In both residential and industrial markets, consumers can choose between the following categories of paint, solvent based coatings and water based coatings.
Fifty years ago, virtually all paint was solvent based. Sometimes referred to as oil based or alkyd paints, solvent based coatings contain higher levels of organic compounds than water based coatings. These solvents or compounds facilitate application, drying and the formation of a durable, regular paint film. On the negative side, when these compounds evaporate, they release volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere resulting in a strong odor and toxic impact on the environment. Stricter environmental regulations have required paint manufacturers to dramatically reduce the levels of VOCs in their paints.
Today, advances in paint technology mean that water based paints, typically referred to as waterborne acrylics, are in many ways equal, or superior to their solvent based counterparts. High quality waterborne acrylic emulsions offer excellent durability, quick dry time, and the emission of far less odor. Currently, water based coatings account for approximately 80% of paint sold in the residential marketplace. Additionally this class of paint has moved into all sorts of industrial applications, including maintenance coatings for steel and concrete.
Waterborne Acrylic Paints
Waterborne acrylic coatings, are more environmentally, as well as user friendly alternatives to solvent based paints alkyds. The following is a list of benefits and advantages to using waterborne acrylic coatings for both residential and industrial applications.
– Lower volatile organic content resulting in less impact on the environment.
– Low odor. A primary advantage when painting interiors or poorly ventilated areas.
– Quick dry times facilitating the application of a second coat.
– Excellent durability
– Lower or no risk of fire from handling flammable solvents.
– Easy and safer cleanup
– Less hazardous disposal
– Proven performance in residential and industrial applications
Acrylic vs Latex Paint
Acrylic and latex paints are similar in that they are both water based coatings and produced from acrylic resins. While latex paint is more user friendly and easier to apply, acrylic coatings are more durable and resistant to flaking, chalking and peeling. Additionally, acrylic paint contracts and expands better than latex, making it a better choice for exterior projects where greater elasticity is required to deal with temperature extremes.
Oil Based Paints
Oil based paints are made with either alkyd or linseed. Alkyd coatings are more common because they are less expensive and tougher than natural oil paints. Common applications for oil based coatings include:
– Residential trim, doors, cabinets and furniture
– Metal doors and railings
– Industrial equipment and maintenance of steel structures
Waterborne Acrylic Alkyd Paints
In recent years, the introduction of alkyd latex resin technology has allowed coatings manufacturers to combine the performance advantages of alkyd based paint chemistries with the convenience of solvent free, waterborne coatings. Waterborne acrylic alkyd hybrids provide easy cleanup and low VOC levels, along with superior levelling and durability. By incorporating alykd resin technology into their coatings, manufacturers can offer consumers paint that is ideal for trim, doors, cabinets and furniture.
Enamels are an additive in some water based and oil based paints that make the dried surface harder and less porous. As a result, most water based flooring paints contain enamel additives as do coatings where increased durability is desired.
Urethranes are additives found in both waterborne and alkyd based coatings offering superior resistance to moisture and abrasion. There are three types of urethrane, aliphatic, aromatic and waterborne. Aliphatic and waterborne urethranes will not amber or yellow like aromatic urethranes when subjected to high levels of ultraviolet light. Urethanes are a common additive to industrial coatings where maximum durability is required.