Modern tinting systems consist of components that must balance with each other to ensure good-quality results. The basic principle of a tinting system is to control the components in order to ensure that the final product - the required colour in the paint can - will be correct.
Base paintAlmost all paints, both water- and solvent-borne, can be tinted with modern high-quality colourants without affecting film properties. The base paints must be precisely adjusted and controlled to meet the colour specifications.
This is a simple operation for a modern paint company, once it has learnt the process and adheres to the strict quality procedures. Raw material suppliers will also need to conform to the agreed quality specifications.
ColourantsColourants are stable, liquid colour concentrates, in which the colour and colour strength are controlled. The uniform quality of colourants is of the utmost importance for the successful replication of colours.
Pigments for tinting systems must be carefully selected, not only for their properties but also for their stability and long-term availability. The choice of colourant must also allow the production (tinting) of different colour intensity from pastel shades to deep colours. The pigments must be able to withstand the application conditions and provide adequate weathering protection.
Colour formulae (and colour software)
The reason for tinting is to meet customer requirements and the demand for more and more colours. Reliable colour formulae are essential for matching all possible colours. Colour accuracy is not enough, technical performance and cost-effectiveness must also be taken into consideration. All of the above can be achieved with knowledgeable use of the colour matching software. Some of these requirements have already been met in Tikkurila colour software.
Dispensing equipmentTo produce a tinted paint, colourants are added to a base paint according to a previously determined formula. This is normally a task for a volumetric dispensing machine, which may be operated manually or automatically. For very high volumes, robot-operated equipment is also available.
A feature common to all these machines is their ability to dispense small volumes of colourant accurately and to a very high degree of replication. The smallest volumes dispensed are only fractions of millilitres. Even such minute amounts must be dispensed very accurately, which places high demands on both the equipment and the colourants.
Once the colourant has been added, the mixture is blended in a mixer, after which the paint is ready for use. The whole process takes only a few minutes. Tikkurila employs two types of mixers: carousels and shakers.
Tinting systems are easy to use and require very little maintenance. They can also be installed at the point of application, although they are more common at paint production and retail locations.