Tech Today

A conversation about coatings

In July, the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) held the first International Roof Coatings Conference. The conference, co-sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., provided some useful insights into technical research being conducted in and relating to the roof coatings industry.

Research papers

The conference consisted of 10 presentations of technical research papers and two keynote presentations. Following is a brief summary of several presentations.

Joe Rokowski, elastomeric roof coatings group leader for Dow Construction Chemicals, North America, Spring House, Pa., presented "Weathered Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roofing: Characterization, Surface Analysis and Best Practices for Coating," which discussed TPO membrane evaluation and preparation for coating applications. Because of their chemical compositions, TPO membranes are hydrophobic surfaces. A well-defined test of hydrophobicity is to measure the contact angle of a drop of liquid, typically water, placed on a substrate. A high contact angle indicates greater hydrophobicity and greater difficulty to "wet out." A low contact angle indicates a surface that is easier to wet out and, therefore, easier to coat.