Implications of Using Waterborne Paint
Waterborne paint has been available to the industry for years, but not without its challenges. Just like with any newer product, training, availability and equipment can become obstacles to its success, not to mention “change” itself, which many tend to resist.
First let’s discuss the product. Waterborne paint is safer for the environment and for the employee. It has a much quicker drying time and is a little more forgiving if a defect needs to be corrected during application.
The challenge becomes drying the product effectively after its application within varying environments — humidity, cold, hot, etc. Conflicting with previous products on which we’ve been trained, airflow is more crucial to this paint than is temperature (although temperature is still important).
Next, we visit the training aspects: the mixing, application, drying time, workability during application, and cleaning the spray gun are much different for waterborne than for solvent-based techniques. Training is required for maximum efficiency to eliminate the potential “re-work” necessitated by improper application.
Lastly, on the regulatory side of things, we are seeing more and more Environmental Protection Agency restrictions being placed on volatile organic compounds (VOC) tolerances; that is only going to continue to become stricter as time goes on. Since there are no VOCs, the use of waterborne paints helps reduce a facility’s overall VOC generation.
Ray Fisher is the vice president of ASA-Michigan. This article represents his opinion and does not reflect the views of ASA-Michigan. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.