We’re occasionally asked about solvent free paints here at D&D Coatings. Solvent-free refers to a substance that contains little or no solvent. Solvent-free or water based paint is also considered to be kinder to the environment. Solvent-free paints are used to protect against corrosion, just like solvent based paints.
Solvent free paint is eco-friendly. Our industry use it to reduce corrosion while being kinder to the environment. Solvent free paints have advantages over solvent based paints. Advantages such as reduced health risks and safety requirements. We use solvent-free epoxy coatings on many projects.
What’s the difference between solvent and water based paints?
Water-based solvent free paints are not as glossy but will retain their shine they for their full lifespan. Solvent-based paint has a higher gloss level. However it will dull down over time. Generally solvent-based paints are tougher than water-based paints. This makes them easier to clean. They do become brittle over time and are more prone to flaking.
Solvent free paint has much lower odour levels. Equipment use in the application of solvent free paints is easier to clean. Solvent based paints have high VOC levels. These can be harmful to human health and the environment.
Are solvent free paints reliable?
The short answer is yes! Lets explain why. Over time solvent free paint has better mould resistance. As mentioned earlier it keeps it shine. Unlike solvent-based paints which will dull, fade and flake over the same time period. If colour retention is important to you then we recommend water based solvent free coatings.
Solvent free paint also makes a good primer. It bonds better to the substrate and handles movement unlike solvent based coatings. We spray apply coatings to cladding and find water based paints are better suited to this type of application. There is usually no need for any additives. Drying times are always much shorter which enables us to work faster and more efficiently.
Solvent-free epoxy coatings
Epoxy coatings that are labelled ‘solvent-free’ should indeed contain no solvents. However some do contain benzyl alcohol to lower viscosity during spray application of coatings. The main advantages of solvent-free epoxy coatings have been very little or no VOC emissions. In recent years solvent-free epoxy coatings have been moving toward benzyl alcohol-free formulations.
Solvent-free epoxy resins are popular floor coatings. They produce a high-gloss finish and prevent static build-up, which is ideal for environments housing sensitive electronic equipment. Schools, food production, medical, retail and medical facilities all benefit from the low-odour emissions from solvent-free paints.