Optiprime Waterborne Primer

PPG Industries is a leading global provider of decorative coatings for the automotive industry, supplying a full product line of clearcoats, basecoats, and primers. As the automotive industry has endeavored to improve its environmental stewardship, PPG has been committed to developing more environmentally friendly coatings. One area of focus has been waterborne primers. PPG has recently introduced Optiprime® 3 waterborne primer for use in automotive manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Primer is a critical layer in a vehicle’s decorative coating because it provides several benefits for the vehicle owner. Primer helps smooth the metal surface, resulting in a more appealing reflective appearance. It provides a cushion layer against the impact of road debris to reduce paint chipping. Finally, primer works with the coating layers above and below it to improve overall corrosion resistance, adhesion, and long-term weathering durability.

Solventborne primers have been the industry standard for decades. As well as offering excellent smoothness and good chip protection, they are very robust for a wide variety of application conditions and paint layering compatibilities. However, a full-size car or truck can require up to a gallon of primer, which means 4 to 6 pounds of solvent can be released into the booth air during primer application.

In the early 1990s, OEM manufacturers started experimenting with waterborne primers to reduce this environmental impact. Waterborne primers have since been employed wherever they can meet requirements and are economically feasible.

PPG offers three classes of waterborne primer – all under the Optiprime® brand. Each class utilizes a different chemistry, formulated to meet the differing needs of automotive manufacturers. PPG’s Optiprime® 1 family uses a proprietary “self-crosslinking” chemistry, while the Optiprime® 2 family is based on a polyester-urethane chemistry. Introduced in 2006, PPG’s Optiprime® 3 family uses a new proprietary polyester chemistry that yields both tough and flexible resins and primers with solids levels previously only achieved by urethanes. The Optiprime® 3 family consists of a true modular chemistry, so that various simple toolbox ingredients can be combined with the core to create primers which meet not only a very broad scope of performance requirements, but also rival solventborne primer standards for appearance and handling. Optiprime® 3 primers offer high solids, excellent surface smoothing and appearance, and very good chip resistance. Moreover, they are very cost effective, compatible with all coating layers offered by PPG, and available in virtually any color.

Optiprime® 3 waterborne primer is PPG’s response to the automotive industry’s demand for a robust low cost, high-performance product that is at the top of its class both environmentally and economically.