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By Dan Hounsell, Editor
Paints & Coatings Article Use Policy
Manufacturers of paints and coatings are responding to these changes by reformulating existing products and rolling out new products that meet these demands, as well as users' demands for performance. Perhaps most importantly, new-generation paints are likely to perform better.
"One of the biggest impacts for maintenance departments will be in the application of some of these new higher-solid, lower-VOC products," says Dan Corum with PPG. "Without the addition of some solvents, application characteristics are going to be different. Performance has in most cases been improved."
To achieve performance goals, however, managers will need to do their research.
"Some of the products might go away," Glowacki says. "They'll change the formulation of the paint. It certainly will affect applications. For example, where an oil-based product might be used for certain specialty maintenance jobs, instead of using an oil-based product, now there are 100 percent acrylic systems that dry faster."
But along with the new demands will come new opportunities.
"Managers have the ability to specify more of the right product for the job," Revnew says. "For example, if you're looking for a highly durable coating for interior walls, you could use products designed for high-traffic areas. You even have the opportunity now to specify for certain coatings for deep, dark vivid colors that traditionally did not provide durability. If you rubbed against them, they would chalk out. Now, there are higher-performance coatings that provide those levels of performance.
"There are also a lot of specialty primers that are designed for specific applications, whether that's adhesion to plastic or metal, or rust-preventive coatings. There's a whole category of specialty primers that (managers) should get to understand."
Manufacturers can provide details on new products and their requirements and ideal applications, but the onus remains on managers to understand their new and evolving product and project options.
"Build a portfolio of specifications, and maintain the library," O'Reilly says. "Periodically, challenge the specifications by requesting another opinion. Understand why the specifications are written the way they are, and you will understand when someone is cutting corners to bring you a lower price. Don't fall prey to either tradition or oversimplification. You need to understand what's behind the spec's yourself." Corum also advises managers to remain focused on life-cycle costs.
"Focus on price per gallon, as compared to the cost per square foot based on volume solids of the product," he says. "Higher volume solids will result in more square footage and when cost is factored in, this may actually save them money on a cost per square foot basis, even if the price per gallon is higher."
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