A Guide to Choosing the Most Suitable Heat Resistant Coating

heat resistant coating on an airplane turbine

Heat resistant coating for high temperature protection

When a substrate is subject to heat and rapid temperature fluctuations, it can lead to surface breakage and corrosion. Electrical and engine components, chimneys and ovens, pipework and chemical plants, all these are exposed to possibly damaging temperatures and conditions. A heat resistant coating (or thermal management coating) works to protect the substrate from variations and extremes of temperature without losing functionality. As well as protecting from heat, these coatings:

  • Protect from corrosion under insulation (CUI): Provides an extra layer of protection between the hot surface and insulation
  • Effective temperature range up to 1830°F: Different formulations provide resistance to temperatures from -320°F to 1830°F
  • Abrasion resistant: Suitable for rough environments
  • Reduce thermal fatigue: improve performance of machinery and extend part life
  • Allow for higher operating temperatures while limiting thermal exposure

In this article we look at the different categories of heat resistant coatings, how to choose the right one for your project, and where to find products and contractors in the United States.

Discover the available heat resistant coating types

It is important to note that while high temperature paint does provide some protection from flames, they are not fire resistant coatings. Essentially, heat resistant coatings can be divided into four types:

  • Epoxy-based, silicone-based, multipolymeric paints
    Single or two component, water- or solvent-based, these paints are formulated to provide resistance to high heat when applied at new construction, on-site and as a maintenance coating. Usually the more silicone, the higher the temperature resistance. For medium to high temperature protection. Liquid paints have the benefit of being able to be applied to hot substrates without affecting the coating.
  • Ceramic coating
    The heat resistance properties of ceramic coating are well known, and some of the highest heat coatings available are ceramics. They also provide corrosion protection and chemical resistance and a hard finish.
  • Sprayed metal and metal additive coatings
    These coatings are particularly used for corrosion protection combined with heat resistance. Thermal sprayed aluminum is particularly used for CUI prevention in onshore and offshore platforms and processing plants. Metal pigments are often used as stabilizers for temperatures above 750°F.
  • Powder coating
    As well as being corrosion resistant, high temperature powder coatings have been developed for heat resistance to temperatures ranging from 390°F  to 1020°F. The powders are usually epoxy and silicone-based (like the liquid paints), and silicone-based powders perform better at higher heats. These have the benefit of being VOC free and having a wide range of gloss and colour finishes.

3 questions that help you choose a high temperature paint

As with any coating application, understanding the needs of your substrate and the application process is crucial for making the right coating choice. As well as knowing the substrate type, you need to know its environment, its use, the coating time parameters, and the likely ways it will fail. Here are some questions you need to ask before you can choose a high temperature paint:

1. What is the maximum temperature of the substrate that you wish to protect?
One of the most common reasons for failure is expecting these coatings to perform outside of the temperature range they were manufactured to tolerate. Each coating type has a specific temperature range, and outside it the functionality and efficacy fails. Make sure not to understate the maximum temperature.
Example: International Intertherm 50 is recommended for temperatures up to 1000°F

2. Is the substrate insulated?
If you are choosing a coating to combat CUI, that coating needs to be specially formulated for the purpose. It needs corrosion resistance, but it also needs to be able to be applied to hot substrates and deal with boiling water exposure.
Example: , PPG HI-TEMP 1027 is designed to prevent CUI and can be applied to hot substrates

3. What will the substrate temperature be during application?
There are high temperature coatings formulated for hot (up to 570°F) and ambient temperature application. A hot application may be required to avoid needing to shut down operations, spot coating problem areas, and generally not disrupting a facility.
Example: Jotun Epoxy HR can be applied on substrates up to 300°F

Combat CUI with heat resistant coatings

Insulating steel structures is very common in industrial environments; it can minimise heat gain or heat loss, reduces costs, improves efficiency, and improves staff safety. The problem starts when water penetrates the insulation, collecting in the space between the insulation and the steel. When this happens it is the perfect environment for corrosion. The trapped moisture has the potential to cause rapid rusting and corrosion on the surface of the steel.

CUI is particularly insidious as it can go undetected under insulation until the problem is severe. If it remains undetected, it can lead to shutdown of an entire facility, or even a safety incident. This is why a high temperature coating for steel is so important – it can coat the steel surface and protect it from the dangers of corrosion under insulation.

Find high temperature coating specialists in the US

heat resistant coating in and on an oven

High temperature paint applications vary from heavy industrial to domestic projects.

Heat resistant coatings are used across a wide range of industries, as well as by homeowners and barbecue enthusiasts. As such, a wide range of products and services are available across the country, no matter your project. Heat resistant coatings should be applied by a trained professional. If you would like more information about heat resistant coatings, or would like to connect with one of our partners to coat your project, contact us! Our experts are here to help, just use the “Request a quote” button below the article and take advantage of our 100% free quote service.

For information on where to find high temperature powder coating, please visit our powder coating services page.


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