Implementing standards

The TC35 Paints and Varnishes is involved in the standardisation for a wide range of paints and coatings. Currently, a lot of ISO standards are published or under development.

The TC35 Paints and Varnishes is involved in the standardisation for a wide range of paints and coatings. Image source: Mathias Rosenthal - Adobe Stock -

By Andre van Linden

A successful meeting this May in Brno in the Czech Republic with around 85 participants from normalisation institutes and suppliers of paint, equipment and services from around the world has resulted in the adaptations and adoptions of several standards for the paint and varnishes society.

The meeting was organised mainly by Czech company who was supported by a number of generous sponsors. As governing international standardisation organisation the ISO technical committee number 35 on Paints and Varnishes has held its yearly week of sessions for its working groups and subcommittees (who also have working groups again), all resulting in a plenary meeting where a big number of resolutions are accepted to create new standards and to investigate on new working items for harmonisation, e.g. on analytics and paint inspection.

Structure of the group

The TC35 Paints and Varnishes is covering a wide range of coatings. To be able to handle this wide scope, it has divided its scope main subjects and allocated them to subcommittees and working groups. The main subjects are on general test methods; preparation of steel substrates; protective paint systems for steel structures and for concrete surfaces, VOC, terminology and naval stores. In the ‘May-week’ more than 80 resolutions were accepted. At the moment 105 standards/work items are under development, i.e. work items on new standards and the revision of existing standards. During the week in Brno a lot of work items have proceeded and will be processed to be published for enquiry or as final document. Examples of such new standards are on demineralised water; a GC method for specific solvents determination and buffer solutions for pH calibration. A number of standards are under revision or systematic review and will be brought further after decisions taken in the meeting. During the delegates meeting, a discussion on possible harmonisation of the certificates of coating inspectors was initiated by the host of the meeting. The need for standardisation in this field will be investigated by experts and brought to TC35 for discussion next year. The same applies for the new idea for a subcommittee on analytical methods, over the next year the current field of harmonisation and regulation will be investigated to be able to have a discussion on the way forward. The meeting next year will be in Shanghai on invitation of the Chinese delegation.

A coherent set of standards

The main objective of ISO TC/35 Paints and varnishes is to develop a coherent set of standards in the field of paints, varnishes and related products. This aims at serving the global market and eliminating trade barriers whilst keeping close contact with the continuing changes in the industry and its user requirements. ISO/TC 35 works closely with other ISO TC’s, CEN TC 139 and ASTM D01 and when relevant with other technical bodies and associations to come to one globally accepted set of coatings standards that contribute to:

  • Reduction or elimination of commercial trade barriers. The close cooperation with CEN TC 139 under the Vienna Agreement plays an important role here when it concerns Europe
  • Practical use of unambiguous test results with acceptable precision through the world
  • Support legislation and international agreements, in particular with regard to environmental protection, (occupational) health and safety to make the world a better place for the current and future generations

What is in the Focus?

In practice the work of ISO/TC 35 comes down to the maintenance and development of standards and technical reports for:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) (Work Group 1)
  • Definitions and terminology to speak the same “paint” language (Work Group 2)
  • Binders for paints and varnishes (Work Group 4)
  • Naval stores (Work Group5)
  • General test methods for paints and varnishes (Sub Committee 9)
  • Preparation of steel substrates before application of paints and related products (Sub Committee 12)
  • Protective paints systems for steel structures (Sub Committee 14)
  • Protective coatings for concrete surface preparation and coating application (Sub Committee 15)

Each of the sub-committees has working groups installed again for specific work-items. For instance SC9 has 5 working groups installed with work-items like ‘Coating powders’; ‘Electrochemical methods’ and ‘Coatings materials for wind-turbine rotor blades and tidal-stream-driven rotor blades’. This way all major methods anybody will ever encounter in paints and coatings are covered by proper standards.

Why get involved in standards development?

One of the strengths of ISO standards is that they are created by the people that need them. Industry experts drive all aspects of the standard development process, from deciding whether a new standard is needed to defining all the technical content. Getting involved in this process can bring significant advantages to your business. For example by:

  • Giving early access to information that could shape the market in the future
  • Giving your company a voice in the development of standards
  • Helping to keep market access open.

Getting involved in standards development brings your concerns and needs to bear on a process that will affect you in the future. Contact:

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