Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing recently celebrated the completion of major upgrades to the program’s paint booth. The booth upgrade means students and faculty can use waterborne paint, an environmentally friendly paint that is gaining traction in body shops across the U.S. and internationally.
The booth upgrade was made possible by a matching grant from the Minneapolis Green Business Matching Grant Program and sponsors PPG Industries, ABRA Autobody and Glass, Luther Collision and Glass, and Master Collision Group.
Waterborne paint, which uses much less solvent than previous paint, provides multiple environmental and economic benefits including lower anthropogenic VOC emissions and reduced job and material costs.
The program celebrated the installation by hosting a “Waterborne 101” presentation, including a brief history of collision instruction at Dunwoody by Bruce Graffunder; a presentation on waterborne paint by Lynn Engmark of PPG Industries; and some observations on using waterborne paint from Pete Latuff of Latuff Brothers Auto Body.
With so many advantages for both the shop and the customer, “there’s absolutely no reason to not shoot waterborne [paint],” Latuff said when describing his shop’s successful shift away from solvent based paints towards water based paints.
Graffunder explained that this new piece of equipment will also change the Automotive program’s curriculum. As auto body shops across the country transition towards waterborne-based paint practices, Dunwoody Automotive students can expect the same. Graffunder now expects close to 75% of painting time will be devoted to using and learning waterborne based painting techniques. This change in curriculum will better train and prepare Dunwoody students as they progress towards a career in automotive collision repair.
The afternoon presentation concluded with refreshments and a demonstration from Lynn Engmark on how to properly apply waterborne-based paint to a car panel.