Finishes Unlimited develops and produces air-dry and bake enamel waterborne paints used primarily in OEM applications to coat metal, wood, plastic, glass and concrete.
- BAKE ENAMEL
As the terms imply, bake enamel paints are used for applications where the painted product passes through a heated oven as part of the drying process.
- AIR-DRY ENAMEL
Air-dry paints are used for products that are allowed to dry without artificial heat.
BENEFITS OF WATERBORNE COATINGS
- Low VOCs
Solvent-based paints, high solids liquid paint and powder coatings all have a level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are classified as air contaminants. A coating’s VOC level is stated in pounds per gallon without water (sans water) and is determined by its chemical formula. By excluding water from the calculations, the results reflect only the volume of VOCs and non volatile solids. Solvent-based paints contain a high level of organic solvents which release VOC’s during application and drying. Their VOC levels range from 2.5 to 6 lbs / gallon. During the formulation of waterborne paint, most of these organic solvents are replaced by water resulting in VOC levels of between 1.5 to 3.5 lbs. / gallon sans water. As the name implies, powder coatings are dry coatings. The solvents have in effect been replaced by air. Powder coatings also have very low VOC levels. Also, some coating manufacturers have replaced solvents with new resins creating what are known as high solids products.
- Why are VOCs such an issue?
The 1990 Clean Air Act set guidelines for the reduction of VOCs in many products and processes and authorized the states to establish local VOC limit regulations. Companies who apply paint to their products are responsible for reducing and controlling the VOC levels in their own facilities. As a result, many of them have adapted their paint lines to eliminate the use of solvent-based paint by using newer technologies, primarily waterborne and powder coatings.
- Finishes Unlimited’s ULTRA AQUALITE produces virtually no VOCs
In 2000, Finishes Unlimited unveiled ULTRA AQUALITE, a line of bake enamel coatings which was the paint industry’s first ultra-low VOC, direct to metal, waterborne paint. Ultra Aqualite has a VOC rating of less than .05 lbs. per gallon sans water. The company believes this product is as close to a zero-VOC level industrial paint as current technology will permit.