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Accelerating Water Borne Coatings Dry Time

Waterborne Paints have become increasingly prevalent in all industries from industrial to automotive applications as they help reduce environmental impact of painting processes. Waterborne paints have a variety of unique things to consider when they are being sprayed. This article will focus on cure time or dry time of waterborne paints and how you can improve their dry time.

Why Cure/Dry time Matters

The Cure time of your waterborne paint can be critical depending on the volume of work you need to accommodate. If you are an auto body shop repairing significant volumes of cars each day or if you are a manufacturer who will need to produce multiple products at a given time, your cure time will matter. After all with a waterborne coating it can often take 4- 8 hours for curing unless solutions are chosen that will help disrupt the air pocket surrounding the product.

Why a Heated Paint Booth Alone Will Not Be Sufficient

In a standard paint booth air moves across the surface of the product. The problem is that a pocket of air can form around the product and within the pocket moisture can become trapped. The trapped moisture will further slowdown the dry time of the product as it will reduce the speed which water evaporates from the coating. Heat helps slightly in waterborne curing but primarily helps to provide a consistent controlled atmosphere to reduce issues during application of the coating. To accelerate the cure time we have to improve the ability of the water to be wicked away from the products surface, which will require the pocket of air surrounding the product to be disrupted. To disrupt the pocket of air requires air that flows against the natural flow of exhaust air in the paint booth. One option to achieve breakup of the pocket of air is the Advanced Cure system that is offered by Global Finishing Solutions.

What about other options?

If you want additional ideas to consider you still have an option to help accelerate the dry time of your waterborne coatings. Infrared curing utilizes infrared waves to elevate the temperature of the coating which can create rapid curing of most waterbornes (though some waterborne will not tolerate the rapid temperature rise that infrared curing will create).  The rapid curing is mostly due to the elevated temperature through the entire thickness of the coating and the increased speed of temperature elevation.  This can help reduce curing time of waterbornes as well.   To better understand some of the limitations and challenges of infrared you can read this overview of infrared and convention ovens.

Ultimately the curing time of your coating can be critical if you are trying to avoid bottlenecks in your paint process whether it be in an automotive shop or an industrial plant.  If you are using waterborne coatings you will need to consider how to properly disrupt the air flow to achieve faster curing or consider technology like infrared to help improve the cure time.

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