Paint curing is an important part of production process or quality check process. Due to change in the appearance of the colour after drying, it becomes important to check the final results. After drying, the paint may lose its gloss or its opacity may increases. To study all these after effects, which is why curing is important. Hot air oven is a common sight in paint manufacturing plants or quality check labs, as it is used for curing treatment.
Importance of Paint Curing
Paint is a combination of many materials, solvents, pigments, binders etc. are few things that make the composition. Depending on these factors, the consistency and opacity of the pain take final form. Solvents are the volatile ingredients that vanish away during the drying process. Binder is the substance that solidifies the paint surface and gives the final appearance.
To give the final finish, paint goes through three stages,
Drying is the stage when solvent or thinner or water evaporates from the paint after the application
Hardening is the stage after reducers leave the paint and binders come into action. Binder solidifies and hardened into a solid film.
Curing is the final stage which is the combination of both drying and hardening. This is quite a longer process than drying.
The drying process isn’t very long, depending upon the conditions of the surrounding the solvent vanishes. In comparison, hardening takes a bit longer. Pigments take their own time to settle down and forming the surface finish. The surface finish depends on the hardening process. Binders take their own time to form the surface texture. Curing is the final process when the actual shade and texture of the paint starts to evolve. Curing can be done naturally or accelerated by simulating the conditions in the controlled environment.
Hot air ovens
are used to speed up the curing process. However, while selecting the temperature range, it is very important to be careful so that temperature does not affect the colour and texture of the paint. This machine creates a controlled environment where the temperature can range from ambient to 250°C. Fans are used to circulate the air throughout the chamber for uniformity. As this device can be customized on request depending upon the industrial requirements, its usage is extended to many curing applications. It can be used for testing of the color of samples, to estimate the complete drying process of the sample in the application, to estimate the drying time of paint when left open and unused.