We are installing new mixing room systems that will be handling waterborne basecoats and solvent-borne primers and clearcoats. The contractor has submitted a proposal to build the systems in a modular style that would allow them to bring the systems in preassembled, reducing the installation cost. For cost purposes, they have proposed to use a galvanized sheet metal as the platform decking material as opposed to stainless steel. Can you think of any concerns with the galvanized coating and interactions with the reducing solvents (butyl acetate, carbitol acetate, etc.)? We have experience with galvanized metal and acid solutions but not with organics. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You. M.D.
Chemically speaking, I can think of no reason for not using galvanized steel for platform decking in a paint mixing room. Certainly, the aforementioned paint solvents will not react with the galvanized steel. However, that should not be your only concern. Unless you want to add excitement to your life, you should seek the approval of fire underwriters and other safety-related agencies before installing galvanized steel platforms and decking in your new mixing room systems. It's easier to deal with the lawyers now rather than later.