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The Manufacturing Process of Paints

how to produce paints

Paint is a fluid or semi-fluid material which may be applied to surfaces in relatively thin layers, and which changes to a solid coating with time. The change to a solid material may or may not be reversible, and may occur by evaporation of the solvent, by chemical reaction, or by a combination of the two.

Paints usually consist of a vehicle or binder, a pigment which contributes obscurities color, hardness, and bulk to the film, and a solvent or thinner which controls the consistency of the paint.

In this post, we will have a general overview of how paint is made, review the chemistry of paint and the different steps involved. Learning this is important for you to be able to formulate your paint formula.

There are different stages in the industrial manufacture of paints. Let's discuss the steps one after the other below.

Making the paste

Pigment manufacturers send bags of fine grain pigments to paint plants. There, the pigment is premixed with resin (a wetting agent that assists in moistening the pigment), one or more solvents, and additives to form a paste.

Dispersing the pigment

The paste mixture for most industrial and some consumer paints is now routed into a sand mill, a large cylinder that agitates tiny particles of sand or silica to grind the pigment particles, making them smaller and dispersing them throughout the mixture. The mixture is then filtered to remove the sand particles.

Instead of being processed in sand mills, up to 90 percent of the water-based latex paints designed for use by individual homeowners are instead processed in a high-speed dispersion tank. There, the premixed paste is subjected to high-speed agitation by a circular, toothed blade attached to a rotating shaft. This process blends the pigment into the solvent.

Thinning the paste

Whether created by a sand mill or a dispersion tank, the paste must now be thinned to produce the final product. Transferred to large kettles, it is agitated with the proper amount of solvent for the type of paint desired.

Canning the paint

The finished paint product is then pumped into the canning room. For the standard 8 pints (3.78 liters) paint containers available to consumers, empty cans are first rolled horizontally onto labels, then set upright so that the paint can be pumped into them. A machine places lids onto the filled cans, and a second machine presses on the lids to seal them. From wire that is fed into it from coils, a bailometer cuts and shapes the handles before hooking them into holes precut in the cans. A certain number of cans (usually four) are then boxed and stacked before being sent to the warehouse.

Quality Control

Paint manufacturers utilize an extensive array of quality control measures. The ingredients and the manufacturing process undergo stringent tests, and the finished product is checked to ensure that it is of high quality. A finished paint is inspected for its density, fineness of grind, dispersion, and viscosity. Paint is then applied to a surface and studied for bleed resistance, rate of drying, and texture.

In terms of the paint's aesthetic components, color is checked by an experienced observer and by spectral analysis to see if it matches a standard desired color. The resistance of the color to fading caused by the elements is determined by exposing a portion of a painted surface to an arc light and comparing the amount of fading to a painted surface that was not so exposed. The paint's hiding power is measured by painting it over a black surface and a white surface. The ratio of coverage on the black surface to coverage on the white surface is then determined, with .98 being high-quality paint. Gloss is measured by determining the amount of reflected light given off a painted surface.

Tests to measure the paint's more functional qualities include one for mar resistance, which entails scratching or abrading a dried coat of paint. Adhesion is tested by making a crosshatch, calibrated to .07 inch (2 millimeters), on a dried paint surface. A piece of tape is applied to the crosshatch, then pulled off; good paint will remain on the surface.

Scrubbability is tested by a machine that rubs a soapy brush over the paint's surface. A system also exists to rate settling. An excellent paint can sit for six months with no settling and rate a ten. Poor paint, however, will settle into an immiscible lump of pigment on the bottom of the can and rate a zero. Weathering is tested by exposing the paint to outdoor conditions. Artificial weathering exposes a painted surface to the sun, water, extreme temperature, humidity, or sulfuric gases.

Fire retardancy is checked by burning the paint and determining its weight loss. If the amount lost is more than 10 percent, the paint is not considered fire-resistant.

Get the Detailed Step by Step Guides on Paint Production
Our paint production manual is a detailed step by step guide that will teach you how to make paints. The manual is written in a simplified form in a way that anybody that can read can follow and be able to make paints.

The manual contains different formulation for Water-based (emulsion) and Oil-based (gloss) paint. Particularly, you will learn how to make the following types of paints:

For water based paints, you will learn

  • Textured Paint
  • Flextured Paint
  • Satin or Nylon Paint
  • POP Paint
  • Matt Eggshell
  • Flex Coat Paint
  • Textured Matt Paint
  • Marble Trowel Paint
  • Marble Effect Paint
  • Base Coat Paint
  • Graffitex Paint

And oil-based paint such as:

  • Gloss paint
  • Varnish
  • Undercoat
  • Anti-rust

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