Pool Coat

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Many people in the composites industry use these words interchangeably but in reality there is a vast difference between these products.

NCS Resins has chosen to distinguish between the various applications of our products and have thus termed our coats as following: pool coat, top coat, flow coat, spatter coat and gel coat. This aims to ensure that correct application of the right product:

There are two major categories of polyester coatings, they are: Un-Waxed and Waxed Topcoats:


Un-waxed polyester coatings are thixotropic in nature and contain no wax solutions. They come in two categories “In mould coatings” and "high gloss topcoats".

IN MOULD COATINGS (ULTRAGEL 21, 22, 25, 64, 31)

As the name suggests gelcoat is applied to a mould that has a release agent. Resin and glass fibre is applied to the gelcoat and a good bond between glass fibre laminate and gelcoat is essential. This will not always be possible with waxed coats. Gelcoat comes in two forms, Spray on and Brush on. These in turn can be differentiated once again by application and ‘end use’ or function of the final product, for example sanitary, flexible, abrasive resistant and primer gelcoat to name but a few. These all contain no waxes and are designed to be applied to a mould with release agent followed by glass fibre reinforcement. They come in brush form or spray versions. Spray versions are designed to be sprayed through pneumatic equipment and not paint spray guns.


These come in the form of special non air inhibited spray able top coats. They are expensive polyester systems due to the non-air inhibition nature of the coat. Also they are low in viscosity designed to be sprayed through a paint spray gun. This means that non air inhibited systems will cure to a tack free blemish free surface, despite the low viscosity. They are used mostly for resurfacing plugs and moulds due to the costs compared to gelcoat. They are usually applied with a paint spray gun and have viscosities similar to spray paint. Spray gel coat’s is a term used for products that get pumped through a high pressure pneumatically driven machine and spray applied. High gloss top coats are applied with gravity fed paint spray guns not pneumatic spray guns.


All these systems are designed to be applied on to glass fibre products as the final coat. The offer protection to glass fibre laminates as well as aesthetic appeal in the form of colour and texture.

Pool coat, Topcoat, Flow coat & spatter coat are all products that contain thixotropic agents that help them stick to vertical surfaces without draining. They also contain wax solutions that enable them to cure to a tack free surface. Pool coats, Flow coats, Topcoats and Spatter coat are designed to be self-levelling as these are the final cosmetic coat. The wax solutions upon gelation come to the surface thus preventing the oxygen in the air from inhibiting the cure. The wax also reduces the ability for contaminants such as dust and other paints from bonding properly to it.

These products can further be separated in to four major categories, (POOLCOAT, FLOWCOAT, TOP COAT AND SPATTER COAT)


Pool coats are UV resistant offers the best, gloss retention. They are also marine resistant and offer all-round good chemical resistance. Pool coats are your choice for long term gloss retention and colour stability for glass fibre polyester systems. They can be matched to non-metallic colours.


Flow coat are used for hiding glass fibre finish. They are not UV stabilised, are filled with extenders have a duller finish and cannot be colour matched accurately to any specific colour due to the presence of extenders. They are not able to offer "gloss" finish the way pool coat can. They are used typically in non-critical applications for example the inside of cabin doors in boats. The major advantage of flow coat is that they are cost effective compared to Pool coat & Top coats.


Topcoats offer UV stability and are excellent for outdoor use. They offer good gloss retention in outdoor weather are less expensive that Pool coat but do not have the same gloss and chemical resistance as pool coat. They offer a gloss finish.


Spatter coat are designed to be applied through a spatter coat gun. They offer very nice aesthetic granite like texture & finish and are easy to be applied with inexpensive equipment. They are highly extended and are available only in 3 colours as these are used as a system. They are the most cost effective system of all the waxed topcoats. They come on light grey, black and white. Spatter coats are designed as a very cost effective high quality “stone chip” system. Please follow the link for a step by step application guide with pictures.

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