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How a smart coating can turn a traditional coating into a heat-resistant shield

Vepola Industrial Coatings called in Sirris's Smart Coating Application Lab to develop an innovative smart coating to act as a heat-resistant shield.

Industrial coating manufacturers are increasingly having to deal with demand for coatings providing unique added value. In the case of Vepola, a smart coating – a high-tech additional protective layer – could provide a solution for panels overheating as a result of sunlight. The coating manufacturer, based in Genk (Belgium), asked Sirris Smart Coating Application Lab to investigate some new coatings and test their impact. And this paid off, with infrared reflective pigments enabling Vepola to transform a challenge into a USP.

  • Vepola Industrial Coatings was looking for ways to avoid panels becoming deformed because of sunlight.
  • Sirris examined a number of smart coatings with a view to creating a heat-resistant shield.
  • Using infrared reflective pigments, Vepola managed to reduce the panel temperature by as much as 30°C.

Vepola, based in Genk (Belgium), is an industrial coating manufacturer, specializing in coating, treating and protecting plastic, wooden, and metal surfaces. Leading bus- and truck-builders, cabinetmakers, joiners and interior fitters draw on Vepola's experience, as do individuals for minor coating repairs.

"The Smart Coating Lab proved the ideal testing ground to investigate the impact of pigments on paint systems and so make existing coatings smart."


Plastic deformation because of sunlight

A customer gave Vepola the challenging task of applying a coating to recycled plastic panels, so protecting them from sunlight. The customer noticed that the panels in outdoor applications had a strong tendency to become deformed when they got hot. Vepola contacted Sirris's Smart Coating Application Lab in Diepenbeek to check whether a heat-resistant coating could provide a solution.

A smart coating as a heat-resistant shield

Sirris's smart coating experts examined how Vepola's dark coating layers could be protected from getting too hot and so becoming deformed. The research carried out in this regard revealed that insulating or highly reflective coating systems can provide a shield from sunlight. Sirris and Vepola selected a number of coatings and tested them in the Lab using spray-coating techniques. Then the rise in the panel temperature was carefully monitored in this test environment. The conclusion was that infrared reflection could be used to transform Vepola's challenge into a strong asset.

A temperature reduction of 30°C

In conjunction with a supplier of infrared reflective paint, Sirris handled reflective pigments in a Vepola paint system. The laboratory trial showed that the coating manufacturer could reduce the temperature of the plastic panels by as much as 30°C in outdoor applications.