When you think of painting, most often, the first thing that comes to mind is a trip to your local hardware store, color samples, and cans of paint in your home. This is normal, and the most often performed use of paint. However, when considering industrial painting, the process isn't quite the same. When considering industrial paint, there are many things that the plant or facility manager needs to consider. Additionally, there are different paint formulas that will service different industries. So when selecting an industrial painter, it is necessary to make sure that he/she has the background and experience to make sure that he/she is selecting the preferred paint for your equipment.
If you have metal piping or tanks that need paint, then the painter has to keep in mind the chemical properties of the paint, to ensure that they won't react maliciously with the chemical properties of the metal. Additionally, there are performance properties that the painter must be cautious of: the durability of the paint, how flammable is the paint, and how well it will perform under high pressure.
But before any painting can begin, the industrial painter must take the necessary steps in cleaning the "substrate." The substrate is the surface that will be coated with the industrial paint. According to The North Carolina Division of Pollutant Protection, 80% of industrial paint application problems are a result of improper substrate cleansing. It may be difficult to fathom that a simple substrate issue could cause so many problems for industrial painters. But really, any leftover residue, dirt, or debris will have a negative or even disastrous effect on the paint's ability to bond with the substrate. And when painting's purpose is to coat and protect the equipment that it is covering, then this can leave a sour taste for the manufacturer.
When dealing with substrates, or surfaces, it is often the painter's responsibility to clean up old coats of paint that is beginning to fade or strip away. This can be problematic as not all of the old paint is ready to come off the industrial equipment. However, it needs to be removed, so that the industrial paint can have a secure bond with the equipment it is coating. Paint thinning is a common trade for industrial painters. But there isn't a universal paint thinner, as paints come with different purposes and chemical solutions. An industrial painter will need to be aware if the paint is an oil or alkyd based paint. If this is the case, a mineral spirit is often enough to break down the paint, allowing the industrial painter to properly cleanse the substrate.
After the substrate has been properly cleansed, it is now time for the application. Industrial painters use industrial paint sprayers. paint sprayers are the ideal method for applying industrial paint to industrial equipment. The industrial sprayers make a clean and seamless coat that typically only requires one application. The sprayer is very efficient, allowing the industrial painter to cover a large area in a short amount of time. Industrial paint isn't immune to modern technology, as paint sprayers are continuously evolving with better application sprayers, that can adjust in the rate of spray, the PSI, and the type and viscosity of paint used in the spray.
This is a brief over view of the benefits and thought process of an industrial painter. It's not as simple as heading to a hardware store for a brush and a can of paint. There are many options to consider, and it's a job that requires a lot of experience in order for the industrial paint application to be done correctly.