Most people that buy a can of paint at a home improvement store lack an appreciation and understanding of what is actually involved in not just the ongoing manufacture of the paint, but the initial development of it as well. Paint companies large and small invest significant time and capital into creating great products for a wide variety of uses. Companies like BYK invest similar amounts of time and resources into making products that help everyone from manufacturers to paint professionals reach their professional goals. So how can you, the modern paint professional, take advantage of these developments?
As with any innovative process, the cutting edge of research regularly leads to products that astound the mind and engender new, creative uses for professionals within the sector. From paint that changes color depending on temperature to robots that emulate the work of world renowned masters, the paint industry produces amazing developments on a regular basis that, over time, will become key pieces in the professional paint sector as a whole.
One such development that has come to fruition in recent years is the advent of “smart” paint. Smart paint, or smart coatings, are paints that perform a complex function in addition to covering a substrate. These new options allow painters to add substantial extra value to the end client and the community at large. Some of the amazing recent developments in smart paint include:
- Paint that can detect structural damage. This paint uses nanotechnology and electrical current to detect when structures like roads, dams, or bridges are developing cracks.
- Paint that can clean itself. This paint repels mold and bacteria to keep things like outdoor furniture clear of the dirt and grime that comes with being out in the elements.
- Paint that can turn a wall into a whiteboard. This fascinating product allows businesses to use conventional walls as whiteboards that can be cleaned after each use.
- Paint that turns roads pink in color when ice is present. As a safety precaution, this compound alerts drivers to unsafe driving conditions on the road ahead.
To imagine that paint can not only protect a surface and give it color, but can also perform useful and practical functions is mind-boggling. For the modern paint professional, such developments create amazing opportunities. Instead of working to simply add color to a surface, you have the opportunity to improve the reliability of structures, the safety of roads, and the longevity of products. However, these products are not well known by most clients (including those in the industrial or enterprise sector) so their use most often has to be introduced and advocated by a trusted paint professional.
As a result, paint professionals have an opportunity to generate additional revenue by introducing clients to new, useful paint choices. Whereas it might be easier to offer standard paint for a job, opportunistic paint professionals looking for new ways to grow their business will be much more diverse in the products they offer. For example, offering paint that turns a wall in to a whiteboard for a child’s bedroom can add additional revenue to the bottom line. At the same time, such an offering can ease parents’ worry about staining the wall and delight a child who now sees their bedroom walls as an art canvas. The best part of these new product offerings is that they don’t have to be more complex to apply or use; in the end, they are paints and the measurement of properties like viscosity and gloss is performed in the same manner as with more standard paints. This offers an excellent competitive advantage to businesses that are willing to pioneer new technology.
It is an awesome time to be a professional painter. With the products available to you every day you have the chance to transform the world for your clients by using products that go beyond what many people think paint is for. Make sure you check the Chemistry Corner regularly to learn more about the amazing developments in smart paint and paint chemistry affecting professional paint work around the world.