This has been published as part of Chesterton’s collaboration with the Concrete Institute. Chesterton Asia Pacific is a Silver Member of the Institute, and aids them in their mission to promote and develop excellence in concrete research.
To know more please visit concreteinstitute.com.au.
Since the Industrial Revolution, organisations have been emitting unwanted particles into the atmosphere. In 2021, the results of this are wholly evident, with climate change and air pollution representing some of the greatest government challenges in the history of humankind.
Keeping our air clean from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) relies on a targeted approach from multiple angles. One of these is the use of coatings, such as those to protect concrete applications and those used in air pollution equipment. Yet, these coatings themselves have, historically, contained VOCs. But the pendulum of change is swinging, with the demand for low or zero-VOC coatings increasing exponentially.
A Quick Recap on VOCs
VOCs are defined as “any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.”
Within protective coatings, the most common source of VOCs used in their creation is the thinners and solvents that either makeup part of the coating themselves or are utilised during the application process to reduce viscosity.
Some common VOCs include:
- Ethylene dichloride
The Rise of VOC-free Coatings
As consumer awareness regarding the negative impact of VOCs grows, so too the need for environmentally responsible products. Although most of this lean towards low or zero-VOC products has been within the large-volume architectural paint market, the past few years have seen a demand for the same to be applied to protective coating products.
There are multiple benefits of using low and zero-VOC coatings. These include, naturally, environmental compliance and responsibilities. However, additional performance enhancement is also a practical consequence. This, perhaps surprising, secondary effect is a potent driver of change. After all, what company doesn’t want to laud the fact that they’re taking their environmental duties seriously as well as getting a distinctly improved product?
Removing solvents from the mix reduces shrinkage during drying by up to 20%, allows for a thicker applied film thickness during application and curing, plus less coats are needed. If solvents within a coating mix become trapped within the film, which commonly occurs with poor ventilation or over-zealous application of excessive product, effective curing doesn’t occur. This leads to lowered thermal, mechanical and chemical properties.
Also, removing VOCs totally from coating products means it is safer and easier to apply. The applicator themselves is protected from harmful elements during application and curing stages.
This means that low and zero-VOC coatings offer:
- A lower application and labour cost
- A greater applied film thickness per coat
- Improved performance
- Better edge coverage
- Safer to apply
And, of course, no release of additional VOCs into the environment…
The Chesterton ARC Industrial Coating Range
Chesterton has been trailblazing the creation of low or zero-VOC content coatings. Today, most Chesterton coatings are 100% solids containing no VOCs and no free isocyanates.
- ARC CS4: Easy to apply, it’s the ideal replacement for acid-resistant tiles, chemical-resistant paints and other concrete coatings
- ARC CS2: A great replacement for outlasting tiles, paints and more traditional concrete coatings
- ARC NVE: Simple trowel application and provides quartz reinforced protection against various acids, solvents and alkalis
Discover more about Chesterton ARC products
Our Chesterton ARC range of products are distributed in Australia through Imatech firstname.lastname@example.org