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Substitution Case Study: Alternatives to Solvent-based Paints. 1993.

TURI Technical Report No. 4. A Massachusetts producer of specialized metal tool cabinets has successfully switched from solvent-based to water-based paints in their coating operations. The painting process involves coating the metal drawers with a primer coat, and then spray painting the cabinets and drawer fronts with the color coat. Originally the components were spray-painted with solvent-based (xylene) paints for both the primer and color coats. In August 1981, the company switched over to a water-based first coat for the metal drawers, which is applied by electrodeposition in a fully automated process line. After the paint is applied, the drawer is low temperature baked at 25Q-2750f' and conveyed to the spray booths for color coating. Although the reasons for implementing the electrodeposition tank were based on the fact that the process provided a better finish and increased production capacity, use of the electrodeposition tank also eliminated the waste produced from the spray paint application of the primer coat. The entire cost for the electrodeposition system was about $500,000 and included purchase and installation of the baking oven, the 2500 gallon tank and the control system.

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