Cleveland Ohio Powder Coating Best Practices for Industrial Paint Storage 

Whether it’s paint, powder or other surface finishing materials, it is critical to handle chemical substances properly to protect your employees, facility and overall finishing process.

Failure to consider safe material storage can lead to quality issues, wasted costs in material and serious health risks. By taking a closer look at quality and safety standards, businesses can better optimize their entire finishing process for consistent quality and a safer work environment.

Know Your Materials

Powders, paints and other chemicals can present safety risks, and often require specific environmental conditions to protect the quality and effectiveness of the material. Some materials are more sensitive to conditions such as temperature and pose certain threats when stored with other chemicals. Other materials can be stored long-term in bulk inside a separate storage room and do not require extra safety measures.
Powder coatings, for example, must be stored in a cool, dry environment—with temperatures below 80 degrees and humidity levels less than 50 percent. Since it is hygroscopic, powder easily absorbs liquid, and excessive humidity can cause powder to clump or cake. On the other hand, excessive dryness can cause problems with electrostatic application. This type of sensitivity can compromise the quality of the powder itself as well as the end product after powder coating.

In addition to powder, industrial liquid paints can be affected by extreme temperatures, which can have a significant impact on quality and shelf life. Water-based paints, for example, may begin to gel when stored at temperatures below freezing, but when stored at higher temperatures, they can also develop an unfavorable consistency. These extreme environments can cause paint to drastically change its viscosity or lead to settling of residue or pigments that can negatively impact the paint’s performance.

Safety Considerations

Surface finishers must always be aware of hazards associated with flammable, combustible or explosive materials. This includes everything from atomized liquids or solvents to high concentrations of powders or dust.

Some materials, often found with powders, possess combustible properties. In their atomized state during the spray application, powder coatings can be fuel for a deflagration (a type of fire or explosion). Solvent-based paints pose health and safety hazards associated with harmful vapors and toxins released into the air. Chemicals such as thinners, cleaners, adhesives, gloss and polishes can also be flammable or combustible, thus the storage of these materials must not be taken lightly.

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