By Michael Freeze
Alan Craighead of Akzo Nobel was on hand to give NACE attendees the latest in new refinish technologies on Wednesday. Craighead gave an extensive overview of the two leading platforms: waterborne and UV. Waterborne paints, as Craighead explained, has plenty of advantages. The volatile organic compound (VOC) content found in waterborne paints is less than conventional solvent-based paints and it is easier to apply and clean up.
Craighead provided more considerations for body shops to use waterborne. "The facts to consider [when using waterborne technology] are the storage and mixing," says Craighead. "For storage, it will be different because of the freezing points. For mixing, it will be different because auto ware toners won't need stirring, just pouring."
Craighead also touched upon UV curing, which is a photochemical process used to cure coatings with UV light instead of heat. Specifically, he focused on the popular "dual-cure" technology and its advantages.
"With [UV curling], you won't have to worry about the shadow areas," says Craighead.
Like waterborne, UV cured materials are also environmentally friendly. Prior to 1990, VOC content made up more than half of high solids and traditional coats. Within the last 20 years, new high solid coats now have 20 percent VOC content. Waterborne based paint is 70 percent water, 20 percent solid and 10 percent VOC content.
Craighead also pointed to the economic pluses of UV technology. He noted that dual-cure technology can save a body shop time, as well as energy costs. Most importantly, UV-cured materials can provide a shop a quick return on investment.
Craighead highlighted a list of drying equipment that could used in conjunction with UV curing such as portable products (Xpress Cure from U-View), modular systems (SmartAir from JunAir) and integrated systems (Global Finishing Solutions).
Also in his presentation, Craighead discussed the developing influences of the typical body shop product in the last century. He touched upon the obvious technical and economical influences, and then added another one of his own.
"Of course, there is the need for body shop effectiveness, the technical performance (sticky side down, shiny side up) and the economical; where you can make money with the product," explains Craighead. "Now, environmental performance has been added to that. You cannot sell environmental performance. That's expected. You can't sell a product because it's CO2 compliant - it has to perform. So people need to understand that there are influences on the product that were different than in the past."