A Guide to Industrial Paint Component Terms: Part 2

Friday, August 01, 2014

In our last article, part one, we covered two of the four main components of industrial paints: pigments and binders. The other two components are liquids and additives. When discussing painting and coating options with a painting contractor, liquids may be more relevant. The liquid component usually makes up more of the paint volume and will also probably have a greater effect on your choice, though the smaller additives do have a great effect on how your paint performs.

Liquids
The liquid component is actually optional: not every coating contains a liquid component. It is the ingredient that adjusts how thin the paint is, whether for curing or application purposes. The liquid component completely evaporates as the paint cures. Here are some terms relating to to this coating component:

  • Diluents — Water-based paints use water as the liquid, acting as a “diluent” for the other components to adjust viscosity as well as for cleanup.
  • Solvents — Oil-based paints use chemical solvents or thinners to adjust viscosity and for cleanup. Some examples include:
    • Mineral spirits
    • Naphtha
    • Petroleum distillates
    • Turpentine
    • Linseed oil
  • VOCs — These solvents contain “volatile organic compounds,” A Guide to Industrial Paint Component Terms: Part 2hich evaporate into the air and cause pollution. The lower the VOC content the “greener” the paint, which can have an effect on LEED certification or EPA compliance factors.

It’s worth noting that because liquids need to evaporate, factors like the weather (temperature and humidity) can affect how quickly and well they cure. It is different with plural component coatings like epoxy, which usually have little to no VOCs as they don’t cure by evaporation but by use of a curing agent that sets the epoxy or other binder.

Additives
This component does not make up much of the paint’s volume, but affects certain characteristics in how a coating is applied, how it holds up and the environment in which coatings will perform well. Here are a few examples of additive types:

  • Surfactants —  These help disburse pigments and reduce surface tension
  • Thickeners — Thickening the paint can make for easier application and coverage.
  • Co-solvents — These make application easier and help form the film of the cured coating.
  • Defoamers — These prevent foam from forming. Silicone can be one example of a defoamer.

Understanding these four industrial paint components—binders, pigments, liquids and additives—can help you have a more productive decision-making process for painting projects. The knowledgeable professionals at Cor-Ray Painting Co. will be glad to help you determine the best painting and coating options for your facility. Based in Santa Fe Springs, Cor-Ray is a highly experienced industrial painting contractor serving the Los Angeles and Southern California area. Click here to get an estimate or call (562) 906-9770.

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