Are you still using solvent-based paint in your automotive paint process? Many coating manufacturers around the globe have already made the switch to waterborne paints. Wonder why?
Let’s look at some of the benefits that waterborne paints offer when compared to solvent-based coatings:
1. Waterborne paints are cleaner for the environment. Solvent-based paints contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) including toluene, xylene, ethyl benzene, and methyl ethyl ketone. Waterborne paints contain fewer toxins, which do not populate the air as long as solvent-based toxins. Waterborne coatings are less flammable and less hazardous, and will allow your coating process to meet clean air regulations.
2. Waterborne paints are the healthier option for your employees. With fewer VOCs and toxins to breathe in during shifts, employees will enjoy much healthier ambient conditions within your plant. And since waterborne coatings are less flammable and less hazardous overall, these paints can make for a safer environment free of workplace injuries and incidents.
3. Waterborne paints may cost less. Waterborne paints do not require the thinners, additives or hardeners that solvent-based paints do, which means that, in the long run, you’ll be able to save money by cutting out those added expenses. Oftentimes, when using waterborne paints, you’ll see that you need less product to cover the same area as a solvent-based coating. And waterborne paints offer one more cost-saving advantage: they tend to last longer in sealed containers, meaning you can save your inventory for later use.
4. Get a high-gloss finish without the extra coating. Waterborne paints will typically provide a high-gloss finish of their own, requiring you to use less of an additional clearcoat finish. This will not only save you time and money, but it also delivers excellent corrosion protection for the automotive parts that you are coating.
5. Waterborne paints are durable. A waterborne coating will hold up well to heat and will protect the automotive body from corrosion. These paints are also highly abrasion resistant and can maintain their glossy finish for long periods of time.
Making the Transition to Waterborne Paints
If you are thinking of making the switch to waterborne paints in your automotive coating process, there are a number of things you want to consider. First, your spray guns should be comprised of corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or plastic.
The curing time for waterborne paints can also be much longer than solvent-based coatings, so you may need to adjust your manufacturing procedures to incorporate more drying time.
Another important consideration is the viscosity of the paint as you apply it to the substrate. Waterborne paints will require a much different optimal viscosity than solvent-based paints. This means that not only will your staff need to familiarize itself with new application techniques, you might also want to complement your new approach with temperature control solutions that can effectively manage viscosity.