Bodyshops in North America are only now coming to terms with waterborne paint products years after its implementation in Europe, writes John Loughran.
PPG Refinish in North America reporting this week that of the more than 9,000 collision centres in the U.S. and Canada using PPG waterborne products, more than half are located in areas not required to meet current lower VOC limits. Such limits are in place in California, Delaware and all of Canada, and they will soon be implemented in Maryland, Utah and other U.S. regions.
Regulated (compliant) regions require collision centers to use low-VOC refinish products, and PPG’s waterborne basecoats were introduced to serve these markets. While collision centres outside the low-VOC regions have more latitude in using traditional solventborne products, a significant number of shops have chosen to convert to Envirobase® High Performance and Aquabase® Plus waterborne systems by PPG even though there is no obligation for them to do so.
“The wave of conversions has been remarkable,” Jones said. “In areas not restricted by current or impending low-VOC compliance standards, more collision centers apparently understand the value and quality of PPG products and service. They are making the change as a matter of preference. They realize PPG is not just a great waterborne option – it’s a great overall option.”
PPG debuted its waterborne technology to the automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) market in 1986. In 1992 it introduced the world’s first commercialized automotive refinish waterborne basecoat, and in 2006 PPG launched its third-generation and current waterborne technology, as found in the Envirobase High Performance and Aquabase Plus brands.