The Role of Advanced Coatings in Integrated Design
Integrated design involves integrating existing, often different systems in a way that focuses on increasing value to the customer, like improved product quality and performance, while at the same time providing value to the company such as reducing operational costs and improving customer response time. At U.S. Paint we take all that into consideration when designing your coatings. Let’s talk about the design of coatings and some of the factors that may affect the finished product.
Mechanical abrasion, impact resistance, and physical damage
Abrasion resistance means an ability to withstand the wear and tear of friction caused by mechanical parts and instances of repetitive scraping or rubbing. Scratches not only greatly reduce the surface aesthetics of a coated product but can lead to premature failure of the substrate or accelerated corrosion due to substrate exposure. Physical damage resistance holds practical importance for both formulators and consumers using coatings for protective purposes. It is important to have a measurable understanding of surface change to better relate various external factors resulting in coatings degradation and how the damage can be avoided or reduced due to abrasion. The most important thing to remember when formulating or choosing an abrasion-resistant coating system for a given application is to know all the possible parameters (environment, substrate, application method, etc.) to avoid asset failure.
Water, fuel, solvent, or chemical resistance
The coating on the surface works as the main protection from external strains and interactions or a harsh environment. However, coatings get exposed to chemicals either during cleaning products, spills, or fumes. So, it becomes important that the outmost layer of the coating has the required ability to resist chemicals, fuels, water, and other solvents and protect the substrate from contamination. Even simple water immersion testing is important to help anticipate water-related failures.
Light reflectivity and heat absorption or heat-resistance
U.S. Paint has coating technologies that let OEMs better manage the reflectivity of specific wavelengths, and we market improved coatings that will absorb less infrared light and still provide excellent color and appearance.
UV and weathering resistance
Exterior weathering can have a dramatic effect on the aesthetic, functional and physical properties of coatings that can include chalking, film erosion, cracking, color change, etching, blisters, peeling, spotting, loss of hardness, flexibility, gloss, and adhesion. Multiple formulation issues influence the performance of coatings in a given exterior environment and we manage that with our formulations and testing.
Appearance and aesthetics
Well-chosen industrial coatings make manufactured products last longer and look better. Manufacturers usually apply industrial coatings during the later stages of production. The finishing process, using the formulated coating material, protects and strengthens their valuable OEM product, aiding in the overall design.
Buffability and repair
Industrial coatings provide a long-term, cost-effective solution to protect your investment, increase the service life of your equipment and infrastructure, and help prevent irreparable damage and costly shutdowns. With the assessment and understanding of coating applications, the products available, and the correct implementation process, the opportunities to utilize industrial coating systems are limitless. U.S. Paint works closely with major OEMs to ensure paint refinish systems are available where needed for industrial coatings. Some OEMs need to know that you can bring finished coatings back to pre-loss condition in an easy way and we’re here to help with that design.
Recoatability is a quality in paint that makes the paint especially adapted to being applied in a coat over which one or more additional coats can be satisfactorily applied. We conduct thorough and impartial testing of coatings for specific applications by OEMs. We also think about dry-to-recoat time. Dry-to-recoat time is an important factor when buying paint and other coating materials as it is an estimate of the time when another coating layer can be applied without encountering problems like wrinkling or lifting. It ensures that the film to be coated is dry enough so that the solvent in the new coating does not soften the previous coat and weaken the bond between the two layers. We can also help OEMs make sure there will be no moisture or solvent trapped in the film to be coated over that may delay complete curing.
Safety and environmental requirements
With the availability of new, safer, inorganic options on the market, coating experts, as well as industrial asset and safety managers, can now specify an alternative to traditional carbon-based coatings that will dramatically increase safety without sacrificing corrosion protection. We’re ready to work with OEMs on just that. Our team is highly experienced when it comes to safety and environmental requirements, and we stay on top of the latest developments and needs of the consumer.
Collaboration between U.S. Paint and OEMs in the supply chain drives new technology in the finished paint and coatings products. Our role as a paint manufacturer is to harness what is happening out there in the materials world, innovate in the paint formulations, and bring new products to the marketplace. Digital technologies and high-throughput equipment have played some part in these advances, but the most important inputs are the creative technical minds applying themselves to new raw material design and new paint formulations. Our team familiarizes itself with each customer-specific process and ensures we meet the demand, workability needs, and ease of application for each OEM. This means flash and cure times specific to the application are met. We’re also looking at pot-life considerations. Our coatings are formulated to maximize pot-life or the length of time in which multiple-part coatings or paints can be applied to a surface. Many factors must be considered including reactive group concentrations, structural effects on reaction rates, and much more. Let us get technical so you don’t have to.
Simplest possible design
A simple design has certain advantages over the more complicated ones. It is easier to understand, less costly to make, and easier to adjust in case there is a need by the OEM. Things get more sophisticated when a customer has a challenging application requiring a custom-designed coating formula. Complexity also increases based on the substrate type. If you are working on an ongoing job and having issues with a current specification, that info is very valuable to us. We can perhaps suggest a different approach or way to achieve your project goals using alternative methods. Any background data will help us help you become successful with your coating project, and hopefully, help us establish a long-lasting relationship with your company.
U.S. Paint uses robust formulations to maximize the customer’s ability to reproduce the same result repeatedly. Across the lifecycle of a coating product, rigorous testing and analysis is required to ensure product quality is maintained and can be recreated over and over. We understand that OEMS are reproducing all of the design elements each time to create the same result and we’re ready to take that to a technical level to ensure each OEM meets their very complex and detailed requirements.
U.S. Paint thinks spherically about what we are designing in an effort to produce comprehensive, well-considered design solutions that address the challenges of sustainable design and development. Paints and coatings are just one part of an OEM’s integrated product. Just as any other part or piece of equipment, your coatings become a component with a job to do. Let us provide paints and coatings that are durable and minimize the need for preventative and corrective maintenance over the expected life of the component or system. We offer on-site analysis consultations with a coatings professional to evaluate your needs and make site-specific recommendations. We’re ready to put integrated design to work for you!