Even in small quantities, substances that interfere with paint wetting, “LABS” for short, influence the quality of painting results. They lead to coating defects and cause small craters and larger areas of poor coverage on the items being painted. Freudenberg Filtration Technologies tests its industrial painting filters for LABS in accordance with VDMA 24364. These compliant filter elements reduce the risk of coating errors. In this context, the Fraunhofer Institute IPA in Stuttgart is an important contact partner.
LABS are deposited on surfaces in many different ways. The substances get there either via the air or through direct contact of the component with other objects. Substances that interfere with paint wetting include silicones, oils, greases, waxes or plastics components such as PFTE and polyethylene. They prevent the homogeneous wetting of surfaces with paint and thus lead to crater-shaped or large-area paint defects. Affected parts then have to be either touched up or completely repainted. In a highly competitive sector like the automotive industry, this is a particularly time-consuming and costly undertaking that needs to be avoided wherever possible.
The solution is to ensure that painting plants are only equipped with LABS-free devices and components. The question of whether a product contains problematic substances has long been determined individually for each customer. Now, with its recent 24364 guideline, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) has published a standardized testing procedure. The norm is intended to establish a uniform standard within the industry and thus create comparability in terms of LABS conformity. The VDMA procedure is intended to eliminate redundant tests in the future. In principle, devices, products and materials are considered to be LABS-compliant if no wetting disturbances occur during testing according to VDMA 24364. Detailed documentation then forms the basis for the test result.
Whether pocket filters, cassette filters, edrizzi paint mist separators, filter mats or HT filters: the Viledon portfolio offers a wide range of products with which even complex air filter concepts for industrial painting can be implemented in full LABS-compliant form. Alongside solutions for dry separation and wet scrubbing, the HiTemp and Hi Protec series also offer LABS-compliant high-performance, high-temperature filters for industrial paint drying.
“We are well aware of the special challenges. Elements for air filtration come into contact with all supply and circulating air and are therefore a relevant source of LABS contamination”, explained Dr Silvan Schneider, Product Segment Engineer. “For this reason, we will in future increasingly focus on LABS-compliant filter elements. To ensure that the test results are as transparent and reliable as possible in accordance with VDMA 23643, our tests are carried out in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute.” Building on the product groups already tested, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies will continue to work with independent test centers in the future.
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