HMG Paints’ new water-based 2K polyurethane topcoat, HydroThane, has now been specified for use by Railcare Wolverton, a leading UK specialist in maintaining and refurbishing railway rolling stock. In back-to-back paint trials on a Gatwick Express carriage, HydroThane proved as easy to apply, if not easier, than the current waterborne coating solution, and the colour match between adjacent panels was extremely accurate, satisfying Railcare that HMG’s product delivered extremely good results and better opacity than comparable UHS solvent systems. Gloss levels were equal to the competitor finish, there were no masking tape marks on multi-colour applications and drying times were far superior to solvent-based coatings, reducing unnecessary downtime and enabling the next-day application of decals.
Resistance to graffiti is a prime requirement of modern paint systems for the rail industry and HMG’s HydroThane has outstanding chemical resistance and anti-graffiti properties, with solvent-based magic marker ink and aerosol paint easily removed by pressure wash or proprietary solvent cleaner. Since the finish is water-based, it is unaffected by applied solvents and graffiti can be removed without damaging the topcoat.
HMG, the Manchester-based specialist surface coatings producer, has devoted considerable time and research to formulating and producing a new generation of water-based paint products under the Hydro family name, employing fundamentally new technology. Advancing carefully through each development phase, it has launched a series of products including HydroPrime, a 2-pack anti-corrosive waterborne epoxy primer, HydroBase, an advanced water-based basecoat in solid, metallic and pearl finishes, and now HydroThane, a full gloss, water-based, isocyanate-cured polyurethane topcoat, together complementing an already comprehensive product portfolio.
“The rail industry has particularly demanding technical requirements, covered in the Railway Group Standard and Joint Leasing Company performance specifications, and the new Hydro products have been specifically developed with these in mind,” says Brian Scholey, HMG’s Technical Sales Manager, Rail. “We want to take a lead in supplying the industry with greener, innovative water-based coatings and were delighted when Railcare agreed to compare HydroThane with its current waterborne topcoat.”
Railcare, which operates a full-scale train maintenance and refurbishment works in both Wolverton, near Milton Keynes, and Springburn in Glasgow, is approved to repair minor or major damage to rolling stock across the rail industry and has facilities for the repainting, relivery and full refurbishment of complete vehicle sets. It has used HMG’s 2K water-based primer, HydroPrime, for some time, with excellent results, so was prepared to trial the company’s new topcoat, especially as it offered very competitive pricing.
“The carriage was half painted with the existing waterborne topcoat and half with HydroThane and the results spoke for themselves,” reports Brian. “The two halves met in the middle, at the door edge, and all colours were a perfect match and our finish was as good as, if not better than, the market leader. As a result of this and subsequent tests, Railcare are now happy to use HydroThane for their rail repainting.”
Aside from gloss levels, consistent colour matching and anti-graffiti properties, HydroThane offers a number of operational advantages for rail refinishers like Railcare. The topcoat can be applied wet-on-wet over the HydroPrime 2K epoxy primer and drying times can be as little as 2 hours, at low bake temperatures; it requires few major changes to paint application systems, no more than two coats are needed on most substrates and the VOC content is ultra low, eliminating harmful emissions. Compared with UHS solvent systems, HydroThane delivers greater colour opacity and increased chip and scratch resistance. HMG’s water-based product is also backed by a 10 year warranty and in-depth technical support, with a team dedicated to the rail industry.
HMG’s HydroThane topcoat is available in an extremely wide colour range, including Fleet, RAL and BS shades, and the company boasts an unrivalled colour matching service. HMG also produces a water-based interior paint for rail applications, Grathane, which can be applied by brush or roller, using HydroPrime as the undercoat, and which has excellent durability and anti-graffiti properties.
Enquiries to HMG Paints at Riverside Works, Collyhurst Road, Manchester M40 7RU, telephone 0161 205 7631, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hmgpaint.com