Infrared ovens force-cure industrial coatings

June 22, 2014

Categories: Coating Solutions, Infrared cure, News, Paint Problem

I’ve previously commented that uncured paint often delays shipments or results in complaints when customers unpack their products and discover damage. Fortunately, infrared ovens can force-cure coatings and eliminate these delays and complaints.

Predicting delays or complaints can be as difficult as predicting the weather, which in fact has a lot to do with the problem.  One day the paint is dry and hard. The next day it remains soft and sticky.

To understand the problem, it is helpful to make the distinction between “drying” and “curing” of a coating.  A coating is dry when the carrier (water or a solvent) evaporates and leaves the paint.  At that point, the paint is dry-to-touch and can be handled. Curing is more complicated and occurs when the resin in the coating forms a solid film. The curing process generally takes longer than the drying process and is very dependent on temperature.

Most coating performance properties require that the coating be cured, not simply dry. For example, film hardness, blocking resistance (surface defects from early coating contact with another surface), chemical, moisture, and abrasion resistance are achieved only when the coating is fully cured.

Understanding the distinction between drying and curing helps explain why complaints are more common in cool weather. The coating may feel dry-to-touch, but it is not fully cured and hard. Surface defects occur when the parts stick together or are prematurely damaged by contact with packaging materials.

The classic answer to this problem is to switch to a coating that requires baking the coating in an oven to “cure” it. Bake coatings can be liquid or powder, and will form a film only when exposed to high temperatures, usually 300° – 450°F.

Portable Infrared Oven

 A less expensive option is to add a heat source to force-cure a coating that would otherwise dry and cure by itself if given sufficient time.

This can be done efficiently by adding infrared (IR) heaters in the process line to force-cure the coatings to allow for fast and problem free shipments.

Infrared offers many advantages over convection ovens:

  • Increased line speed through-put
  • Lower utility costs – energy savings
  • Shorter overall cure time
  • Shorter conveyor length requires less floor space and investment
  • Less work in process
  • Infrared modules can be portable and adjustable
  • Lower carbon emissions
  • Less air movement and therefore less dust in the air
  • IR introduces less heat into the work environment.

Paint manufacturers, like Carbit Paint Co. in Chicago, have programmable IR lab and conventional baking ovens that can help determine whether a conventional baking system or force cure systems with infrared will best prevent delays in shipments or complaints due to under- cured coatings.

By: Bob Lyons –  Business Development

Download printable version:  IR FORCE CURE_News


October 01, 2018

Categories: Coating Solutions, Corrosion control, News, rust inhibitor, rust prevention


Rust Inhibitors protect parts in storage or transit. Iron rusts quickly when exposed to air and humidity but it can be prevented.

Benefits of rust inhibitors:

  • Container-ship_81414991-copyReduce parts inventory.
  • Maintain dry, clean parts ready for assembly.
  • Reduce complaints and charges-back due to rust stained parts and equipment


Wax compounds – Cosmoline is one of the oldest rust inhibitors. It is a greasy, waxy substance that was used extensively to preserve post war military equipment, and is still used to prevent automotive disc brake rotors from rusting. Over time, Cosmoline becomes hard and must be removed by heat or solvent cleaning. Today it is not widely used to protect components waiting processing.

Solvent based oils and lubricants are used to prevent parts from rusting. They are generally inexpensive and work for interior storage. Different types are used with varying results. While inexpensive, they can contaminate other surfaces and usually require removal before the part can be used.

Water based rust inhibitors provide an environmentally sound alternative to petroleum based products. They leave a nearly invisible, dry, non-oily film that prevents parts from rusting for up to two years in interior storage, and they usually do not have to be removed before processing or painting. Testing is required to ensure compatibility with fabrication and painting.

Vapor phase corrosion inhibitors are solid materials that emit molecules that prevent parts from rusting. The part is sealed in a plastic bag to contain and surround the part with the corrosion inhibitive vapor. The corrosion inhibitor is either part of the plastic used to make the bag, or it is held in a small container placed within the plastic bag. In either case, the vapor is emitted to the prevent parts from rusting.

Peel-off corrosion inhibitive coatings provide mechanical protection against nicks, scratches, and over-spray. These coatings provide temporary protection  against corrosion during storage or shipment and then are peeled or washed off.

Combination systems use multiple types of corrosion inhibitors. For example, they may combine a water based rust inhibitor with a vapor phase inhibitor to protect high value parts exposed to a marine environment.


What environment will the part be exposed to?

  1. Climate controlled interior storage.
  2. Interior storage with fluctuating temperature.
  3. Exterior storage but shielded from weather.
  4. Exterior storage exposed to normal weather conditions.
  5. Marine environment– exposed to salt air and condensation.

How long will the part be in storage or transit?



  1. Six months
  2. Six months to one year
  3. One to two years

What should its condition be at the end of storage?

  1. Rust free but requires removal of the rust inhibitor before use.
  2. Dry, non-oily but requires light cleaning.
  3. Ready-for-use.

How can the rust inhibitor be applied?

  1. Aerosol, low pressure garden spray, conventional spray, dip, brush ….?

What economic value is gained by keeping the item rust free?

  1. Lowered finished goods inventory.
  2. Limited surface preparation at end of storage.
  3. Dry, clean parts and equipment
  4. Reduced complaints and back-charges.

Carbit can help. As part of our service, we will conduct laboratory tests to determine which Rust Inhibitor not only prevents rust but fits into your process. Contact us for more information at 312-280-2300, or email –

Oil-based versus Water-based Paints

September 01, 2018

Categories: Coating Solutions, News, Paint Knowledge

The distinction between oil-based versus water-based paints was established when latex house paints were introduced in the 60’s. Until that time, architectural and industrial paints and equipment could not be thinned or cleaned up with water, but instead required a solvent-based thinner. Most of these thinners are derived from petroleum products and the paints that contained these thinners are known as “oil-based”.

Latex paints made a huge change in the market because they could be thinned with water, and equipment clean-up became much easier and faster.

All paints contain some thinner that is added at the factory. The thinner, either an oil-based solvent or ordinary water, is added to thin, or reduce the factory mixture so the paint can be brushed, rolled, or sprayed.

There are other differences between oil and water-based paints besides their obvious chemical makeup:

  • Ambient temperature conditions differ on how or when they can be applied and stored, with water-based paints being more restrictive.
  • Water-based paints are generally more environmentally friendly and are a consideration when dealing with regulatory requirements, waste management, air quality, or worker safety.
Table comparing oil-based and water-based paint features

Table comparing oil-based and water-based paint features

Carbit Paint produces both oil-based and water-based paints for a wide range of industrial uses. For more information when comparing your options, call 312-280-2300 and ask for Dave Westerman Jr. (ext 312) or Bob Lyons (ext 344).

Painting Forklifts

August 01, 2018

Categories: Coating Solutions, Equipment Paint, News


Painting forklifts isn’t the same as repainting Mercedes-Benzes, but you couldn’t tell it from the cost of the aftermarket paint sold by the manufacturer. We all expect to pay a premium for “genuine” parts but there are several reasons to question whether that value carries over to forklift paint.

Forklift paint needs to:Forklifts collage

  1. Match the OEM color and gloss
  2. Cover in one coat
  3. Dry quickly
  4. Be economical

First, aside from the color, it is unlikely that the aftermarket paint is the same paint that is applied in the factory. The surface preparation, application and curing procedure used in the factory, requires a different paint than what can be used in a shop environment.

Second, OEMs mark up the cost of the paint they supply to their dealers, and dealers have to absorb this extra cost or pass it on to their customers.

Third, even if all the conditions were the same, few customers would be willing to pay to remove the original paint, repair all the dings and scratches, and re-prime to get that “original factory finish.”

And finally, as experienced painters know, even if you have exactly the same can of paint used in the factory, it is very difficult to get the same finish. There are too many variables in addition to color that affect the final appearance – sprayer type, application rate, temperature and humidity, etc.

Carbit Forklift Paint Features:

  • Popular OEM colors in stock
  • High hiding yellows, reds and oranges
  • Application direct to metal or over existing paint
  • Fast drying, solvent or water based paints

Carbit Paint in Chicago has forklift paint to match many of the most popular brands – Hyster, Clark, Yale, Caterpillar and others. Carbit’s forklift paint has superior coverage because dry color pigments are added in the factory, not liquid colors added in the store. This is particularly important with yellows, reds and oranges. These pigments add opacity and are used to make fast drying solvent and water based paints that can be applied directly to metal or over existing paint.

For more information call Dave Westerman Jr. or Bob Lyons at 312-280-2300 or email



July 01, 2018

Categories: Coating Solutions, Emergency lighting, Glow in the dark, News


Emergency lighting is undergoing many changes. Some of the changes are driven by experience and others are driven by improved technology.

A Dept. of Commerce report and a Maryland Fire Protection Engineering study are two examples of how non-electrical lighting (Photoluminescent, aka glow-in-the-dark materials) are used to mark exit pathways:

Glow Lit and Dark

Following the 1993 bombing of the WTC several improvements were made to egress lighting by including battery operated emergency lighting and photoluminescent floor strips.

  1. Now the NFPA Life Safety Code and International Building Code have provisions for photoluminescent or self-luminous exit path markings. The significant difference here is that the LSC has provisions for this, but leaves it up to the occupancy chapters to mandate it and none do at this time. In the IBC, such marking is now required in exit stair enclosures and exit passageways in high-rise buildings that contain assembly, business, educational, institutional, mercantile and hotels. (See 403.5.5and 1024.)¹
  2.  Photoluminescent materials glow-in-the-dark because they store energy received from ultraviolet light emitted by the sun or by most artificial lights. The stored energy is then released as visible light in darkness.²

Photoluminescent materials may be molded into plastic or mixed into paint. They glow-in-the dark to highlight signage, stairs, walls or railings to mark exit paths.

Carbit has developed No. 377 Safety Marking Paint to meet the standards established by ANSI, ASTM and the NYC Code for photoluminescent paints. This paint is particularly useful in providing floor level luminous egress path markings, as specified in NFPA 101 and required in the model codes (IBC, IFC),and many local codes.

No. 377 Safety Marking Paint Features Read more…


November 21, 2014

Categories: Coating Solutions, News, Paint Audit, Paint Knowledge

It is easy to predict the thickness of paint after it dries. All that is required is that you know the “percentage of volume-solids” of the paint and that you have a “wet-film-thickness gauge”. The paint’s volume-solids (not to be confused with “weight-solids”) is listed on the Product Data Sheet, which can be found on the paint manufacturer’s website. A “wet-film-thickness” (WFT) can be purchased at professional paint stores or online, or obtained Free from Carbit.

Free WFT gauge In previous articles I discussed “paint volume solids”, which I described as “what’s left after the paint dries”. In that article I explained that as paint dries it shrinks in direct proportion to its volume solids. For example, a paint with 50% volume solids will lose one-half of its volume as it dries. If it is 4 mils when wet it will be 2 mils thick (4 x 50%) when dry.  Paint Volume Solids Wet Film Thickness Fortunately, the

Wet-Film-Thickness (WFT) of a coating can be easily measured with a Wet-Film-Thickness Gauge.

To use a WFT Gauge you depress the graduated edge of the gauge into the layer of wet paint immediately after it has been applied. Withdraw vertically and note deepest tooth having paint on it and the next higher tooth that is not coated with paint. The true wet film thickness lies between these two readings.


In the U.S. the thickness of paint is expressed in mils (one mil equals 1/1000 of inch). The rest of the world expresses coating thickness in microns (1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter and 25.4 microns = .001” inch or 1 mil). The table below compares the thickness of common materials in mils and microns. table of comm mtrls

Being able to predict the thickness of paint has many practical benefits:

  • It ensures that you are applying the correct amount of paint to achieve the performance properties of the coating.
  • Coating thickness correlates to dry-time, recoat time and appearance.
  • And, the ability to predict the thickness of paint helps you control cost.

For more information or help to predict the thickness of paint that you are applying complete our “get-in-touch” form below or call us at 312-280-2300. Bob Lyons – Carbit Paint Company, LLC – November 2004

Understanding Paint Volume Solids

September 29, 2014

Categories: News, Paint Knowledge

Understanding paint volume solids provides many benefits:

  • It allows you to compare the true cost of different paints.
  • It allows you to predict how much paint must be applied to obtain adequate coverage.
  • It allows you to control the quality of the paint job.
  • It allows you to avoid production delays because thick layers of paint dry more slowly.

Understanding paint volume solids begins by recognizing that as paint dries some components evaporate while other components are deposited on the surface. What evaporates is mostly the thinner, either water or a solvent which has been added to the paint so that it can be applied.   In the simplest terms, the volume solids are “what’s left after the paint dries.”


Paint manufacturers express “volume solids”* as a percentage of the total volume. This information can be found on the paint’s technical data sheet and sometimes on its label.

For liquid coatings the “paint volume solids” can vary widely depending on the type of paint and its purpose. For example:

Paint Type Vol. Solids %
Sealers 10-25%
Architectural Paints ** 35-45%
Industrial Enamels 25%-45%
2K Epoxies 40%-80%
2K Polyurethanes 30%-45%

By understanding paint volume solids you can calculate how much of each gallon of paint remains on the surface to perform its function. Higher volume solids are not necessarily better than lower volume solids, it really depends on the type and purpose of the coating, and higher volume solids usually means a higher price per gallon.

There are many benefits in understanding volume solids of coatings. In future articles I’ll discuss how to convert volume solids to spread rate and dry-film-thickness, but for now it’s worth remembering that volume solids differ between coatings and knowing the difference can provide many benefits.

 *Don’t confuse “volume solids” with “weight solids”. Volume solids predicts how much area a paint will cover and weight solids indicates the weight of the non-volatile ingredients.

**Low VOC paints may have higher “volume solids”

By Bob Lyons, CARBIT Paint Co., LLC.


When solvent cleaning creates hazardous waste?

September 07, 2014

Categories: Hazardous waste, News

In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. EPA finalized a new rule in 2013 that relaxed the conditions that determine when solvent cleaning creates hazardous waste. The new rule is in response to research that determined that the costs of compliance exceeded the risks associated with most solvent cleaning. Under the 2013 rule, reusable wipes are not solid and hazardous waste; however, disposable wipes are solid waste, but not hazardous waste. The rule requires the following: EPA Solvent Wipes Summaryfree liquid test sm

    • Solvent contaminated rags are kept in a closed container labeled, “Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes.”
    • Contaminated wipes are not stored for more than 180 days.
    • When rags are sent for laundering or landfill, they must not contain any free liquid, i.e. liquid that will drip from the rag.
    • Basic record keeping must be maintained
    • Laundering requires compliance with Clean Water Act. Self-laundering requires clearance by local public wastewater treatment facility.

Paint Filter Liquid Test 9095b

NOTE: Not all solvents are excluded, trichloroethylene, for example. The most basic form of solvent cleaning involves wiping a surface with a rag saturated with a petroleum-based solvent – xylol, lacquer thinner, naphtha, or mineral spirits, etc. The solvent helps loosen contaminates – dirt, oil, waxes, etc – and the rag absorbs and removes the contaminants from the surface.

Even though rags may not be hazardous waste, the vapors can be toxic and highly flammable. These risks can be reduced or eliminated by converting to water based cleaners and degreasers. Carbit supplies both petroleum-based and water-based cleaning solvents and can help you evaluate which type will work best for you.

EPA FAQ Solvent Wipes 2013

Two Component Polyurethane Enamel

September 03, 2014

Categories: Coating Solutions, Made-to-order paint, News, Polyurethane

Two component (also referred to as 2K) polyurethane enamels are paints that require the intermixing of resin with a hardener. This causes a reaction that chemically bonds the two components together to produce a paint film that is generally  superior to one component paints in several ways:

  1. Chemical resistance
  2. Fade resistance
  3. Abrasion resistance

While not all two component polyurethanes are equal in composition and performance, as a class, they are considered the gold standard for liquid coatings. Their excellent appearance and durability make them a popular finishing choice for a wide range of products and substrates.


Cars Metal
Aircraft Wood
Ships Plastic
Tractors Glass
Furniture Porcelain
Electronics Concrete

The cost of two component polyurethane ranges from $75 to $150 per gallon depending on the color. Although more expensive than one component enamels, 2K polyurethanes are often more cost effective because of their superior gloss, color retention and excellent durability.

Additionally, saturated colors – bright reds, yellows, blues and greens – can be made by intermixing high-hiding bases that require fewer coats or less film thickness for full coverage, which reduces material and labor cost.

Carbit Paint in Chicago supplies CARBITHANE, a two component acrylic polyurethane, in standard (see Industrial Color Card) and custom colors using its proprietary intermix system. Whether you need a gallon or a drum, a red or a blue, a satin or a gloss, Carbit can provide the solution.

Author: Bob Lyons, Carbit Paint Co.

Paint Audits Prevent Problems

July 11, 2014

Categories: News, Paint Audit, Paint Problem, Uncategorized

A quick paint audit can keep you from getting caught by the cold.

Each fall we get numerous calls asking, “Have you changed the paint?” The caller often explains that the paint isn’t drying it like it use to. We are always happy to check our batch samples to be sure that nothing had accidentally changed but the answer to the problem usually relates to one of two factors:chicagoy weather sm

  • A change in application conditions – temperature and humidity, or;
  • A change in the application procedure that creates greater film thickness or slower drying times. Factors are larger spray tips and/or higher pressures that cause heavier film builds, or faster conveyor or line speeds that allow less time for the wet paint to cure.

Now is the time to conduct an audit to prevent getting surprised when the weather changes. We will identify the critical steps in your finishing process and set quality assurance standards for each.

  1. Surface preparation –cleaning, profile, etc.
  2. Equipment set up – tip/nozzle, air/fluid pressure, etc.
  3. Paint preparation – mixing/thinning, viscosity
  4. Application – spray technique – edging, spot-priming, etc.
  5. Application rate – wet-film-thickness/ dry-film-thickness
  6. Drying/curing requirements and conditions
  7. Handling/assembly or pack-out procedures

It’s a good practice to have a paint audit conducted annually or whenever there is a significant change in the materials, procedures , workers or weather. Carbit’s experienced Project Managers perform free paint audits as a way to introduce ourselves and as a service to help you preempt problems before they occur.

Written by Bob Lyons, Carbit Business Development

Download printable version: Paint Audit_News

How To Dry Paint Fast

June 30, 2014

Categories: Coating Solutions, Infrared cure, News, Paint Problem

Our customer’s often ask, “How can I dry paint faster?”, but what they really want to know is:

  • How fast can I handle the part?
  • How fast can I package the product?
  • How fast can I ship the product?

Handling, packaging and shipping products with paint that is not fully dry and cured can lead to many problems.

  • Complaints caused by missed shipping dates due to waiting for paint to harden.
  • Rejects and returns due to parts sticking together or sticking to packaging materials.
  • Loss of goodwill due to poor coating appearance.

BGK Infrared Oven

It is generally recognized that time and temperature affects the rate of most chemical processes, including the drying and curing of paint.  For example, higher temperature for a given length of time generally results in faster drying and curing of a paint.

Predicting the amount of heat and the length of time required to dry paint faster involves several variables:

  1. The type and weight of the part being painted.
  2. The type of coating.
  3. How the heat is generated and transferred to the coating.
  4. The ability to measure the temperature of the painted part.
  5. The ability to maintain a constant temperature.

Carbit Paint Company in Chicago can help determine how to dry paint faster through the use of its BGK Infrared Smart Oven.  This oven has a microprocessor that links fast response, short wave infrared emitters to internal pyrometers (thermometers) that measure the temperature of the painted surface. The combination of fast emitter response and measurement of the part temperature provides a constant temperature for a specified period of them.  This control allows exact correlation between time and temperature and will answer the question, “How can I dry paint faster”.

By Bob Lyons – Business Development

Download printable version:  Dry Paint Fast_News