Composite Technology Polymers Group, LLC


Alternative Gel-Coat Technology
Emission Testing


October 17 – October 19, 2000



Emission Tests Performed at

 Coating Applications Research Laboratory



CARL Test Personnel

S. J. Hall

J. R. Noonan

R. M. Devine


Summary Report

November 21, 2000



Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology

 and Safe Materials Institute


Purdue University

2655 Yeager Road

Suite 103

West Lafayette, In.




Approved for website publiction by CTG 12/8/2000






Confidentiality Statement



Confidentiality Information:


            Purdue does not desire to receive information which is confidential to Composite Technology Polymers Group. However, should it be necessary for personnel of the Coating Applications Research Laboratory (CARL) to receive such confidential information in order to perform the technical assistance needed, Purdue and its researchers agree to use their best effort to prevent the disclosure of such information furnished by Composite Technology Polymers Group,  provided such confidential information is clearly indicated in writing as confidential, or given orally and reduced to writing within thirty (30) days.  If requested, Purdue and Composite Technology Polymers Group will develop and sign a Confidentiality Agreement .


No Warranties:


            Purdue makes no warranties, expressed or implied, as to any matter whatsoever, including without limitation, the condition of the technical assistance or deliverable or any invention(s) or product(s), whether tangible or intangible, conceived, discovered, or developed under this project agreement; or the ownership, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose of the assistance or any such inventions or product or deliverables.  Purdue shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special or other damages suffered by Composite Technology Polymers Group or by any licensee or any others resulting from the use of the deliverables or any such inventions or product.


Use of Purdue’s Name:


            Composite Technology Polymers Group cannot use the name of Purdue nor of any member of Purdue’s staff in any publicity, advertising, or news release without the prior written approval of an authorized representative of Purdue.  Composite Technology Polymers Group will not under any circumstance advertise or otherwise state or imply that Purdue has tested or approved any product or process.


Use of CMTI and/or CARL Name:


            Composite Technology Polymers Group may reference in technical and research reports and documents that the Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute (CMTI) and its Coating Applications Research Laboratory (CARL) located at Purdue University performed testing on products (material) supplied by Composite Technology Polymers Group.




New Gel-coat

Emission Testing

October17-19, 2000

Composite Technology Group





From October 17 through October 19 Composite Technology Group personnel were present at the Coatings Application Research Laboratory (CARL), located at Purdue University, to perform a series of emission tests on an alternate type of gel-coat designed to be free of hazardous styrene and other VOC/HAP air pollutant emissions.  The laboratory performed five (5) emission tests on the gel-coat supplied.  Emissions of all tests were then compared.  Two different operators applied gel-coat during the tests and an ANOVA comparison was made to examine for any detectable difference in emissions due to “operators.”


The resultant emissions data suggest that the gel-coat does indeed reduce emissions to a very low level, relative to styrene based gel-coats tested in the past.  The exact identity of these very low emissions is not known to CMTI personnel at this time, but could be due in part, or wholly, to the MEKP catalyst or derivative compounds which develop as a result of its chemical reaction with the gel-coat resin during polymerization.  After the five tests, a continuous 5½-minute application of the gel-coat was applied to the mold.  During this period an 18-liter gas sample of the emissions was collected from the stack into a Tedlar bag for gas chromatograph mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) evaluation. The content of VOC/HAP in the sample was very small and results of GC/MS testing proved inconclusive.  However, the results provided strong evidence of extremely small amounts of organic compounds such as benzene and toluene.  Composites Technology Group has provided CARL personnel with a new sample of the gel-coat material which will used to perform further GC/MS tests in an attempt to gain more useful information than the first GS/MS test provided.


Gel-coat and Catalyst Used:


The emission tests were performed using Composite Technology Group’s “No-VOC Gel-coat – Number 1600 Base Resin”.  The catalyst was Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide (MEKP).



Application Equipment operational settings (all application equipment supplied and operated by Composite Technologies Group, LLC):


Tests 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

            Magnum Air-Assisted-Airless, External mix

512 tip size

20 to 1 pump, 90 psi air

            2% (by volume) catalyst mix (specific gravity approximately equal to 1.0)

            10 psi shaping air pressure for the catalyst


All tests were performed in accordance with the following EPA methods:



The emissions data in this report is given as equivalent percent styrene emission as compared to the total pounds of gel-coat applied.



Equipment Used During Test


Magnum application equipment, External-mix Air Assisted Airless

J.U.M. Engineering, Inc. flame ionization detector (FID), model 3-100 -- (2 units)

Dwyer Instrument, Inc.-2 standard-design pitot tubes, model 160 series

Dwyer Instrument, Inc. primary standard manometer, model #424

NEC data-logging Pentium-II portable computer

National Instruments: LabVIEW, version 5.1 Graphical Programming Software,

         data acquisition software

National Instruments: LabVIEW DAQCARD AI-16XE-50 voltage to digital converter

National Instruments: SCB-68 voltage to digital interface

Dwyer Instrument, Inc. pressure transducer, model 607-4—convert inches of water pressure to linear voltage readout

Alnor Velometer series 6000—air velocity measurement instrument

Barnant temperature & relative humidity logger, model 6919000

Dwyer Instrument, Inc. temperature meter-voltage readout, model 4151D

Binks standard paint booth modified for 100% emission capture, stack airflow approx. 5950 cfm.

EPA method 204 temporary/permanent enclosure—collection of 100% of emissions

Sartorious scale—360 pounds maximum, 2 gram sensitivity (computer readout)

Sartorious scale—150 pounds maximum, 1 gram sensitivity

CFA certified male mold with overspray capture flange



Emission Test Procedure:


Two TCA-FIDs were calibrated using EPA certified propane gas standards prior to the beginning of each test and were rechecked at the end of each test.  One FID monitored Stack-ppm and the other monitored Background-ppm.


Application took place only after the lab had reached a VOC PPM baseline level of approximately 1-PPM (as indicated on the TCA-FIDs using propane as the calibration standard).


Gel-coat material was applied to a CFA designed, male, mold surface (35.66 sq. ft. including flange and application was applied up to and beyond the flange, in a manner similar to production methods, but not with excessive, indiscriminate over-spray.


The gel-coat material was applied to an approximate wet-mil thickness of 16 to 20 mils.


Typical application time was approximately 70 to 84 seconds allowing a targeted gel-coat deposition onto the mold surface of approximately 2.088 Kg. (4.272 lbs.).  The actual application time varied depending on the gel-coat flow rate from the application equipment.


The TCA-FID ppm outputs were verified and re-calibrated (if required) using EPA certified propane gas standards at the end of each test.  The calibration drift of the TCA-FIDs was less than 2% for every test.  Calibration drift of less than 5% is deemed acceptable by the EPA for Method 25A emission tests.


Catalyst (initiator) ratio to gel-coat was two (2) percent by volume.


The gel-coat material, applied to the CFA male mold, was monitored for emissions (data was logged every two seconds) during each complete test, from the start of the gel-coat application process, through cure of the material to the point where gel-coat would not transfer to a finger when touched with light pressure.  Each emission test was deemed complete, only when the gel-coat had reached this state and the emissions had returned to original baseline levels or lower.  The entire emission test process, for each of the tests run, spanned approximately one hour (-0, + 3 minutes).  The laboratory environment and the air moving through the booth ranged from 72-81°F for all tests.  The gel-coat temperature for all tests ranged from 65 - 75°F.



Test acceptance or rejection from the emission factor calculation:


As indicated on Chart-1, an anomaly was detected in Test-1 whereby the background ppm went up slightly during a portion of the test.  This was determined to have minimal effect on the percent-emissions for that test.  Tests-2 & 3 were conducted using a different operator than Tests 1, 4, & 5.  In the first application by operator-2, the start of application was well off the mold and the distance and time spent beyond the flanges was noticeably greater than in other tests.  A limited amount of instruction, afterward, altered this operator’s technique to conform similar to that of operator-1.  Analysis of the data collected, indicated no substantial effect on test results.  All tests were deemed acceptable for inclusion in the subsequent analyses.



Please see following chart:


Chart 1 – Graph of styrene-equivalent ppm-emission traces verses time, for each of the five gel-coat tests.




Please see following tables:


Table 1 – Stack Traverse Data.


Table 2 – Statistical Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).


Table 3 – Descriptive Statistics are supplied that indicate the minimal effect of the background ppm anomaly in Test-1.  A “Normal Curve” projected for the emissions from this gel-coat is also presented.  The indication is that emissions are between .0072 and .0135 i.e.: about 1% styrene equivalent (The calculation format used is based upon an established styrene/propane conversion formula.  This formula recognizes the basic molecular carbon content ratio of propane to styrene (3 to 8), but is further modified to take into account the experimentally determined difference-from-theoretical unique to each FID.  Since identity of the exact emissions detected is not known, the results are expressed using the laboratory’s usual calculation format).


Table 4 – Application specifications for each individual test


Table 5 – Pounds gel-coat applied, VOC/HAP pounds and percent emitted for each test.

Chart 1