12.07.2015

Water based or solvent? Which shall I use?

Water based or solvent?  What are the pros and cons?

As more and more people become concerned about the environment and the damage we humans are doing to mother earth, the question of whether to use water based or solvent is being asked more frequently. And rightly so. In fact the trend to water based coatings is a growing international phenomenon.

It’s a dilemma whether to choose water based or solvent.

There is no doubt that there is no water based material that performs as a solvent does.  No matter what anyone tells you about the performance of a water based sealer or coating, it will not and cannot perform with the strength of a solvent.  All the big international paint companies and paint manufacturers know this and accept that the movement to water is at the expense of performance and durability. So the dilemma is whether to sacrifice performance for water.

The respective qualities of water based or solvent

Water-based first.

Water based is on the surface (pun intended) more environmentally friendly. Water based coatings and sealers usually contain zero or very few VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).  That’s good.  And they don’t smell. That’s good too. Brushes wash out in water. Very good.

On the negative side, water based sealers can be milky and they are inclined to separate. And they simply don’t last as long.

The beautiful floor in the picture is of Halo Concrete Coat, durable solvent concrete protection.

Concrete molecular coatings from Halo Surfaces Water based or solvent?

Solvent next

Solvent often gets a hard press. It is smelly. You need to use acetone or turps to clean your brushes and it is usually Class III DG which means that it’s flammable. It’s more expensive to freight and pilots can just refuse to take it as cargo if they are so minded. It will also contain some level of VOCs.

On the plus side is endurance and performance. And the VOCs are only present in the atmosphere for the short time that the product is curing.

What does Halo think about water based or solvent?

Halo is passionate about the environment. We’re also pragmatic and realistic. Because we want to offer our customers strength and endurance we’ve done everything we can to make the Halo solvent range as environmentally sensitive as possible. All our coatings contain less than 100g/L VOCs, they are formulated according to the 12 principles of green chemistry and they do not use harmful isocyanates to cure. They are oxygen cured. So we’ve done all we can so far but we are keeping on working at getting even better.

If you need help to decide which coating or sealer to use, we are here to help.  And we love helping.  Contact us here or complete the form below.

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