How do we formulate and test a EMTECH Waterborne Finish to ensure it performs to the premium standards we demand of it? We put each EMTECH coating through several phases of rigorous QA testing to determine how well they perform in specific types of in-house standardized tests. By doing this we can evaluate and adapt the formula to ensure performance continuity as we move from the R&D to the final production stage – and then out into the hands of our customers.

The video here shows the spray test phase (Phase 2) of our new product development–we’re spray testing some improvements to our EM7000HBL High Build Water-Based Spray Lacquer .

Phase 1 of QA testing is the blending of the selected water-based resins to see if they are compatible with one another and that they will blend together when using selected co-solvents and additives. Once this step is complete we then perform a series of durability tests to see if the cured resins perform as expected when run through a battery of physical and chemical tests. Only when the coating passes the first battery of tests do we then move on to Phase 2 of QA testing…

Phase 2 takes the formula to the lab spray booth–shown here–to test how it flows and levels when atomized through an HVLP spray gun. Once the formula passes this phase, it goes back to lab bench for a few more tweaks based on the initial physical and mechanical (i.e. spray) tests, and it’s off to the next round of performance reviews.

In Phase 3, we produce a pilot batch in the lab and send it to select customers for their review. It’s all very methodical–and a formula only moves forward into production once it passes each phase of QA testing entirely, and completely to our–and our customers’–standards.

So what are we looking for in the first spray test as shown in this video? Here are some of the attributes we’re looking at…

1. Atomization quality, or lack of it.
2. Wet film layout formation.
3. Inter-film air release.
4. Mid-dry-to-touch film formation and leveling.
5. Film formation qualities at the 1, 4, 6, 8 and 12-18 hour mark after initial film wet lay-down.

To learn more about each of our waterborne finishes, visit our EMTECH Shop and Product Info pages–and, of course, we’re always here to answer your questions.