With the usage of waterborne coatings on the rise, a recent study conducted by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes found that quality was the primary reason collision repairers favor waterborne refinish coatings over traditional solvent systems.
The study was conducted in July, prior to the company launching its new Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System the following month.
“As we prepared to launch our new product, we were interested in finding out general user opinions about waterborne coatings and what is driving the change to use them,” said Brian Shenk, marketing director for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “The extensive market survey revealed a number of trends and information regarding the use and increased acceptance of waterborne systems.”
Out of the 250 survey respondents across the United States, the majority classified themselves as body shop owners or managers. Seventy-seven percent work for or own an independent body shop, and 60 percent have annual revenue of $1.5 million or less.
According to the survey, 64 percent of collision repair shops have used waterborne paint within the last year.
“When we first started manufacturing waterborne coatings for the refinish market, we expected that most people were going to want to use them because of changing [VOC] legislation and wanting to be ahead of the curve in regard to compliance,” said Shenk. "What we’re finding is that the technology behind waterborne paint is so superior today that shops are changing for a completely different set of reasons other than because they are required to do so.”
As a result of the study, Shenk said they learned the five key considerations from collision repairers when choosing a new waterborne system for their facility. Color match was at the top of the list followed closely by productivity and ease of system use. Price and OEM approvals were also factors in their decision-making process.
The number one reason shops aren’t using waterborne coatings, according to the study, is the cost of new equipment. However, more than half of those who currently don’t utilize them said that they plan to do so or at least look into it over the next year.