Millions of people slipped and slid their way down thousands of composite water slides last year. Yet, the large number of people catapulting down an individual water slide, along with continuous water flow, and sun and weather exposure, take a toll on a slide’s finish. Waterpark owners are seeking more durable gelcoats that maintain their attractive appearance to restore slides after the visitors have gone home.

Current gelcoats are vulnerable to the elements, which leads to premature chalking and down glossing. In addition to limited durability, these coatings are constrained by limited application temperature ranges and slower dry times that lengthen return-to-service.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC coatings experts have developed a breakthrough polyaspartic gelcoat technology that offers superior durability, color and gloss retention, ultra-low VOCs and quick return-to-service for restoring water slides. The high-performance polyaspartic gelcoat technology offers better weatherability and durability, for a life expectancy of years, not months. Accelerated weather testing also indicates the gelcoat technology provides superior color and gloss retention compared with traditional coating technology. Additionally, the low-odor, spray-applied, two-component, ambient-cure gelcoat can be applied at colder temperatures than currently available coatings. This wider temperature application range extends the season for restoring outdoor slides.

The technology also provides quick dry times, leading to faster return-to-service and helping applicators and water park operators meet tight deadlines. In one instance, slide operations were re-started within 24 hours of the coating application.

“As the outdoor and indoor water park market continues to grow, operators and applicators now have a coating solution that is not only durable, but also offers a wider application temperature range, ultra-low VOCs and superior gloss and color retention than existing technologies,” said Edward P. Squiller, Director, Business Development, Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties, Bayer MaterialScience LLC.