Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2002

Product (or Technical) Data Sheets

Q. I recently attended the Surface Coating Training you conducted at the Air Toxics Workshop in North Carolina. In the materials you gave us you state that a technical data sheet has more reliable information etc.

I have a couple of questions: Is a technical data sheet the same thing as a certified product data sheet? How readily accessible are technical data sheets? Do suppliers generally have them and make them available to their customers? Thanks for your help!

A. Thanks for your e-mail. A product (or technical) data sheet is simply a one or two page document that describes the properties of the coating and explains how to apply it. Generally, it will tell you what type of surface preparation is required before painting, what type of primer to apply, how long it takes to dry and cure, what type of film thickness to expect, etc.

In most cases, the product data sheet also gives you the VOC content and other information that might be useful to the customer.

The product data sheet is not in any way, shape or form an MSDS. Moreover, nothing is certified. If a paint company has a range of colors, then in most cases there will be one sheet for the entire range. Usually, you will not find VOC information for each color on the range.

Finally, product sheets are usually available for coatings that are sold to many customers. However, if the paint vendor specially formulates a coating for one customer, it is unlikely that a special product data sheet is written.

Here is an excellent example of a product data sheet for Sherwin-Williams Polane Polyurethane:

I hope this clarifies the issue.

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