How To Get Smooth Liquid Coatings
Q. What could be the reasons I cannot seem to get my coating smooth enough for my application?
A. First, let’s quantify smoothness. The term “orange peel” is typically used to describe the smoothness of a coating but it does not quantify an expectation. ACT markets smoothness standards, and if smoothness is important to your application, your first step is to purchase these or something else to agreed acceptable level of smoothness for your application. After you have done this and created a specification of smoothness, if you continue to fall outside the acceptable level of smoothness, consider these two options;
- Make sure the formulation of the coating is designed to meet your expectations of smoothness. All coatings will “flow out” once applied, and in some cases, there is a limit to how much they will flow. This limitation can be by design for better film build or improved edge coverage, but you must first come to an agreement with your supplier that the coating being used is designed to meet the smoothness you have specified.
- In order to achieve the optimal smoothness with any given coating, you must use application equipment that will give you a finely atomized spray pattern. Being able to finely atomize the spray pattern will enhance your ability to apply a smooth film. There are many different applicators in the market, but start a discussion with your provider about how to make sure you are using the device that is best suited for smoothness.
Originally published in the January 2017 issue.
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