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European regulations have left most solvent-based white gloss paint drying slower, and yellowing faster. But with innovative formulation techniques, Dulux Trade has found a solution that is even better and whiter than before.
A revolution in paint technology is underway. Paint manufacturer Dulux Trade has launched its whitest ever solvent-based gloss paint. Not only is this new product exceptionally white, but the paint's innovative formulation also means that it will stay white for longer. "It's a step change in paint formulation," says Simon Aldersley, technical director at Dulux Trade.
Along with outstanding whiteness, the new paint has the advantage of exceptional application properties, an outstanding gloss finish and good durability against dirt and grease. This means professional decorators and painting contractors can achieve a superb quality, high-gloss finish without compromise.
To understand the significance of this development it is necessary to examine the impact recent legislative changes have had on the painting industry.
Solvent-based white gloss paint is a favourite of painting contractors because of its superior finish. However, in January 2010 European legislation came into effect to restrict the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) contained in paint products, cutting the amount of solvent allowed in standard gloss paint by up to 25%, which made many existing products unusable. "If you'd taken a quarter of the solvent from a pre-2010 gloss paint, you'd have a solid brick of paint," Aldersley explains.
So paint manufacturers set about developing new versions of their gloss paints. White gloss paint is formulated from four primary constituents: a binder, which acts like the glue to hold the paint onto a surface; a solvent, which turns the paint into a liquid for application; titanium dioxide, to give the paint its white colour; and a chemical drier to make the binder turn from liquid to solid once the solvent has evaporated. "Manufacturers now had to formulate their paints differently," says Aldersley.
By the start of 2010, most paint manufacturers had launched new formulations of their solvent-based white gloss paints. While these complied with the VOC regulations, many of the new formulations created additional challenges for painting contractors. First, the solvent-reduced paint generally had to be applied in thicker coats, so took much longer to dry. Second, a problematic side-effect of the new formulations meant the gloss white tended to yellow a lot quicker than white paints in the past.
The dilemma for paint manufacturers was that to reformulate the paint to make it dry faster would have required more of the chemical that turned white paint yellow. Conversely, to produce paint with slower yellowing properties would have been meant a product that took even longer to dry.
Dulux Trade invested heavily in finding a solution to the conundrum. The challenge was to find a way to break the link between drying time and paint yellowing. "It was a two-pronged approach: we set out to make the paint as white as we could and then ensure it remained white for as long as possible," explains Aldersley. Accordingly, Dulux Trade drew on its in-house expertise in driers and binders, on the resources of its parent company Akzo Nobel, and the expertise of Dulux Trade's component suppliers to develop a cutting-edge solution.
The investment paid off. "We found a clever way to break the cycle between drying and yellowing," says Aldersley. Understandably, for commercial reasons, he will not be drawn on what precisely the changes are. However, he says as a result of Dulux Trade's work the new solvent-based white gloss paint is now whiter than the best white gloss paint Dulux Trade was selling before the impact of VOC legislation. "We succeeded in developing paint with a fast drying time, which also stays whiter compared with previous versions," Aldersley says.
Dulux Trade also developed a new undercoat to accompany its gloss white range. The role of an undercoat is to adhere to a variety of different materials and provide the best possible surface for the gloss top coat. "It's the underwear for the gloss trousers," Aldersley jokes.
Dulux Trade made significant changes to the undercoat, which gave it a flatter finish and also improved its drying time. It was also designed with strong hiding powers so the top coat can perform to the best of its ability.
The new white gloss paint and undercoat were launched by Dulux Trade under its New Work Gloss and Undercoat range of paints. The New Work range is designed to provide paint with high opacity, good edge covering and quick drying times.
The company knew it had hit on a winning formulation from the outset. "We asked some of our customers to tell us what they thought of it," says Aldersley, "The answer that kept coming back was when can we have some more?'".
This result of this innovative approach to paint technology is that Dulux Trade's solvent-based gloss paint is now better than ever. Following its success on the New Work range of products, Dulux Trade is now incorporating this formulation into its High Gloss White and Pure Brilliant White ranges. Good news for painting contractors, who will no longer have to compromise.
"Dulux Trade has introduced its improved High Gloss and Undercoat at exactly the right time. Yellowing has been a big challenge for my company since the new VOC legislation. If the paint discolours, it reflects badly on my team and can make even the best decorators look like they can't do their job properly. We've been desperately looking for a viable solution so that we don't have to compromise on the standard of our work.
"We trialled the new High Gloss and Undercoat from Dulux Trade on a new-build project in Stevenage and the feedback I've received from my team has been first-rate. The modified formula is noticeably of higher quality. As well as fl owing well and being easy to apply, the finish is considerably whiter and shinier. We now use the new Dulux Trade High Gloss and Undercoat as the benchmark to measure all other alternatives against." Paul Edwards, director, Paul & Olley Painting Contractors
*Verditer is a carbonate of copper, used as a blue or green pigment.
Note : Whilst leading-edge technology has been used in the development of this product, the nature of solvent-based paints means that they will all discolour over time. The rate of discolouration is faster in areas with no natural or UV light. For long-lasting whiteness, we recommend the use of a water-based formulation such as Dulux Trade Ecosure Water-Based Gloss.
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