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4 innovations in paint technology for 2022

As technology and testing continues to advance, we’re seeing some real movers and shakers when it comes to paint and ink trends. We gathered together information from our specialists from around the world to see which big innovations are making a difference in the everyday processes of manufacturers, production lines, and laboratories across the globe. Ready to see what’s driving change? Dive on in.

1. Sustainability

Sustainability remains a core concern for businesses and industries of all shapes and sizes and it is inspiring change in the world of paint technology too. In our 2022 Global Outlook of Sustainable Packaging, we spoke to more than 250 decision makers in sustainable packaging and material manufacturing and discovered that there were a few areas that were showing particular growth – reflective coatings and water-based paints.

Reflective coatings

The innovation in reflective coatings is largely being driven by research from Japan, where developers are working on solar reflective paints suitable for buildings and exteriors. While there is a long tradition of painting buildings in white or light colors to reflect heat and ensure less energy is needed to cool interiors, this method reflects UV light as well as visible light. Ideally, paint could absorb UV light and visible light while reflecting more on the infra-red spectrum.

Two current strands of experimentation include radiating samples with a standard illuminant and looking at the heat build-up behind those coatings, and the production of polymers that can actively cool paint down. Both have huge potential for paints and coatings for buildings and also in huge range of other applications.

Water based paints

Water based paints have become a popular choice for those hoping to reduce their environmental impact, thanks to their lower toxicity levels. There has been a gradual move away from solvent-based paints for a number of years, for sustainability reasons and health ones too. Legislation and consumer desire have both been driving investment in water-based alternatives.

The big challenge for the industry is creating water-based paints that are as safe as possible while also remaining durable and fit for purpose – and thorough testing is a huge part of that R&D process, viscosity testing in particular. Interested in working out if it’s time for you to make a change? Have a read of our guide to switching to water-based paints for manufacturers.

2. Functional coatings in automotive industry

Another big change is the amount of development that’s been going on with functional coatings, especially in the automotive industry. It’s natural to assume that the greatest focus when it comes to automotives and coatings is the exterior, but the area that’s really been excelling recently is the work on interior coatings – from stain-resistant seats to efficient door seals. All of the current areas of research and improvement must meet the high standards of the automotive industry and is set to make waves in the world of inks and coatings.

3. Automation of application and production

The growing number of processes that can now be automated is accelerating all sorts of areas in the paint industry, from manufacturing to testing. When processes can be automated and take place without human intervention, the tests become more reliable.

Take something like the TQC Sheen Automated Film Applicator, an advanced piece of kit for testing application and drying time. It allows the user to set applicators to their desired level and then leave the machine to carry them out with a consistent and stable approach. The machine can truly determine a constant speed, downforce, and substrate while taking out the risk of human error – making a huge difference to your results and, ultimately, your bottom line.

It’s not only testing machines themselves that are becoming more automated, the same can be said for accessories and components, leaving you with more time for the most important part of the process – analyzing your results.

4. Improved testing capabilities

Of course, the constant improvement of testing capabilities is having a massive impact when it comes to innovations in the paint world.  The best way to meet today’s strict health and safety standards and consumer demand for quality, long-lasting products, is to employ the latest and most up to date inks and coatings testing solutions. Building on a firm foundation of testing expertise gathered over almost 100 years, we’re the ideal people to guide you in choosing right tools for the job.

Embrace innovations in paint with Industrial Physics

Across our numerous brands, including TQC Sheen and C&W Testing Equipment, we can help you make great strides in your testing processes, whether you’re still at the R&D stage or you have a new product that you’re hoping to add to an existing line. We’re always happy to offer advice as well as ongoing support and training – choose us to help you set up the best test and inspect solution for your space. Just get in touch.