Monday, November 28, 2011

An Overview of White Roof Coatings: Part 1

There are two main purposes of white roof coatings like those from Conklin. The first is to protect roof membranes and provide longer roof life cycles. The second is to reflect solar radiation and lower energy costs. Generally speaking, a white roof coating consists of a binder blended with pigments and other additives. Most roof coatings can be conveniently classified according to the binder they use.
Binders, Pigments & Liquid Carriers
Binders are usually made of an organic or silicone compound. Most binders are elastic polymers with elongation and tensile characteristics (also known as elastomers) which have the ability to return to their original shape after being stretched or deformed. In white roof coatings, the elastomer binder is the viscous, pliant material that bonds the pigments and makes them adhere to the surface. Common elastomers used as binders in white coatings include acrylic, silicone, rubber, vinyl, and urethane.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the common pigments that impart a bright white color to the coatings, although other pigments can be combined with these to yield a variety of pastel colors.

The majority of white roof coatings are water-based. These products (often referred to as latex coatings) are available in a variety of polymer types. The water in latex coatings serves as a liquid carrier, allowing the pigment and binder to be spread onto the surface as a thin coating. For some white roof coatings, organic solvents are used as the liquid carrier, while others (often referred to as reactive coatings) may have sufficient flowability to eliminate the need for a liquid carrier. Reactive coatings are generally prepared with multiple-part resins often blended on site, before curing.

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