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Good Practice in the Proper Storage of Industrial Paints

Paint storage facility, AlpAccess car

In order to honor all the industrial paint demands, we must keep a significant amount of paint on stock, therefore the AlpAccess's storage facility is constantly exceeding 10.000 liters of paint. Such an amount must be stored without affecting the environment and in compliance with the legislation in force

Industrial paints - how to proper store them?

In order to proper use paints for longer periods of time, we must comply with certain requirements:

Temperature control

All paints have specific temperature requirements when stored. For example, vinyl esters that are kept at temperatures above 35 °C start to become solid whether or not the components are mixed. Another example, water-based paints - the range of Xylan, products - are irremediably damaged in case of negative temperatures.

In order to keep the paints in optimal conditions to apply them properly, the paints must be kept in a temperature range between 15 and 25 °C. This can be achieved if heating the storage space during the winters and cooling the air during the summers. For low energy consumption, the entire facility must be properly insulated.

Temperature monitoring

Any paint has a certain storage time also called "Shelf Life". The period of time described in the technical specifications is usually, three or six months, or one year or more, depending on the type of paint. Some paint manufactures may extend this term if evidence is found that the paint has been kept in optimal temperature conditions. AlpAccess's storage facilities are equipped with temperature data loggers which record the temperature minute by minute.

AlpAccess industrial paint storage temperature control

Proper ventilation

Many industrial paints are solvent-based. These, even when stored in special cans, may release solvent vapours and produce a toxic or potentially explosive atmosphere. Therefore, the store facility is recommended to be mechanically ventilated. Our storage facilities are properly ventilated and the low explosion limit is constantly monitored. When positioning the ventilation system and the sensors it should be considered that the solvent is heavier than the air and gathers in the lower part of the room.

Sufficient lighting

Any industrial paint storage facility should be light enough to allow operators to proper identify the products that are to be used. A sufficient amount of light is somewhere over 50 ft-candela (538 Lux).

Fire protection

Since most paints in use are flammable, we need to make sure that the risk of a fire is as low as possible. To accomplish this, we must:

  • Build the facility using fireproof materials: fireproof sandwich panels, metal panels, OSB firestop
  • Use flameproof electrical equipment: luminaires, heaters, solvent recovery equipment, certified air conditioners
  • Use mechanical ventilation to remove the solvent vapours
  • Use explosion vapours detectors (LEL), temperature, fire and smoke sensors
  • Equip the facility with verified fire extinguishers, placed in visible areas and marked accordingly
  • Install warning signals on the content of the storage facility to forbid smoking, working with fire etc.

Accidental anti-spill protection

A complying paint storage facility use protection against accidental spills of products to prevent leaking the paints or their chemical components into the soil or the groundwater. Our facilities are equipped with a secondary containment insulated with polyurethane coating (an elastomeric paint with good chemical resistance and impact strength) in a layer with a thickness of 3-5 mm. Polyurethane insulation ensures easy cleaning of the floor and total removal of the leaked product.

Another protection measure is to keep a spill kit in a visible area and marked accordingly. The kit consists of absorbent materials, tools to clean the absorbent material and hermetic bags or cans to store the absorbent material soaked with paint.

Proper inventory management and evidence of the stored product lots

It is very important to have a correct inventory of the products in the store facility. Lot number help us establish the traceability between paint used and the painted items, which is evidence that for a certain item we used the proper paint, in accordance with the technical requirements.

Easy access to Safety Data Sheets and Product Data Sheets

In the store facility, there must be an area clearly defined where the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for the stored products. The Safety Data Sheets are useful to establish the paint handling procedures, what protective equipment should be used, or - in case of an accident - for doctors to determine the appropriate treatment method. When using the products, copy of Safety Data Sheets will be available near the areas where paint is applied (the entrance of the painting cabin or at the working site, near the painting pump).

The Product Data Sheets provide information on how to apply the paint, how to prepare it, the drying time, the time to apply a second coat etc. These are essential information to provide a quality painting. The best place to store the Product Data Sheets is right in the storage area.

Product rotation in the paint storage

FIFO Organization (First In First Out) and honoring orders

As we presented before, all paints have a finite shelf life after which they are considered expired and are no longer recommended for use. When we have significant amounts of paint, the storage must be kept considering product rotation by age (FIFO management: the first product stored is the first product used). This prevents forgetting products in the warehouse, where they expire and can cause quality issues, financial losses and unwanted waste.

Also, a good practice is to organize products by project / orders, to ensure that inappropriate products for the work in progress are not mistakenly used.

Protection equipment and signaling

Since most paints are toxic, we must ensure proper signaling and protection means in the storage facility. The protection equipment include: respiratory masks, eye showers, medical kit. Among the warning sign, we mention: Caution Toxic Chemicals, Caution Flammable Materials, Highly Corrosive Chemicals, Mandatory Protective Equipment (suit, respiratory mask, gloves, glasses).

Paint storage facility