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What information you’ll find in Coatings Product Data Sheets

Coatings Product Data Sheets (a coating’s specification commonly called a Product Data Sheet) provide users with valuable information about the technical facts and application properties of a specific coating. Often, there is also a small section in a PDS for safe use and storage of the product with more information to be found on the Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS).

Product data sheets are an important part of the project specification and although are limited in overall scope, in some cases, it is the specification. Many owners and general contractors try to keep things simple and only reference the product data sheet as the ultimate painting project specification.

Though not very common, it is possible to see a single page product data sheet that only gives the name of the product with very little additional information. However, product data sheets issued by most major coating manufacturers are well-written in a less technical language, broken down into various sections with significant similarities.

Most well written product data sheets will include the following sections:

  • Generic type
  • Description
  • Features
  • Color
  • Finish
  • Solids contents
  • VOC values
  • Curing schedules
  • Performance data
  • Description on how to use the coating, including recommended primers and/or topcoats
  • Recommendations for application method and equipment, including brush, roller, conventional  spray, and airless spray, as appropriate
  • Mixing and thinning
  • Cleanup and safety
  • Packaging
  • Handling and storage
  • Recommended DFT (Dry Film Thickness) and WFT (Wet Film Thickness)
  • Theoretical and practical coverage
  • Shelf life, pot life and induction time (as the time/temperature are related)

Click here or here to see some examples.

Most painting contractors want to do a good job. However, due to the competitive nature of the bidding process, undue pressure is put on contractors. Although the information in product data sheets is generally clearly stated, experience shows that some applicators often appear to overlook fundamental data. Below is a list of the areas that are most commonly overlooked:

  • Surface preparation
  • Storage
  • Mixing and thinning
  • Application procedure
  • DFT requirements

In summary, interpretation and thorough understanding of the Coatings Product Data Sheets from users is of great importance for the correct and safe installation of a coatings system.

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