FAQ’s Tinting Systems

Software & Technical support

On the dispensing machines we work with PrismaPro 3, web connected and very user friendly with a google type search engine. For colour formula development we work with Datacolor Match Pigment. We have our own developed software named “KIM” to translate a colour database from Datacolor Match Pigment into a PrismaPro 3 machine software release or other specific tinting machine databases.

Development & Implementation

The majority of the work to implement an industrial tinting system is required for checking the properties of the coating in combination with the colorants, besides the obvious colour compatibility testing (rub-out check). Many durability tests need to be evaluated, which can take a lot of time (UV resistance, salt spray tests on different metals, chemical resistance, thermal shock, etc.). This must be done by the coating manufacturer himself, they know best how their coatings should perform. After their technical approval we can implement the system within 2-3 months, depending on the number of coatings and required fandeck(s). We would need a 1 liter sample of each base coating. In case shipment of solvent containing coatings is an issue, we can provide instructions which mixtures need to be made on drawdown cards. With these drawdown cards we can determine the coloristic performance of the base paints and adapt the colour recipes for that coating.

Depending on the exact requirement, the average preparation time is around 4-6 months. We are used to work in a 3 step process:  Step 1. Base paint investigation and creating a few colour formulations. Step 2. Discussion on results and agree on specific customer settings, find price agreement based on actual colouring cost. Step 3. Implementation of step 2 resulting in a final software release for the tinting machine.

We supply most of our colorants in 1 liter coated metal cans, suitable for POS use. Some high consumption colourants we also provide in 2.5 liter coated metal cans. For IND Pro we supply in larger pack sizes, 4 Liter cans for volumetric tinting system use, besides 20 kg and 200 kg for in-plant use. On request we can also make different sizes available, for example IBC tanks.

Product Information

No, automotive paint is normally made by mixing coloured paints in many different colours and also requires many special effect pigments. This is probably the only segment of Industrial Coatings where IND Pro does not fit.

Yes, we have specific colour recipes developed for plasters, with 2 base plasters (Transparent and Base White). For plasters we advise to work mainly with inorganic pigments (Façade A1 module). At the moment we have 8 different inorganic colorants available in UNI Plus.

The main differentiator is the very high compatibility with both water- and solvent based paints, in many different paints and coating types. This results in additional benefits, such as improved opacity, more colour stability and a wider final colour range that can be made. UNI Plus has a higher colour strength in general compared to existing universal systems, resulting in lower cost.

No, UNI Plus can not be used for the specific group of heavy duty Industrial Protective Coatings, often solvent based or high solid, identified as “2 component Poly-Urethane (PU)” or ”2 component Epoxy (EP)”, the IND Pro series is the best choice.

From all paints tested, we found some compatibility issues with oil based paints like linseed oil paints. Also with 2k PU paints, the hardener component (Isocyanate) can react with the water in UNI Plus, giving a foaming effect or a loss of gloss.

Performance in water based systems is similar, in Alkyd solvent based paints some types will perform better with the ALK system. With UNI Plus there is more choice for different modules.

Our history and success comes from tinting Decorative paints, where we have a complete and up-to-date colorant portfolio. As 40% (by volume, 55% by value) of the total Coatings market belongs to Industrial Coatings, we were missing the availability of a suitable tinting system for a significant part of the total coatings market. Also many Industrial coating manufacturers now start to realize the benefits of utilizing a tinting system. Following our passion for sustainable technology, we have been able to launch this innovative new series of universal colorants named Ralston IND Pro, VOC free and utilizing bio-based raw materials, which makes it really unique in its kind.

The same type of machines as for Decorative paints can be used, but as the volume of product that needs to be tinted is normally much higher for Industrial coatings, with also bigger pack sizes, we would suggest a machine with a relative high volume output and/or simultaneous dispenses of multiple colorants at the same time. We have good experience with the Corob gearpump machines (D700 and D800 series) or the Harbil 480 and 680 of Fast & Fluid Management, sequential dispensing machines with a clever dispensing speed technology.

It is difficult to make that statement legally, because also raw materials that are reported as VOC free can always contain trace amounts of VOC. Also from the production process minimal amounts of VOC can be introduced. All raw materials selected for these series are VOC free, so besides trace amounts (< 0,5 %), we can state the Ralston UNI Plus and the Ralston IND Pro are VOC free.

In 2K Epoxy it is important that the colorant is introduced in the “A” component, so not the hardener, because of the epoxy functionality of the colorant. For 2K PU, it makes no difference which of the 2 components is used for tinting. Important is that the correct amount of total colorant is calculated on the total volume of both components.


You can contact Ralston Tinting systems by e-mail and phone:

T: +31 38 4291100  
E: info@ralstoncolour.com

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