9 tips you need to know before painting electrical devices

Today we tell you a series of tips you should know before painting electrical equipment, to ensure the dielectric strength and safety of the equipment and the worker.

Electrically operated devices inundate all companies within the industrial sector and many others, meaning that electricity is a source of energy that powers a large amount of work devices. Many of these devices are used and handled by people, so a certain degree of insulation is required to ensure the worker’s integrity.

However, with the passage of time and continued use, the insulating materials used may deteriorate or become damaged, at which point it is necessary to carry out a repainting to ensure the original dielectric strength. So, due to the seriousness of the matter, today we are going to tell you a series of tips you should know before painting electrical devices. Do you have the faintest idea of what we mean? Don’t worry, because we will explain it in detail below.

Dielectric strength concept

Dielectric strength refers to the degree of insulation of a given material against the passage of electric current, i.e. its ability to prevent electricity from flowing through it.

This degree of resistance is an aspect of vital importance for the design of any component, device or electrical machine since, from a safety point of view, the materials used in its manufacture must guarantee sufficient insulation of its conductive components with respect to those that are not, so that the user can handle the tool without any danger to their bodily integrity.

To objectify the degree of insulation of the dielectric material, insulating materials are defined by their dielectric strength value measured in the International System in Volts/meter (V/m) or related units of measurement (V/cm, MV/m, etc.).

Therefore, any electrical device that requires a certain degree of insulation must be subjected to a continuous control that guarantees its dielectric strength, with the objective of correcting any anomaly that is detected. From the point of view of the coating of the device, this aspect must also be taken into account so that any damage on the paint that occurs due to its progressive deterioration, accidentally or fortuitously, must be repaired.

Certified solutions for painting electrical devices

Industrial painting is subject to an operational standardization that seeks to guarantee the durability of the treated devices and structures, as well as to ensure their safety during use. In this regard, paint manufacturers have specific product ranges designed for this purpose.

These coating products are manufactured and tested under the guidelines of the IEC 60243-1:2013 standard, in order to determine the applications of each type of paint and the durability of the different treatments in a precise and universal way. Thanks to this, the coating used is associated with the atmospheric and usage requirements of the device, and with a certain period of durability, which facilitates the definition of a maintenance plan that guarantees its conservation and safety.

For the painting of electrical devices, Roberlo offers the DTM coatings PUR 844, PUR 840 and 745. DTM paints are direct-to-metal coatings that do not require priming to improve adhesion and corrosion protection. This makes the process of painting structures and devices easier and less time-consuming. In addition, this type of paint is suitable for coating different metals, such as steel, aluminum or galvanized with guaranteed adhesion in the medium to long term. Other outstanding advantages of DTM paints are these:

  • They offer a great finish.
  • Good UV resistance to corrosion.
  • Good levels of environmental, mechanical and chemical resistance.
  • It is available in low VOC (volatile organic compound) versions.
  • It is marketed with different types of finishes (glossy, semi-gloss, etc.).

Tips to know before painting electrical devices

We already know that when it comes to painting certain devices or metallic structures, we have a series of DTM paints with specific characteristics that adjust to the device’s conditions. However, is simply being aware of this enough? Unfortunately not, because in order to achieve a quality and long-lasting surface coating, you also need to know how to use these paints. But don’t worry, because these are the tips you should know before painting electrical devices:

  1. Determine which are the standardization norms subject to the type of work to be carried out. These standards establish all the criteria to be taken into account in the painting process, from the preparation of the substrate to the quality controls.
  2. Establish a maintenance, control and correction plan that detects any deterioration on the paint that covers the electrical device, in order to correct it immediately.
  3. Carry out a thorough analysis of the needs required by the electrical device to be coated, in order to determine the most suitable DTM and important aspects such as the thickness of the coating required, parts that should not be painted, or any other variable to be taken into account.
  4. Read the manufacturer’s technical data sheet. This is a classic when it comes to using paints but, despite this, countless mistakes are made by not doing so, so before painting electrical devices, reading this document should not be overlooked.
  5. Carry out the substrate preparation processes required according to the technical data sheet, by the client or by the applicable standardization norm. A correct preparation of the substrate allows leaving the surface in perfect conditions for its subsequent coating. On the contrary, an inadequate preparation worsens the final finish, reduces adhesion and compromises the durability of the coating.Some of the most common substrate preparation tasks that cannot be avoided are sanding, brushing, shot blasting and decontamination.
  1. Mix and dilute the paint strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions as a way to guarantee that the resulting coating will present the features indicated by the manufacturer in terms of thickness, finish, resistance, etc. Never use products that have expired.
  2. Check that the atmospheric conditions in which the paint is to be applied are suitable, in order to ensure that the coating will behave properly in terms of viscosity, drying and possible adverse reactions.
  3. Apply the paint using suitable equipment that simplifies the process and allows to for a good finish, such as aerographic equipment or airless equipment. For small partial repair jobs, brushes or rollers can be used. The application technique to be used in each case depends on the application equipment used.
  4. Apply a quality control after drying to detect anomalies and paint defects that may compromise the adhesion and durability of the coating.

Do not paint electrical devices without knowing what you are doing

Industrial surface treatment and coating consists of a series of work processes of particular importance from a finishing, durability and safety point of view. Because of this, using the right paints for it, as well as following the advice we have indicated, are the tools to achieve the objectives set for this type of work. So, if you have to paint electrical devices, do not hesitate to follow the indications of the paint manufacturer and the standardization norms to which the equipment in question is subject to.

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