Applying coatings fully automatically in a controlled manner without paint mist
Large structures such as bridges, pipelines and airplanes are exposed to the elements on a daily basis. To increase their lifespan, they are coated with a special protective layer of paint. However, there is no system currently on the market that can automatically apply paint without releasing harmful paint mist. Coating is therefore still mainly done manually using brushes, rollers and spray equipment. Spraying is the fastest option, but to use spraying equipment, the object must be fully enclosed in a protective tent. It takes no fewer than 15 people a whole week to coat a storage tank of around 6,000 m2 and up to half the paint can be lost as mist during spraying. Not only is this expensive, but it is also harmful to people and the environment. Moreover, it involves dangerous work on ladders and scaffolds and requires the expertise of an ever-shrinking number of coating experts for a good end result.
The current coating process is thus chemically hazardous, labour- and energy-intensive, unsafe and inefficient in terms of both production and maintenance. Qlayers is therefore developing a printhead for painting large structures, including oil and gas terminals, ships, bridges and windmills. Its technology allows coatings to be applied fully automatically in a controlled manner without the release of paint mist, making it easier for objects to be coated on site.