It’s true that creativity thrives in adversity. The financial downturn has spurred the development and release of innovative paint technologies that has industrial coatings contractors all abuzz and rubbing their hands in anticipation. 

What are the newsworthy trends in painting products that are making their way into the hands of industrial coating contractors and right into facility premises? Environment-friendly zero-VOC formulations are still leading the pack. Energy-saving solar-reflective innovations are also out in the market. Long-lasting and sustainable high-solids are rolling out manufacturers’ labs. Self-cleaning paints sound too futuristic, but are actually being developed in research labs and may be used by industrial coatings contractors soon. 

Cool Roofs

Cool roofs, or zero-VOC and energy-efficient roof coatings, are preferred by industrial coatings contractors not only for their zero-VOC emissions, but also for their above-average SRI or solar-reflective index. Solar reflectivity is an important property for roof coatings, because it indicates the coating’s ability to reflect sunlight back and away from the facility. The less of the sun’s rays being absorbed through the roof, the cooler the interior will be, thereby lessening cooling and energy costs.

Cool roof products offer more than energy efficiency and environmental benefits, they continue to deliver high quality expected of standard paints, such as high-adhesion, strength, and durability. They still provide tough protection against water exposure, and impermeability against toxic acids and harsh alkali from oil leaks and greasy spills, to the delight of industrial coatings contractors.

Three-wet Paint 

The 3-wet paint technology simplifies the process of paint application, eliminating the time- and energy-consuming paint preparation of applying primers, paint bases and enamels. Paint preparation used to be applied manually by industrial coatings contractors, following a set drying-time schedule. With 3-wet paint technology, the process involves no manual procedure, and the paints can be applied while still wet. The resulting product, can save on time by about 20%, according to data from Ford, who implemented the 3-wet paint technology on a global scale for its painted vehicle shops.

The high-solids solvent-borne paint formulation where Ford’s technology is based also produces fewer harmful emissions than regular paints, and successfully met all industry standards in chip/scratch/etch resistance, durability, and performance.

The benefits of 3-wet paint technology are numerous, from the elimination of costly equipments used by industrial coatings contractors, to time-savings, to lesser emission of environmental pollutants, to lesser energy consumption gained from faster processing time — a clean and sustainable process overall. 

Self-Cleaning Paints 

Still in the design board of UK’s DSTL labs, but showing much promise, are the new types of paints able to decontaminate itself and resist chemical attacks. The experimental paints are currently applied in strips and designed to soak up dangerous air-borne chemicals, making the nearby air safe for humans to breathe. The future enhancement of the paint is to imbue it with catalytic enzymes to process the soaked-up chemicals, thereby decontaminating itself.

The technology is flexible for industrial coatings contractors. It can be engineered to change color to indicate contamination and decontamination, and to be sunlight-reflective for purposes of camouflage. And like ordinary paint, these “sci-fi” paints can be applied using standard rollers or sprays by industrial coatings contractors, for ease of use and removal.

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