HMG Paints has developed a unique, waterborne, temporary grass marking paint, Paint Away, for reproducing promotional signage at sports grounds. It was created in partnership with associate company, HMG Coatings London of Rainham, Essex, which has already supplied the product for use at Six Nations rugby matches at Twickenham, Murrayfield and the Stade de France, as well as the Tsunami Appeal exhibition game. Insoluble in water once dry and subsequently dissolved with a special remover, the paint has additional applications as an anti-graffiti finish and sacrificial coating.
Paint Away was created for a London-based customer, which has devised patented templates for painted on-pitch signs that assume a 3D perspective when viewed through a TV camera. It was formulated to provide a quick-drying removable coating that will not harm the grass, players or applicators, whilst offering the necessary vibrancy and accuracy of colour for television coverage. For the same customer, HMG London also provided high performance coatings for painting sports surfaces at last year's Olympic and Paralympic Games. HMG's water-based LMP enamel and single-pack Fleet Polyurethane were specified for a wide variety of surfaces, from concrete and tarmac to astroturf and rubber matting, and used at virtually every sporting venue in Athens.
Newly-available Paint Away is a temporary coating, formulated with special waterborne polymers, which become insoluble in water once the paint has dried. It was designed to meet specific customer specifications: it had to be removable, so the sponsor's branding could be erased after the match; lead-free, so there is no toxic risk when players slide across the turf; water-based, with no ingredients that are harmful to grass; rainfast and highly resistant to foot traffic and abrasion. It was also important that Paint Away had the necessary density and vibrancy of colour, for visibility on TV, and that it could be matched to sponsor's specific Pantone shades.
For removing Paint Away after each match, HMG has formulated a special Grass Paint Remover, which dissolves the paint without affecting the grass substrate. Whereas solvent-based marking systems actually damage the turf, leaving bald patches on treated areas, and are still visible long after being erased, Paint Away is completely invisible within a week or so.
When it was first trialled at Gloucester's ground in January, for Premiership sponsor Zurich, club staff also commented that Paint Away saved money on paint-damaged kit. Adopting a hands-on approach, HMG London's MD, Gary Smith, initially delivered the product personally for the Six Nations Championship, first to Murrayfield and next morning to Twickenham to meet the tight deadlines. He also liaised with ground staff on its application, which can be by brush, roller or spray. Occupying a surprisingly large surface area of more than 100 sq metres, the Royal Bank of Scotland logo looks prominent and distinctive on screen and, thanks to the 3D template, appears like an advertising hoarding actually erected on the pitch.
Thanks to its erasable properties, Paint Away is clearly also ideal for white lining at multi-sports stadiums, allowing the pitch to be marked out for different rules, as well as similar promotional applications in horse racing, tennis and golf. Suitable for many different types of substrate, it could be used on the track and infield at motor racing circuits and is being proposed for the start line and blue-painted runners' guide at the forthcoming London Marathon.
Away from sport, Paint Away could be specified as a clear anti-graffiti coating, which could be simply removed and repainted seamlessly after being vandalised; as a sacrificial coating for protecting cars and other goods in transit or even valuable classic cars' original paintwork on the racing circuit; or for readily repaintable backdrops and props on film and movie sets.
Completing HMG Paints' sporting credentials is the prestigious application of its LMP and Fleet Polyurethane finishes at the Olympic Games. An alternative to alkyd synthetic enamels, water-based LMP is easy to apply and offers good all-round adhesion to many surfaces, including wood, metals, plastic and polycarbonate, its lack of aggressive solvents making it ideal for sensitive materials. Equally versatile, Fleet Polyurethane is a unique blend of polyurethane and chain-stopped alkyd resins, yielding excellent abrasion resistance, adhesion, durability and light fastness.
Between them, these high performance coatings were applied to running tracks, concrete, tarmac, marble, astroturf, carpet, wood, rubber matting and other surfaces. Sufficient paint to cover 30,000 sq metres was supplied, in a dozen different colours for the five Olympic rings, symbols and other markings. The paint was used in the magnificent new Olympic stadium, the historic Panathenaic setting, the velodrome, volleyball and badminton courts, weightlifting and boxing arenas, on cycling and athletics road courses, at the clay pigeon shooting, the rowing and almost every sporting venue.
Not surprisingly, HMG London is now backing the London 2012 Olympic bid, in the hope that its British-made paints will grace the next major British sporting occasion.
Further enquiries to:
HMG Coatings London K9 Estate Coldharbour Lane Rainham Essex RM13 9YB Telephone 01708 526300
HMG Paints Riverside Works Collyhurst Road Manchester M40 7RU Telephone 0161 205 7631