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April 15 - April 19, 2019

Is it sufficient to specify simply that paint should be applied "according to the manufacturer’s instructions?" If not, what kind of detail should be included?

Selected Answers

From Erik Andreassen of CPS on April 26, 2019:
This draws a multitude of answers for everyone in our trade. Having spend a number of years with a leading paint manufacturer, the data sheets provided are a guideline to protect against the misuse of the product supplied. The main problem concerning application is the operator, who can either lose you money or make it. Having conducted training all over Asia for companies claiming to be professional within our industry, I found 9 times out of 10 that the applicator had never seen a data sheet for the material in use. Q/C had never bothered to inform the applicator of such important issues  as tip size, air pressure or mixing ratios. The number of companies that add a percentage of solvent to the coating supplied as a matter of course was frightening. Now we come to another critical area which I'm sure 99% of our people encounter:  specifications written by people who have NO clue regarding the coating range of products out there. Some use a tried and tested system from more than 10 years ago. Why?, because they are not up to date with the newly developed state of the art coatings constantly being released by the manufacturers. Take into account that when things do go wrong and failures occur, the application company will blame the materials used and the coating supplier will in turn blame the application contractor. Yes, it's a wonderful thing to turn to qualified people and ask for advice, but I deal with these qualified people who have never picked up and used any form of spray equipment in their lives. Follow the data provided by the manufacturer. It's always the last part of a procedure. The coating shall be as per the client's specification, and in accordance with the coating supplier's product data sheets. This covers any errors in the clients specification and written procedure. Training is the answer. Why do projects state that all welders  and insulators have to be tested and approved. Why not applicators? Have certification for different products. PFP, glass flakes, epoxies, etc. Then clients can view that the company selected for the project has applicators who are trained and certified to use what has been specified.

From Zenith Czora of Parex Davco on April 23, 2019:
Specifying a coating system that is suitable for the application and its purpose is a complex task. Most often, the manufacturer's instructions are not sufficient and some PDS of coatings lack information.  Limited knowledge and understanding of the technical requirements associated with coating selection and surface preparation will end up costly not only to the owner but to the reputation of the paint contractor and paint manufacturer. A specifier must be well-versed in all specifications and requirements relevant to a coating system. He must also know the limitation of a coating systems to avoid overdoing its purpose. It is best to do an actual evaluation of the substrate to be coated whether its is new or old or painted, the conditions of the existing coating, location assessment, environment condition, function or purpose of the substrate or structure. A coating specifier should consider the most suitable surface preparation, ease of application and the desired aesthetic finish profile. Roll-on type coatings mostly are not suitable for spray application, for its rheology characteristics differ. Thorough assessment and careful considerations of the requirements for areas of use, substrate/surface preparation, right application method and conditions, the right coating system can be selected for successful installation.

From joe Friedt of advpaint on April 22, 2019:
I have one for you to ponder. We had a project the required a 98% solids sprayed at a heavy thickness. The paint manufacturers data sheet says ...At that thickness the coating will sag on vertical surfaces and to back roll as it sets up. The customer who chose the coating rejects the roller stipple. We referred to the data sheet to no avail. Owner wanted a glass finish, and said they got one with another contractor. After many conferences calls to various owners, suppliers and contractors, it was revealed that the other contractor would apply the coating per spec's, let it sag and dry, then grind it down and feather it, then apply a thin coat to get the mils back up without sags or stipple, which was the only way to get it approved. This process resulting in higher prices and losing the next project to us less experienced with the product. Sometimes, more information is needed.

From Michael Halliwell of Thurber Engineering Ltd. on April 15, 2019:
I agree with Warren on this one...keep it simple and default to the folks who should know their product best: the manufacturer. The only time where you might consider other instructions is in unusual circumstances / off-spec applications, but if you're doing that, you're going to be specifying an awful lot of items, not just how to apply the paint and you would need to know 100% what you're doing because you're assuming a far greater portion of the liability on it.

From Warren Brand of Chicago Corrosion Group on April 15, 2019:
As a firm that writes specifications, among other things, for a living, I think you hit the nail on the head. It's sufficient, at least, one would hope. We only write site-specific, application-specific material and application specifications. I can tell you that we use manufacturer-provided specifications as a framework, but then taken into consideration weather, time-frame, logistics, timing and other issues too numerous to list here. And, most importantly, we modify the specifications (with the approval of the manufacturer) to make the specification best for the owner, and not the material supplier. For example, we often require a more severe blast, or deeper profile than required by the manufacturer, to provide a longer service life for the client. Or we will sometimes increase the thickness of the coating for the same reason. We often try to increase the DFT range. Just recently we were working on a failure at a local, very large facility where the topcoat was specified at a DFT of 2 to 2.5 mils. I argued that was physically impossible to achieve in the field. Had we been involve in development of the specification of materials and application protocols, we would have either specified a much wider range (say 3 to 6 mils, if the material allowed it) or used a different material. Our industry wallows in what's suitable or acceptable, when our target needs to be what's optimal. And very, very few vendors are incentivized or know how to provide optimal.

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Tagged categories: Coating Application; Paint application

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