Clear coat on steel

I want to paint bare new steel with a clear coat. The metal needs to be seen in its raw state. The item will be exposed to weather. I have
tried three different products so far and none lasted more than 3 days without rusting. I understand that no coat will last forever but what is the best option?
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2012 17:43:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If anything will work, POR-15 is as likely as any:
http://www.por15.com /
It's UV sensitive, so it requires a topcoat. You'll *really* want to talk to them about your application. From what I've heard, they'll tell you straight what will happen.
Apparently it's a high-solids moisture-cure polyurethane, or some other moisture-cure polymer.
Clear epoxy, as you probably know, will not tolerate UV. You may find another polyurethane that will do the job.
Good luck. You have an impossible application. I hope you find an impossible product that will do the job. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Tue, 20 Mar 2012 17:43:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I once worked on a clear epoxy powder coat for highly polished bathroom fixtures. Wouldn't work in your application because of the uv. A powder coater might have a clear polyester or acrylic. The coating better be perfect, though. Steel likes to rust.
Good luck.
Pete Keillor
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On Mar 20, 8:43 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Have you tried Penetrol by Flood? It's a paint additive, but I've used it solo on alot of outdoor stuff; it eventually gets eaten up by the sun, but usually lasts a couple years anyway. It does darken the metal a very slight bit, but so does any other 'clear coat' I've ever tried.
Mike
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I used Penetrol on a piece of mild steel garden art:
http://www.reinspirationstore.com/shop/recycled-metal-art-2/gnome - bearers-w-gnome/
I don't know if I didn't apply enough coats, but it's pretty well rusted after only a couple years. The rust started almost immediately.
Doug White
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It says in the description for that piece, to paraphrase, that it's "designed to rust", so was probably unavoidable - unless you wanted to totally strip the original finish, derust and degrease and then refinish properly.
So, how's the quality of that thing other wise? Just trying to figure how someone could take the time and materials to make it and be able to sell it for $45.

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On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:50:03 -0700, mike wrote:

According to webpage the $45 version is 4" wide by 6" tall. If all the parts of the bearers (as in picture at following URL) are junkyard surplus then they probably cost less than a couple of dollars, and the plastic gnome costs less than that. If the bearers are made up in batches with proper jigs they would each take at most a couple of minutes welding. It looks like the hands would be the most time-consuming element, unless they are made from scrap that was already formed and welded that way.
<
http://www.reinspirationstore.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/gnome-bearers.jpg
The material and the gnome for the large version (12" wide by 16" tall) might cost 2 or 3 times as much, but construction time probably is only marginally more, so at $129.95 they probably are a higher-profit item. (I expect the artisan or artist (listed as Fred Conlon) gets only a fraction of the retail price.)
--
jiw


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I missed reading the part about there being different sizes of 'em. They must have a couple gnomes to do the welding on the little ones, that would take some itty-bitty welding.
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wrote:

You're buddies with the Langoliers? Scary, man!
-- Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. -- Jimi Hendrix
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wrote:

Thank you all.
1) Penetrol was one of the coatings I tried. It turned really brown, it was easy to peel off and there was a dusting of rust underneath.
2) I spent two days studying POR15 info. I did talk to them. The only product that *might* do the job is the Glisten PC. I might still go that way if I decide the $70 or so for the product and the metal prep they recommend is worth a try.
3) Out of idle curiosity I put a coat of West System epoxy on a piece of steel. As a paint it behaved abominably but I managed to get it smoothed eventually, got rid of most bubbles etc. To my surprise it was easily the best in rust protection. It even survived the hurricane on the 12th! I top coated half of it with Eastwood Diamond Acrylic and left it out to see what happens.
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 20:59:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Well, in British Columbia you may not have enough sun to give you any trouble with the UV. After a week of fishing in the NWT I think my face actually got whiter. <g>
The abominable behavior is normal for epoxy. Without modifiers, it's anti-thixotropic. In other words, it drools.
Clear epoxy sucks in terms of UV resistance but it may be a long while before you notice it. When they use it to coat bright strip-built or cold-molded boats, they typically give it a couple of top coats of a real premium-grade marine varnish with UV blockers. The WEST System guys give good advice on that. Not all brands of varnish will stick to epoxy.
(Always wash hardened epoxy with hot soap and water before painting or varnishing it, even if you're going to sand it first. The amine curing agent will leave a film blush to which nothing much will adhere. Sanding just spreads it around. It will not come off with acetone, but it's water-soluble.)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 20:59:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Epoxy is easily the best at adhesion to metal. Standard epoxy (diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A) will degrade over time and chalk. In other words, not perform as a clear coat. It's still used in industrial maintenance coatings because they don't care if it chalks.
The acrylic will withstand the UV, don't know if it'll protect the epoxy, but you're going to find out.
Pete Keillor
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Use stainless steel.
jsw
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On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 12:05:05 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Everclear. No, that's not right. That's out of my alcoholic mind. Um, Everbrite, that's it. http://www.everbritecoatings.com/index.html I keep hearing about this stuff but haven't even seen it yet. Let us know how it works. It's not cheap, from what I hear.
P.S: It looks like their ProtectaClear might be the product you need.
-- Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. -- Jimi Hendrix
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wrote:

Yeah, not cheap - here's another I never tried cause It is expen$ive, and no free samples available:
www.peacocklabs.com/permalac.htm
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On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:49:29 -0700 (PDT), mike

Wow, only $21.87 for a 12oz spray can?
-- Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. -- Jimi Hendrix
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On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:49:29 -0700 (PDT), mike

This is pretty much an "industry" standard in the metal arts community but even they say that as an outdoor protectant it leaves a lot to be desired.
Oddly enough Sculpt Nouveau stopped carrying it but their Canadian dealer still has it at $38.39 for 32oz can. SN now carry something called Clear Guard for $34.00 a 32oz can. There is little experience with it out there so I am reluctant to try it.
Compare these prices with POR15's Glisten PC at $47.00 for a pint can and $16.00 for 20 oz of their AP120 prep one is supposed to use with it (prices in Canada, cheaper in US).
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Mar 22, 8:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

What are the drawbacks with using it? Have you tried any of that hi-temp 'ceramic' clearcoat that they have at auto parts stores?
BTW, I'm a great fan of your sundials, really nice work.
Mike
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On Fri, 23 Mar 2012 05:48:18 -0700 (PDT), mike

Thank you.
No I have not tried it. Nobody, including the auto part store people, thought of it as a first choice and I suspect that the primary benefit is the high temperature tolerance rather than rust-proofing (is there much rusting in the areas of high temperature?)
As to the Permalac it is well liked but it is said to fail outside at varying intervals depending on the location.
The logical thing to do is of course use materials that do not rust. However, I have difficulty getting patterns etched into stainless steel and cost is also a consideration. I am working on a kind of hybrid design, brass and mild steel where the steel would not have to be clear coated.
I am in the process of trying an old-worldly method of patinating the mild steel with hot peanut oil and top-coating it with Eastwood Diamond. The patina turned surprisingly well - nice even black, will not come away with Varsol of acetone and takes the topcoat OK. It is sitting in the garden now. So far it only had to face one bit of snow-fall.
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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wrote:

You might want to investigate nickel plating after the graphics have been etched. Look at examples of old engraved and nickel plated guns to see how this could turn out.
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