West Riding Blog

Why Coatings Fail to Protect Substrates – a Practical Approach

Alan Guy, Director of Technology, Safinah Ltd


The means by which coatings protect substrates are generally well understood and we expect them to perform satisfactorily after application. However, coatings do fail in service due to a single factor or a combination of several. Failure can take the form of poor anticorrosive performance, inadequate mechanical properties, adhesive failure between coats or detachment from the substrate. In this presentation we will look at some of the reasons behind paint failure and what might be done to prevent them occurring.


Alan Guy is Director of Technology at Safinah Ltd, a consultancy specialising in the provision of advice in the field of heavy duty coatings and corrosion prevention.

A graduate chemist with an MSc in Polymeric Materials, he has worked in a variety of technical areas and for the past 30 years has been involved in paint and associated research and development. In 2003 he was the recipient of the M.T. Harvey award from Cardolite Corporation for his work on phenalkamine technology.

Alan has acted as Industrial Supervisor for two KTP projects researching fatigue behaviour of epoxy based coatings and yacht fillers. He has also acted as Industrial Supervisor for over 30 undergraduate degree projects and was Visiting Fellow at the University of Northumbria.

In a previous existence, he headed Global Yacht Technical Department for AkzoNobel’s yacht business.

Leisure interests include drawing, painting, cooking (a form of chemistry), astronomy and he is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.


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