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5 Types of Paint Finish Defects That May Indicate a Paint Temperature Problem

Posted by Mike Bonner

Dec 14, 2017 3:06:00 PM


Paint problems got you down?   From runs, to improper matte/gloss, to orange peel, there are a great variety of issues that can affect your paint.  And with the short lead-times and incredibly high quality your customers demand nowadays, it can be overwhelming and expensive to deal with these issues.  You need your issue fixed as quickly as possible, so you can get back to profitable production.

A paint temperature control system may be the solution you need to consider.  Many common paint finish quality issues can be prevented by implementing an effective paint temperature control system. 


Controlling temperature stabilizes paint viscosity, and stable paint viscosity allows you to more easily maintain other important system parameters like:

  • Equipment calibration.  Stable paint viscosity makes it easier to run machinery continuously within normal tolerances.
  • Paint fluid mixtures. Stable temperature makes it unnecessary to vary paint mixtures.
  • Maintenance.  Stable viscosity and operating parameters help to improve transfer efficiencies and minimize the cleaning and repair required by your equipment.
  • Contamination.  Stable viscosity and operating parameters help to minimize the dirt and other debris that find their way into your processes, helping you to maintain a desirable finish quality.

But is this really necessary for you?  Your finish quality will tell you.  And here’s how...

Common issues resulting from a paint temperature problem

#1 — Runs/drips

Too much paint and/or uneven paint distribution can lead to unsightly runs and drips on your finished parts.  This can often result from viscosity shifts resulting from changes in paint temperature at the point of application.  Fixing runs and drips after the fact involves a high amount of rework, so it’s best to prevent it from happening in the first place.

#2 — Solvent pop

Solvent pop results from solvent trapped under the paint film.  As the film cures on the surface, the escaping solvent breaks the surface.  Fixing this often requires stripping the part and repainting it, otherwise the part must be scrapped.  Managing flash-off and drying times by controlling solvent adds by stabilizing paint temperature is a more effective solution to prevent this issue.

#3 — Poor gloss

If your surface finish appears dull, it’s likely the result of issues with your clearcoat.  Like solvent pop, there isn’t much that can be done to correct this short of stripping and repainting the part, so preventing it is the best remedy.  Many clearcoat issues can be solved by stabilizing viscosity via temperature control.

#4 — Inconsistent color

The primary reason for off-color parts is insufficient film build.  Film build is primarily a function of paint viscosity, which, as we’ve already shown, is directly related to paint temperature. If the temperature changes during application, it can directly affect the film build, and therefore, the color of the paint.

#5 — Orange peel

Orange peel is a very common issue where the surface of the paint finish literally resembles the skin of an orange.  This is usually caused by uneven flow-out and surface disturbance from solvent evaporation during the cure process, but it almost always stems from viscosity issues during application.  Therefore, temperature control provides you with a tool to manage orange peel.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you may want to consider a paint temperature control solution.  Saint Clair Systems offers comprehensive, point-of-application fluid temperature control systems for the painting, coating, printing, and fluid dispensing industries. If you’re interested in getting more information, contact us directly.

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Topics: Viscosity, automotive painting, industrial painting, Paint Temperature Control Series, paint surface finish

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