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The testing of Traffic Paint is always given our utmost priority. All other testing is put on hold when we receive traffic paint. On reception, the paint samples are logged in and assigned a lab ID, and our Maintenance crews are informed of their arrival.  We never resume other testing until the Traffic Paint testing is completed, which is usually early the next day. (The Settling Test requires several days before the end result can be obtained, but we “release” paint batches based on the other testing results.)

In the above photo, shown from left to right, is our drawdown apparatus for the Hiding Power and Colorimeter tests. In the center is a flex panel for testing Flexibility and a Hegman Gauge for the Grind test. At the right of the picture is our Drying Time wheel. Also pictured is our Stopwatch used for timing the Drying Times.

The Centrifuge is used to separate the paint pigment from the paint vehicle. For complete separation, the paint needs to be run through several cycles. The Pigment is later dried and used for the Percentage Pigment and Total Vehicle tests. The dried pigment is also used for Element concentrations through X-Ray Spectroscopy.

The Paint Viscometer measures in Kreb Units. This was a fairly recent purchase and has a digital readout. It is a major improvement over our older model.

Pycnometers are used to determine the Specific Gravity and Weight per Gallon of the Traffic Paint. The Waterborne paints are a bit more difficult to test than the Alkyds, but with care, can still be accurately tested.

The new Colorimeter. is a major improvement over our older model. Not only will it provide “x” and “y” color coordinates, but also will give the percentage deviation from a color standard.

The Infrared Spectrometer is used to determine the Infrared “fingerprint” of the preliminary bid samples, which are used as a baseline for the year’s contract samples. A small portion of the paint vehicle is obtained by centrifuge and run through this instrument for infrared spectro-analysis.

The X-Ray Fluorescent Spectrometer is arguably the most expensive, high-tech, heavily depended on instrument in our laboratory. It is used in some way for practically every item that is tested. For Traffic Paint, it gives the elemental composition of the paint pigment down to parts per million. This instrument has been in use since 1992, and it has a proven track record of impeccable accuracy.