Industrial coatings cover a wide variety of applications – from the automotive and marine to oil and gas equipment to the spray paint used to repaint your mailbox. They all share one common bond: the coating and color must hold up.
There is no room for coatings failure. Consumers expect good performance. Offshore oil rigs cannot fail after a year. Municipalities don’t want to repaint their water towers in five years when the coating should last for 15 years. And manufacturers can’t afford to shut down a production line every month or two to recoat plant floors.
One way to improve tinted coatings performance is to use colorants with high pigment loadings, also known as highly concentrated colorants. When mixed with a base to create the final coatings, these colorants are less likely to exhibit incompatibilities that can cause coatings to fail over time. Coatings tinted with highly concentrated colorants also limit other potential negative interactions within the finished product that lead to problems such as non-uniform color, gloss reduction and tackiness of the dried coating.
Fewer unknowns mean better performance
When base products are tinted, components unknown to the coatings formulator will always be added to the coating. Users cannot possibly anticipate all of the various potential interactions that might occur when tinting their bases. Issues such as decreased durability, leeching, color float or a reduction in gloss can always happen. By using highly concentrated colorants, components used to stabilize the colorants will be minimized in the final coating, which reduces the risk of problems and less worry for the coatings formulator. If there are lower levels of surfactants making their way into the coating through the colorants, for example, there is a lower chance of a negative interaction with the base components.
Requires less equipment than milling
Dry pigments deliver the best possible performance with the lowest possibility of negative interactions, but they require milling to achieve full properties. Most companies don’t have sufficient equipment to fully disperse all of the types of pigments used in coatings. Also, they may not have the core competency to develop fully stable colorants with good performance in multiple coatings. Highly concentrated colorants offer a viable alternative and provide better performance in the final coating without requiring any special equipment for in-plant tinting.
An easier way to achieve custom colors
Point-of-sale tinting is growing in the industrial and architectural coatings markets. The standard industrial palette typically has contained 30 to 40 options. Customers are increasingly going beyond that standard palette and requesting custom colors to match unique corporate branding opportunities. Whether on the factory floor or in hospitals and public buildings, institutional gray doesn’t cut it anymore. Companies want their corporate colors visible. The same goes for other high-traffic buildings like shopping malls, airports and universities. The aesthetics of color and appearance are becoming as important as coating performance.
Highly concentrated colorants make it easier to meet these changing requirements, even in point-of-sale applications. Automated dispensers can easily produce most colors, and newer equipment can dispense the required smaller increments of highly loaded colorants. These automated dispensers incorporate systems that store and dispense color formulas, which reduces the likelihood of human error.
However, highly concentrated colorants may not be suitable for certain types of point-of-sale tinting, such as manual tinting centers. Your colorant supplier can help with the proper selection of colorants for the right end-use application.
In general, highly concentrated colorants provide a similar cost-to-use proposition as colorants with lower pigment loadings, but without overloading the coating with unknown components from the colorants. They provide more strength for the same amount of colorant. Therefore, they also require less inventory space because more coating can be tinted with less colorant.
Interested in using highly concentrated colorants to benefit your business? Chromaflo Technologies is a leading provider of colorant technologies for the architectural and industrial coatings industries. Visit www.chromaflo.com to learn more or contact us to discuss how we can support you with colorants solutions for your paints and coatings.