THE EVOLUTION OF PAINTS AND COATINGS WITH TECHNOLOGY
The painting industry, like any other, has evolved exponentially over the years. From products, to techniques, to skills; current painters are dealing with a variety of industry advancements.
Paints and coatings are some of the elements that have revolutionised the painting sector. Over the past few decades, coating technologies have advanced to adapt to the changing needs of consumers. For architectural applications, painters had to rely on low-solids and solvent-based alternatives. The use of waterborne emulsion was minimal. Now there are options such as high-solids, water soluble and two-component systems. The painting industry correlates to other sectors of the economy such as housing, transportation and construction. As these industries grow, so does the painting sector.
What else spurred development in this industry and what does the future look like?
The Growth of Low-VOC Paints
The use of low VOC paints is perhaps the most notable growth in the painting industry. Environmental concerns have been rising as the levels of pollution keep hitting new highs. Governments established regulations to come up with eco-friendly paints. The best way for that was to decrease the levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paint and coatings. When low-VOCs paints first emerged, they were laden with performance issues. Some of the problems painters experienced included application difficulties, high costs and poor touch up standards. With time, though technologies have improved, and paint manufacturers have found ways to provide significantly superior quality low-VOC paints. Some paints even have zero VOCs. Manufacturers continue to discover raw materials that offer better options of green paint products. The bottom line is to have paints and coatings that meet trade standards in terms of performance while still adhering to environmental regulations.
Future in Nanotechnology
Manufacturers are not stopping at low and zero VOC paints. Nanotechnology is one of the areas that painting professionals are showing interest in. As a matter of fact, some nano paints are already on the market. The concept here is the addition of metal or ceramic in paints and coatings. Integration can be in the form of particles, free powder or as granulate that inserts into the paint matrix. Nanotechnology is meant to alter certain properties to come up with products for specialised applications, for example, a surface that requires electrically conductive coating. One of the traits that nanotechnology exploits is UV protection. Nano paints are also highly resistant to wear, scratch, mar and corrosion.
Paints and coatings have come a long way, and there is still so much to be done. Regulations will keep changing, and painting companies will come up with new products to meet them. Industry experts are spending time and resources on developing material and products for high-quality paints and coatings.