World first breakthrough in safer paint technology

A&I Coatings
Sunday, 01 January, 2023

World first breakthrough in safer paint technology

A&I Coatings has been working on a new type of polyurethane coating for the mining and vehicle body manufacturing industry that is more sustainable and less harmful to persons compared to other coatings currently available.

Australia, more than any other country can lay claim to being the unofficial home to some of the biggest mines and mining equipment in the market.

One of the core values in the Australian Mining Industry is its commitment to health, safety and wellbeing of its workforce and support teams.

Also an important factor to any mine site, the quality and functionality of mining equipment is crucial to success in the mining industry. Major rebuilds and repairs of surface and underground equipment is critical to the sustainability of machinery and equipment.

One of the major areas to be considered in the construction of new equipment and major rebuilds and repairs is the suitability of the paint used to protect the surface of the machinery.

In many applications where machinery needs to be painted, the safety of workers is paramount, protecting the workers from being exposed to harmful chemicals such as ISOCYANATES. Isocyanates have been in use commercially since 1952 as a catalyst for polyurethane paints, however it has become increasingly clear that isocyanates can pose serious health risks and lead to illnesses such as:

  • long-term respiratory illness,
  • skin and respiratory sensitization,
  • allergic contact dermatitis, which can have a long-term effect on the health and wellbeing of persons exposed to isocyanates.

With an increase of industry awareness around Isocyanates and a tightening of regulations, and companies turning away from polyurethane coatings to inferior coatings as a result, we saw there was a need in the market for a high performing and extremely durable coating that was not only extremely durable in harsh mining conditions, but also did not contain Isocyanates.

Image credit: A&I Coatings


Thanks Bill, can you tell us more about what companies are doing currently to minimize any risk of exposure to Isocyanates and the impact it has?

Bill Chesterfield:

To minimize the risk of isocyanate exposure to employees, companies are often turning towards inferior coatings such as Enamels, Catalyzed Acrylics, and Modified Epoxies, all of which are brittle, have poor impact resistance and have poor resistance to atmospheric elements such as acid rain, salt sulphates, and UV, leading to an early breakdown of the coating.

As the coating breaks down, this affects the integrity of the paint leading to a premature failure, subsequently exposing the machinery and equipment to corrosion attack and in some instances, an early onset of decay, shortening the lifecycle of the machinery, and decreasing its ability to perform how it should.

In a world first, A&I Coatings, an Australian globally recognized Industrial Coating manufacturer, who are engineers and developers of high performing coatings for commercial and industrial applications, has launched the first Isocyanate Free Polyurethane Coating called VITRETHANE 650. VITRETHANE 650 is considered a major world first breakthrough in the coating industry and an advancement of protective coatings specifically used in new builds, major repairs, and maintenance of surface and underground mining equipment.

A&I Coatings research and development team have been working on the Vitrethane 650 project for 12 months now, engineering the optimum formula that is suited to the harsh environment of the mining industry.

Developed and made in Australia, VITRETHANE 650 is a premium quality 2 pack ISOCYANATE FREE Polyurethane Topcoat. Utilizing full polyurethane technology and curing without the use of harmful Isocyanates, makes Vitrethane 650IF a SAFER, BETTER, and more DURABLE coating than conventional Isocyanate free coatings.

Vitrethane 650 comes in a high gloss finish and is a versatile Polyurethane topcoat with exceptional durability and weathering performance.

Available in an unlimited colour range Vitrethane 650IF has colour and gloss retention and chemical resistance equal to a high-quality polyurethane.

Vitrethane 650 is engineered to eliminate the exposure to the harmful Isocyanates and is creating a pathway to a sustainable future for both the workplace and the environment, reducing workplace risks and negative health side effects when exposed to Isocyanates in Polyurethane coatings.

Vitrethane 650 contains all the characteristics of a high performing polyurethane, including:

  • flexibility
  • weathering performance
  • chemical resistance
  • abrasion resistance
  • adhesion resistance

By displaying the desired balance of mechanical properties, such as flexibility, impact resistance, surface hardness, toughness, and adhesion, VITRETHANE 650 can go above the service requirements for a specific application and withstand adverse effects of damages.

Added to the multiple benefits and features of VITRETHANE 650 compared to its other Isocyanate free counterparts, VITRETHANE 650 also has a very low odor, reducing the impact on the air quality.

Safety conscious companies can now be assured they can safely use a polyurethane coating, knowing that there is no risk of employee exposure to isocyanates, without resorting to less durable coatings.

A&I is family-owned paint formulating and manufacturing business located in Moss Vale, NSW which is about 1.5 hours South of Sydney. A&I has complete in-house testing capabilities including blast and paint trialing, accelerated UV and corrosion chambers, scratch, chip and abrasion, freeze/thaw and thermal shock testing. A&I runs a quality system complying with ISO 9001:2015 and is a registered manufacturing unit with the Australian Paint Approval Scheme.

For more information, visit:

Top image credit: A&I Coatings

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