The attractive appearance of paint comes from its pigmentation. But the backbone of any coating is its resin. Resins are the viscous materials in paint that carry the pigmentation and, when dry, form a protective film around the coated surface to guard it against exposure to wear, weather, radiation and corrosion.
PPG’s Circleville, Ohio plant is the company’s center for resin production. Its sophisticated polymer resins are used in PPG paint-making plants from North America to China and are compounded into an assortment of finishes serving different markets.
Some of Circleville’s resins are used in consumer products, such as Pittsburgh, Lucite and Olympic paints and stains. Many go into PPG’s extensive line of automotive products, including primers, topcoats, clearcoats and refinishes. Others are used as the foundation for various factory-applied industrial coatings and adhesives such as coil or appliance coatings, inks and adhesives. Unpigmented resins from Circleville are even sold to an industrial client that uses them to coat the inside surface of aluminum beer cans.
Various raw materials in the form of high-purity chemicals arrive at Circleville by the truckload or in individual bags and drums. Precise amounts are measured for batch formulations, and the chemicals are mixed, heated and reacted in the plant’s 10 reactors under controlled conditions for between six and 30 hours. The controlled conditions form the plant’s quality system, which is TS16949 certified.
The chemical linkages that occur in the plant’s reactors form polymeric chains giving paint resins their powerful characteristics. About half the resins produced at Circleville are polyesters, polyethers, acrylics, epoxies and urethanes used for industrial applications. Much of the rest are for undercoats applied in electrodeposition baths. In response to growing industry demand for environmentally responsible products, Circleville recently began to supply high-solids, water-based latex for automotive purposes. Also, several clearcoat paints are produced for the automotive industry.
In 1987, PPG began operation of the Energy Recovery Unit at Circleville. The ERU is one of the safest and most efficient methods of waste disposal in the world. This multi-million dollar facility treats waste generated from the manufacture, distribution and use of coatings & resins manufactured by PPG’s businesses and generates steam that is used in the manufacture of resins. In other words, the ERU turns a waste issue into an energy solution.