Clearview National November 2017 - Issue 192 - Page 50

PROUD SPONSOR OF DOORS & WINDOWS DOORS&WINDOWS Choosing the right Water Based Coating System » » IN THE FENESTRATION INDUSTRY the demand for PVCu windows and doors is as high as ever. Matching customer demands for more personal and unique finishes as well as complying with environmental and legislation is a big ask. Since the introduction of the EU Paints Directive back in 2010, an increasing number of water based coating products have appeared online and on the shelves in trade stores across the country. The first question that springs to mind is – Are all water based coatings the same? The answer in short is No. VOC levels have been well documented over the last 10 years and manufacturers are required by law to clearly document and label the VOC content. The scales typically used in the ‘paint’ market start at Minimal VOC content (0-0.29%) up to Very High VOC content (50% or above). All water based products with VOC content manufactured in Europe cannot under current legislation exceed more than 20g of VOC content per litre of the total volume. VOC levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, it is also very important to note that claims of VOC free are incorrect. ‘Paint’ and ‘colour’ is made up of a number of natural and synthetic components, such as minerals, natural oils, pigments and additives. These components all have to undergo some form of cleansing, refinement, processing and treatment in order to make up the product. The production process to do this includes substances that are classed as VOCs, so therefore trace elements can still be found in the finished product, which results that a statement of VOC free cannot be true. Another consideration when looking at water based coating systems is to look for the NMP (N-Methylpyrrolidone) and NEP (N-Ethyl-Pyrrolidone) levels. NMP and NEP are solvents and act as an adhesion promoter for PVCu as it softens the surface when t