Many steel fabricators and industrial painting operations are not aware of some of the recent changes in epoxy technology. In the past, when you were painting in cold weather with an epoxy you needed to add an accelerator to the material in order to get the product to cure (or dry) in a reasonable time. This is no longer necessary, because there are now low-temperature cure epoxies from paint manufacturers on the market which do not require an accelerator.
Here are several reasons why switching to a non-accelerated low temperature epoxy is good for your business:
1) Accelerators can add a significant cost on a per gallon basis; Having an epoxy coating that does not need an accelerator could reduce your per gallon cost greatly.
2) Accelerators usually weaken the coating by making it more brittle and causing it to yellow faster; The use of a low temperature epoxy without an accelerator can eliminate or slow this problem.
3) By using an accelerator, you are adding an additional step in the painting or coating process that can be messed up. For instance, your mixture of the accelerator could be incorrect resulting in a coating problem/failure. The simpler you can keep the system, the less likely possible problems will occur.
Some of these epoxies can now cure all the way down to 0°F without any use of an accelerator. Others can dry as quickly as 90 minutes to the touch with surface temperatures at 20°F. You will to contact your paint manufacturer to see what they have available and to cross-reference an epoxy that will be close in overall performance to what you are currently using. Don’t delay on making this switch, as it could eliminate potential problems and reduce your overall costs greatly.