September 3, 2015
The Golden Gate Bridge is famous for its color. Architects, engineers and painters worked together to develop just the right hue, dubbed “International Orange,” that could also withstand the heavy moisture and fog of the San Francisco Bay. The paint they developed keeps the bridge from rusting and protects its unique orange color.
Industrial paints and coatings protect structures in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, from offshore oil platforms to large bridge spans. Achieving the correct performance for your customers is the priority, so color might be one of the last things you consider in your industrial coating chemistries – but it shouldn’t be.
Sourcing the right colorants for high-performance industrial paints and coatings means finding the perfect color match and ensuring your industrial paint or coating will stand up to wear and tear over its lifetime.
How can you ensure you achieve both goals?
1. Decide which performance properties are critical. By identifying the properties your coating must have, you give your colorant supplier valuable insight into how the colorant must be formulated. Will the coating need to stand up to harsh weather or sunlight? Does it need to maintain its brightness and luster under artificial lights? What other performance factors are most important to your customer? The answers to all of these questions impact pigment selection as well as colorant chemistry.
2. Determine usage needs upfront. Using the same colorant for multiple coatings is common practice, but if you intend to use a colorant in multiple applications, you need to factor that into your chemistry. Some colorants can yellow or fade over time, for example, depending on the composition of the coating.
Your colorant supplier can help you select colorants that are compatible with multiple coatings and that won’t compromise the color or performance. If your supplier identifies potential issues or performance concerns, they can recommend how to alter the coating chemistry to suit the colorant.
3. Weigh cost with performance. Industrial coatings must be durable and resistant to environmental forces including extreme temperature, moisture and wind. As a general rule, the higher the performance requirements for an industrial coating, the more you will need to spend on raw materials to achieve that performance.
However, it never hurts to ask for a range of solutions when sourcing colorants. Your suppliers should be in business to solve your problems, not just to sell you something. Even if a supplier isn’t able to formulate a pigment dispersion that meets all of your needs while staying in your price range, most will provide you with a sampling of different types of colorants that work within your price range and meet your goals.
With so many variables in play, the chemistry of colorants can vary widely, and so can the price. Before sourcing colorants, ask, “What kind of value am I looking for?” Provide your colorant supplier with a price range to select materials that meet performance and cost requirements. This will help you find solutions that fit your budget without compromising paint or coating performance.
Chromaflo Technologies is one of the largest global, independent colorant supplier. We can work with you to help you select colorants for industrial paints and coatings that meet your cost and performance requirements. Contact us at (440-997-5137) to discuss your colorant requirements.