Sprayed with a smooth, slightly textured finish
- Coatings create a unique, eye-catching aesthetic look
- Provides UV protection; scratch and dent resistant
- Easy to clean—just spray with water
- Endless color-matching capabilities
- Adds minimal weight and is also repairable
Rosenbauer America, a leading manufacturer of fire trucks and emergency response vehicles, uses LINE-X ULTRA, the brand’s thin-build polyurea coating, to line the compartments of several different types of vehicles.
Commercial vehicles are put to the test daily and must look great while representing their organization. That is why thin-build polyurea coatings are a great replacement for paint and powder coating. When first put into use, paint and powder coatings offer a professional looking finish but quickly fade and become damaged from daily wear and tear. Thin-build polyurea coatings stand up to commercial use and are much more resistant to everyday abuse resulting in a better appearance over time.
Everything from tool boxes to vehicle-mounted cranes can be coated with a thin-build polyurea coating to provide both stunning aesthetics and incredible protection.
And, because of the thin nature of the polyurea coating, it allows for tighter clearances that are found in a lot of commercial equipment.
Another work-truck example of thin-build polyurea coatings: lining of utility body compartments to protect against scratches and minor impacts from heavy tools, moisture buildup, and harsh chemicals that cause rust and deterioration of painted surfaces. Thin-build polyurea coatings aren’t just for steel surfaces either—they can be applied to aluminum, fiberglass, and wood to provide the same levels of protection to those surfaces.
The uses for thin-build polyurea coatings are nearly limitless and can provide fleet managers, independent contractors, and others the ultimate in protection and style for years.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
LINE-X is a global leader in protective coatings development and availability and is the only franchised network in North America specializing in the automotive aftermarket and wide-ranging protective coatings services. Find out more, visit www.linex.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: MAY 2018 ISSUE
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