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Evaluation Process Predicts Leveling Behavior of Paints

Thursday, January 25, 2018

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Researchers have developed a new automated method that predicts the flow outcome of a paint’s properties, which can save on both development time and cost.

The key to this process is monitoring the coating’s rheological behavior, meaning that coating’s properties can be used to predict how fast and completely it will level. The results can then be measured and translated into a leveling prediction.

Rheological Measurements

Most industrial applications require paint to be thin enough for easy application, but also thick enough that it will not run off inclined surfaces. To compensate, many industrial coatings have complex rheological behavior with shear-sensitive and time-sensitive viscoelastic properties.

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA

The key to this process is monitoring the coating’s rheological behavior, meaning that coating’s properties can be used to predict how fast and completely it will level. The results can then be measured and translated into a leveling prediction.

According to Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, the institution that developed this new prediction process, standard industry methods for measuring rheological behavior do not provide any data that can be used for prediction. IPA’s method, however, reportedly uses the properties of paint to tell how fast and completely paint will level.

Paint manufacturers need to optimize the rheological behavior of their coatings during development, the institute says. IPA’s process both reduces the need for testing samples and implements raw materials that can influence the leveling process in a more targeted way. This new procedure cuts down leveling outcome time from several hours to 15 minutes.

Coating Development

According to IPA, it is also possible to use the rheological properties to achieve a specific surface structure, and the method has more reproducibility than testing samples. It is also possible to analyze thixotropic behavior and influence the levelling process.

“From our own experience in paint recipe development, we consider that the total development time of a paint can be shortened by 15 percent,” noted developer Fabian Seeler. “For an average development time of three years, this means saving 5.4 months, which represents a time advantage that could signify a huge competitive advantage when introducing new car colors, for instance.”

Paint development companies could also save what equates to $185,000 per coating developed, given the reduction in the use of test samples.

Initially, IPA will be offering paint characterization via using the new procedure as a service. Moving forward, the measurement and evaluation software will be distributed directly to customers.

   

Tagged categories: Coatings Technology; Colleges and Universities; Paint; Paint analysis; Research and development

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