Industrial plants and facilities have been instrumental in propelling the modernization of human society. From that pen you use to sign your cheques to the knife you use to cut fruits for breakfast – almost every object of daily use has been manufactured at a production unit.
However, despite the numerous benefits of industries, they’ve been responsible for a wide array of environmental issues, including greenhouse gas emission, global warming, and air pollution. Also, improper waste management at manufacturing plants has adversely affected biodiversity in various regions.
The good news is that today’s industrial units are becoming more aware of their environmental impact and taking various steps to reduce their carbon footprint. This change has been propelled by increasing consumer demand for sustainable business practices, as well as federal and state regulations.
But while you’re striving to reduce energy consumption and waste generation at your plant, you’re likely ignoring the crucial aspect of industrial paint. That’s right! The paint that’s used for industrial plants, machinery, and tools is a key contributor to environmental degradation.
This, in turn, has compelled manufacturers and plant managers to look for eco-friendly industrial paint options from established distributors, such as Promain Paints. But if you’re new to the world of eco-friendly industrial paint, you might be skeptical about making the switch.
Is eco-friendly industrial paint worth the cost? Is it going to have the same characteristics as traditional industrial coatings? Is it mandatory for industrial units to use eco-friendly coatings?
If you’re looking for answers to these questions, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the concept of industrial paints and understand their environmental impact. We’ll also explore the benefits of replacing traditional industrial paint with eco-friendly alternatives. Let’s get started.
Industrial Paint: A Closer Look
Industrial paint or industrial coating is specifically formulated for machinery, equipment, structural facilities, and end products at manufacturing plants and other industrial units. It’s also used to coat floors and other surfaces that endure the stress of heavy machinery.
Industrial paint can be in the form of a liquid, powder, or paste. When exposed to natural air, the paint gets cured and dried, thus forming a protective layer over the surface on which it’s been applied.
The primary purpose of industrial coating is to protect equipment, goods, and other substrates from physical and chemical damage. Depending on its chemical composition, the paint can also prevent the accumulation of dirt and grime. It even goes a long way to improve safety by making surfaces, such as floors, less slippery.
Typically, industrial paint comprises the following components:
Pigments are the chemicals or dyes that give the paint its color. Commonly used pigments include titanium oxide, iron oxide, and phthalocyanine derivatives. Binders are polymers, such as alkyd and acrylic resins, that allow the paint to adhere to the substrate and form a protective film on drying.
A solvent is a liquid that’s added to the paint to reduce its viscosity and improve its consistency so that it can be sprayed or applied with a brush. Typical solvents used in industrial paint include aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, ethers, alcohols, ketones, etc.
Additives are special chemicals that give specific characteristics to the paint. Common examples of industrial paint additives include wetting agents, drying agents, fungicides, biocides, and plasticizers.
Effect of Industrial Coating on the Environment
The solvents used in industrial paint contain toxic chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have low boiling points and react with other gases present in the air when exposed to sunlight. They’re also responsible for giving paint its characteristic smell.
Short-term inhalation of VOCs can cause a wide array of health problems, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, and skin rashes. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to serious diseases, including cancer and liver ailments, as well as damage the central nervous system.
However, the impact of VOCs isn’t restricted to health-related disorders. They also adversely affect the environment and cause air pollution. It’s because these chemicals react with nitrogen oxides present in the environment in the presence of sunlight. This, in turn, results in the formation of tropospheric or ground-level ozone.
Ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant that creates smog and damages plants. It could affect the natural habitat of various animals and, in turn, destroy biodiversity. Also, it acts as a greenhouse gas, thereby contributing to global warming. That’s why increased use of conventional industrial paint is proving to be catastrophic for the environment.
The Search for Eco-Friendly Options
The harmful effects of industrial coating have forced manufacturers to look for environmentally-friendly alternatives. Eco-friendly industrial paint usually contains special solvents that emit negligible or very low amounts of VOCs into the air.
The biggest benefit of using eco-friendly paint is that it helps you comply with the environmental regulations in your area. The Environmental Protection Agency has outlined specific limits for VOC emissions in different regions. Non-compliance with these regulations could result in legal ramifications.
Also, many eco-friendly paints are formulated to be more durable. Some of them are even made using bio-renewable or post-consumer waste raw materials. This further reduces the environmental impact of your unit and takes you a step closer to creating sustainable business operations.
What other steps are you taking to minimize the environmental impact of your business? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.