Wa­ter­borne paints the way to go?

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

The is­sue of whether or not to switch from sol­vent-based paint to wa­ter­borne paint is mired in con­tro­versy, with the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists on the one hand once more tar­get­ing the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, while the tra­di­tion­al­ists cite costs and prob­lems with the paint fin­ish as rea­sons for not chang­ing.

As al­ways, the truth is some­where in be­tween, but the fact is that leg­is­la­tion will win out in the end and all re­pair­ers will be forced to switch over to wa­ter­borne paints as an un­for­tu­nate given.

Is it a dif­fi­cult process? Al­though many op­er­a­tors are re­luc­tant to change, it may be a good thing for the in­dus­try for sev­eral rea­sons. The ben­e­fits are:

• Bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment: Less toxic paint is im­por­tant, and sci­en­tists say el­e­vated con­cen­tra­tions can per­sist in the air long after paint­ing or re­paint­ing is com­pleted.

• Health­ier for your staff: Wa­ter­borne paint re­duces the emis­sion of volatile or­ganic com­pounds (VOCs), im­prov­ing air qual­ity and sup­pos­edly re­duc­ing the health risk to all.

• New and im­proved prod­ucts: Tran­si­tion to wa­ter­borne paint has prompted paint com­pa­nies to de­velop new prod­ucts.

• Less clear coat needed: For mul­ti­ple hues and strip­ing, wa­ter­borne paint has an ad­van­tage when it comes to spray­ing due to a thin­ner ap­pli­ca­tion. It takes less clear coat to even out the sur­face for the dif­fer­ent lay­ers.

• Cleaner/brighter than sol­vent-based paint: In paint­ing with wa­ter­borne paint, wet paint tends to have a dif­fer­ent hue from the true colour. Once it dries, the wa­ter­borne paint will take on the true hue. In­ter­est­ingly, when it comes to the ac­tual colour with wa­ter­borne, it comes out cleaner/brighter than a sol­vent-based paint. So what do I have to spend? Sur­pris­ingly, the in­vest­ment in new equip­ment you will need is min­i­mal.

You’ll need a stain­less steel paint gun, to avoid rust, and good air flow. To cut down on dry­ing time, it’s im­por­tant to have a large vol­ume of clean air to en­hance dry­ing.

Get­ting down to de­tails, here are some of the rea­sons the “gree­nies” want us to change:

They say the health risks of us­ing sol­vent-based paints in­clude eye, nose, and throat ir­ri­ta­tion; headaches, loss of co­or­di­na­tion, nau­sea; dam­age to liver, kid­ney, and cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. Some or­gan­ics can cause can­cer in an­i­mals; some are sus­pected or known to cause can­cer in hu­mans.

And it is claimed that the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try re­leases about 210,000 tons of ozone-pro­duc­ing sol­vents into the at­mos­phere each year, with the man­u­fac­ture and ap­pli­ca­tion of paint ac­count­ing for about 32 per­cent of all VOC emis­sions.

Ready-to-use con­ven­tional basecoats have a VOC sol­vent con­tent of around 84 per­cent (and 16 per­cent solids), whereas a typ­i­cal wa­ter­borne base-coat is com­posed of about 70 per­cent wa­ter (and 20 per­cent solids) and 10 per­cent sol­vent. So the re­duc­tion in sol­vent use in mak­ing the switchover is sub­stan­tial.

This ar­ti­cle was based on in­for­ma­tion from Mat­tei. Down­load Mat­tei’s free “Com­pressed Air Check­list For Wa­ter­borne Paint Con­ver­sion” at com­pres­sors. mat­te­icomp.com/wa­ter­borne-paint­con­ver­sion-check­list.

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