Every paint company uses different techniques and blends to create both their colours and their coatings. These days, paint coatings can be utilised for more diverse purposes than ever before. Whilst at the most basic level, paint consists of four key elements: the solvent, the pigment or filler, the binder and an additive, these components can be adjusted and combined with other substances to create qualities that are suited to various different industries. Companies make use of sophisticated paint finishing solutions in order to properly apply their selected paints to their products before they go to market. Historically, creating paints that were consistent in their colour and properties could end in differing results, making it frustrating for paint manufacturers to maintain standards. However, the wonders of science are increasingly being utilised to create uniform qualities in paints for a whole range of purposes. Here are some examples:
Inks not only provide colour to products for aesthetic purposes, they can also be utilised to create other properties. In line with this, paints are often employed as anti-corrosives, especially in the automotive and architectural industries. There are a number of ways in which the anti-corrosive properties of paint can be achieved, the key one being the use of specific additives. Additives such as Zinc phosphate can be added to the mix to provide protection against corrosion. Likewise, strontium chromate can also offer similar properties, as can blanc fixe. Another form of anti-corrosive often found in paint coatings is graphene, which is a very light and strong substance that requires only a very thin layer to be effective, making it great for electronic items.
Some popular paint finishes come with their drawbacks, a key example being matte paint. The high concentration of pigment needed to create a matte finish makes the paint porous, which means that scrubbing the paint with water can damage the finish or remove it. Fillers containing kaolin can be used in order to offset this effect.
On metals, it can be difficult to achieve a consistent layer of paint. This is why powder coatings are commonly employed for metal products in order to gain a smooth and even covering. Powder coatings are applied via an electrostatic gun, after which the product will be exposed to high heat in order to cure the covering and create an even covering. Once this cools down, the coating hardens to create the finished product. Conversely, when using litho concentrate printing inks, water build up can cause the paint to become viscous and unevenly spread. In this event, water balance additives can be added to the mix to offset the issue. Alternatively, more modern lithography printing machines utilise UV light and chemicals to print the image, rather than water.
Nowadays, paints which offer added qualities like conductivity and thermal management are a common sight in the electronics industry. Tough forms of carbon, like graphene, are added to paint coatings to offer electron mobility and conductivity in products like circuits and transistors. It can be used to protect small electronic components from heat or chemical damage as well as creating conductivity.
There is an almost endless string of properties which can be created in modern paints and coatings. By using science to guide the process, it is possible to develop a coating that is perfect for any product.