Efficient coating production

Traditionally, coating production has always been batch production in which the pigment dispersion takes place. However, new in-line dispersion principles have recently been introduced making it possible to transform from batch to semi-continuous mode. The aim is to convert to full-continuous mode in the future. The dispersion of pigments into the coating binder phase is one of the most critical unit operations in coating production. When pigments are manufactured, the individual particles will be present in porous agglomerates due to physical interactions. During the subsequent coating production, these agglomerates need to be taken apart into smaller units to provide the right properties to the coating. This dispersion process is complex and consists of three separate steps: wetting of pigments, breakage of agglomerates and stabilization of the primary particles. Depending on the type and purpose of the pigment, the dispersion techniques may vary.

The in-line mixers seem so far to be very efficient on many types of pigments; however, more research on the dispersion mechanisms is needed to be able to work on all types of pigment agglomerates. The in-line mixers also make it more feasible to benefit from paint production via intermediate products in modular manufacture.

Disciplines involved in efficient coating production are chemical process technology, chemical unit operations and chemical/physical analytical techniques.