Kansai Paint’s Technology
Kansai Paint has its R&D facilities and organizations located collectively in its R&D Center in Hiratsuka, Japan. Basic technological research is also centralized at the same premises together with both dedicated technical experts and advanced laboratory equipment.
The key to providing paint with various functions lies in synthetic polymers. Functions of paint such as low dirt-smearing or water repellency are obtained by polymer designs and syntheses at a molecular level. These kinds of synthetic polymers are so diverse that the technical staff at Kansai Paint research the best options from among innumerable combinations.
The advances in computer science in recent years have also been applied to this field in order to help simulate chemical reactions and molecular structures of paint components. As a result of these steady efforts, time spent on product research and development has been vastly reduced.
Kansai Paint also utilizes the latest in analytical and physical measuring equipment in order to identify the behaviour of various paint components and to improve the physical and chemical properties of the paint film. As an example, the data obtained on the rheology of the wet or dry film helps to provide a solid foundation and backup to the research and development tasks conducted.
Kansai Paint is a comprehensive manufacturer of paints and coatings. We develop and supply the most advanced products to almost all of the industrial sectors. All-around performance is the main requirement of paint and no matter how revolutionary the material or technology may be; it will never be commercially produced if there is even a single problem in the paint’s quality or if it is too costly to produce. Moreover, even if the paint is of excellent quality, if it cannot be practically applied to build a sound film, it will also be discarded.
Over the past few years, it has become even more important to develop environmentally-friendly and people-friendly products. Therefore, it is a prerequisite for the R&D team to ensure that hazardous substances are not used and to focus intently on the reduction of VOC (volatile organic compounds) during the process of application and curing of the paint.
The key to solving these problems, meeting each and every requirement, and launching innovative and attractive products is in scientifically controlling the composition of multiple substances, the individual behaviour of each component, and the chemical interactions among them in the paint. One may say that paint technology is indeed a fine art form of chemistry itself. Currently, a large number of these highly advanced technologies are exported by Kansai Paint on a technical license around the world.
Paint in a can is not an end-user product yet. Paint only becomes a valuable material and plays its role when it is applied to the surface of an object through a specific application process. Application methods play a big part in determining the final appearance of the dry paint film and the quality that the paint gives the finished product. On top of this, it often affects paint film performance too. Therefore, it is also of great importance both economically and environmentally to minimize the overspray of paint which falls off the substrate or becomes airborne without adhering to the surface of an object during application. By avoiding excessive overspray through special application processes, the amount of resources used, as well as the overall cost, can be greatly reduced.
As a paint manufacturer, Kansai Paint researches these application technologies in order to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction by providing services and an integrated system of paint and application processes. For example, the R&D team of Kansai Paint’s Automotive OEM Coatings division has introduced a full-size application line in its laboratory in Hiratsuka which is identical to the one used in a car manufacturer’s plant. This allows the R&D teams to gather the necessary data to pursue, in a practical manner close to the car manufacturer’s line conditions, further development in both the paint and paint application fields.