Coating tips for the colder seasons
The cold of winter presents a number of challenges to coating professionals. The lower temperatures in the workshop are tough and not just on the human body. They also make the coating process more difficult. Clearcoats and hardeners can become thicker at lower temperatures. This is a problem when blending and handling these products. Get optimum results despite the temperature with these tips from Harald Klöckner, Standox Training and Technical Service Leader EMEA.
Comply with handling and storage temperatures
Temperature plays a crucial role in many chemical processes and the same goes for coating. Modern coatings should be between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius when being sprayed. At these temperatures, you ensure an optimum reaction between the clearcoat and hardener. Ambient temperatures must also be observed when storing coatings. The optimum storage temperature is between 15 and 20 degrees. Harald Klöckner’s advice? “Never store coatings in frosty conditions.”
Do not dilute cold coatings further
Low temperatures cause coatings to become thicker, as well as increasing their viscosity. If a coating product already seems much thicker when blending, it must not simply be diluted down. This can cause coating issues, such as the orange peel effect. If that happens, trying to save the work by painting over it will not help. Overcoating can cause bubbles and paint runs. The best solution by far is to place the clearcoat and hardener in the still-warm spray booth the night before they are to be used. “Then, the next day you can soon get going with products that are at the perfect temperature,” advises Klöckner.
Place cars in a warm place too
The subject of heat affects not only coating components – the car bodywork must also be warm enough. Otherwise, a fine layer of condensation will build up on its surface as it heats up. This can lead to problems during the process of surface wetting and bonding of the fresh paint, as well as long-term damage like blistering. It is virtually impossible to achieve a perfect result in these conditions. A tip from the expert: “If possible, park the vehicle in the heated workshop for a while before you intend to coat it.”
Carefully prepare surfaces
Even road salt can cause troublesome coating problems like blistering caused by osmosis, which then require costly reworking. This can be avoided simply by taking particular care when cleaning the bodywork components. The efforts certainly pay off, as Harald Klöckner explains. “The time spent on this preparation will pay off later in the high quality and durability of the coating. Incidentally, these salts can only be dissolved using water, so use a water-based silicone remover.”