The Roots of Industrial Coatings

The Roots of Industrial Painting 

Industrial painting is unique because it does all the work, from painting to drying, in a controlled environment. This is different from painting at a construction site. I will explain the beginnings of industrial painting, using the invention of the spray gun and the example of the Tokyo Tower. 

1. The Birth of the Spray Gun 

In the history of ANEST IWATA Corporation, it’s recorded that in 1926, spray guns and lacquer paints were introduced to Japan from America. Anticipating future demand for car repair painting, IWATA Manufacturing tried to replace expensive imported spray guns with domestic ones. After many trials, they developed Japan’s first spray gun. This success led them to make various painting devices, and in 1930, they established a painting equipment factory and store in Tokyo. This is the origin of ANEST IWATA. By the 1950s, as the car industry grew, painting technology also advanced significantly, establishing the foundation for industrial painting. 

2. Painting Work on the Tokyo Tower

The construction of the Tokyo Tower before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics reflected technological progress. The tower’s lower part was made of steel and was sandblasted and painted with a lead-based anti-rust paint in the factory. At the construction site, after assembly, they did surface preparations and painted it again with the same anti-rust paint, followed by two coats of phthalic resin synthetic paint. The upper part, made of galvanized steel, was brought to the site after galvanizing, and the same painting process was applied. After completion, the tower is repainted every five years. This thorough anti-corrosion painting design is a cornerstone of industrial painting. Thirty years after the Tokyo Tower, this approach was applied to the Seto Ohashi Bridge, where all parts were painted in a factory using heavy-duty anti-corrosion paint specifications. This method aims to reduce the frequency of repainting.

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