Not sure where to get started with 100% solids epoxies? Use the table of content below to learn more about your specific questions:
Table of Contents
What Are 100% Solids Epoxy Coatings?
An epoxy coating is a type of coating composed of an epoxy resin and a hardener, or catalyst. Epoxy coatings get poured in liquid form. When their components mix together, the mixture begins to cure.
Not all epoxy coatings are created equal. Some, known as “high solids coating,” contain a higher percentage of solvents that won’t evaporate. 100% solids epoxy coatings don’t contain solvents that could evaporate while curing. Their wet film thickness (WFT) is identical to their dry film thickness (DFT), the liquid in the paint can will be identical to the paint that dries whatever you’re painting.
Advantages of 100% Solids Epoxy Coatings
Advantages of 100% solids epoxy and other types of high solids coating include:
- Limited environmental impact. When solvents evaporate in coatings, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) get released. That can contribute to air pollution, but it’s less of a problem with low VOC paint and low VOC epoxy.
- Fewer coats needed. The DFT of low VOC paint and low VOC epoxy is the same as or close to these coatings’ WFT. You’ll need fewer coats to get the same results you would from a high VOC coating – a big time-saver for your project.
- Quicker drying times. Though exact drying times vary, some 100% solids epoxy coatings can dry in hours instead of days. Your equipment will be back online in no time!
Disadvantages of 100% Solids Epoxy Coatings
There are a few other factors you’ll need to consider before choosing low VOC paint or low VOC epoxy. These coatings can come with:
- Potential added expenses. Applying fewer coats can have financial benefits. Still, the higher cost of a high solids coating might not outweigh the reduction in coats.
- More difficult clean-up. In the event of overspray, low VOC epoxy and/or low VOC paint can be harder to clean.
- Higher sensitivity to temperature changes. Environments where temperatures fluctuate could cause problems for these coatings.
If the issues aren’t listed above aren’t deal-breakers, 100% solids epoxy could be perfect for you. This coating is a great choice for indoor environments and time-sensitive situations.
EPA VOC Regulations Explained (How They Relate to High Solids Epoxy Coatings)
100% solids epoxy and other formulations have emerged due to the EPA’s rules on volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
In 1998, the United States EPA published its rules on VOCs in “architectural coatings.” Coating manufacturers and importers must follow VOC limits and label requirements. As an example of these regulations, flat paints must not contain more than 250 grams of VOCs per liter.
The EPA uses many strategies to ensure that businesses observe these standards. These include:
- Regular facility inspections from a qualified coatings inspector
- Reviews of coating products and labels
- Analysis of facility reports
If it discovers a violation, the EPA can pursue financial penalties of up to $27,500 per person per day. Penalties will vary based on the number of violations, how severe they are, and other factors. The EPA encourages self-disclosure of violations through penalty waivers and reductions.
To learn more, refer to Section 5.0 in the Small Entity Compliance Guide for the EPA’s VOC standards.
VOC Regulations by Industry
Specific regulations on VOC emissions exist in various industries, such as:
- The automotive industry. Regulations for this industry, focusing on automobile refinish coatings, were intended to cut back on VOC emissions by 31,900 tons per year. That’s a reduction of 33% compared to baseline estimates from 1995.
- The aerospace industry. Regulatory changes in this industry targeted over half a dozen Hazardous Air Pollutants. Emissions of these pollutants were reduced by about 112,600 Mg from almost 3,000 facilities. Emissions of these pollutants from nearly 3,000 facilities were reduced by an estimated 112,600 Mg.
- The appliance/equipment manufacturing industry. Hazardous Air Pollutant emissions were also regulated in this industry.
- The boat manufacturing industry. The EPA’s wide-ranging boat manufacturing industry regulations looked at many sources of emissions. These include everything from fiberglass resin to carpet adhesives.
Like any governmental regulations, these standards can be confusing. You’ll want to talk to an industrial coating professional to make sure you aren’t at risk of violating them.