Reducing VOCs in Manufacturing

What is a VOC?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are compounds of carbon that evaporate into the air.  These react with other pollutants and sunlight to form harmful ground-level ozone and other oxidants known as smog.  These are harmful to health and the environment, therefore VOCs have been and continue to be heavily regulated, especially in industrial painting applications.

VOCs are found in most liquid paints and coatings.   Typical solvent-based paints can contain 50% VOCs, whereas water-based and high-solid paints contain 8-15% VOCs.

High Solid

High Solids paints have a higher ratio of solids to solvents in the paint mixture. This means that there are less solvents flashing into the air per gallon of paint used, and thus fewer VOCs.

Waterborne

Waterborne paints are another great option for VOC reduction. These use water instead of solvents to carry paint solids to parts, and dry by evaporating the water.  Having water instead of solvents in the mixture results in fewer VOCs.

 

  1. Increase your paint transfer efficiencies. Simply put, this means reducing the amount of paint being used overall. How much material sprays past the part you are painting and gets wasted into your booth?  Transfer efficiencies increase with the use of new technologies. By maximizing transfer efficiency and spraying less paint, you not only save money in material costs, but also save in maintenance costs, time, clean-up, increase filter life, and decrease VOC emissions. Ways to improve transfer efficiency include:
  • using electrostatic (and maintaining conductive path)
  • optimizing spray pressures (and patterns)
  • using plural component mixing systems

 

 

  1. Control the quantity of solvent you use. Accurate mixing and ratio assurance can significantly decrease the amount of solvent used in your finishing process. Ensure that your materials are mixed on-demand at the correct ratio for optimal performance and increased cost savings. Advances in equipment technologies, such as allowing materials to be mixed closer to the gun, warrant that your material is accurately mixed before it is sprayed. Therefore, saving you time, lowering your VOC expenses, and reducing wasted product.

 

  1. Automate your paint line. Automation trends are on the rise, especially in industrial painting. By up to 30% decrease in VOCs can be met through automation, due to the accuracy of robotics. Manufacturers have more control over their finishing processes and can ensure the spray parameters are exactly the same every single time; increasing product quality and consistency while reducing material costs, VOC emissions, and safeguarding worker health.

 

To learn more about reducing VOCs in your paint application process, please get in touch to speak with a Specialist on 01302 856666.

 

Source: “3 Steps to Reduce Your VOCs.” 3 Steps to Reduce VOCs in Paint | Graco. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

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