Measurements of formaldehyde and TVOC emission from paints and coating materials using small chamber method for building composites


An optimal test method for paint is proposed; additionally, the Field and Laboratory Emission Cell (FLEC) method used in Europe is applied as a substitute for the 20 L small chamber method. The emission factors of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and formaldehyde from oil-based paint, emulsion paint, and water-dispersion paint with a coating weight of 300 g/m2, cured for 24/48 hours, were measured using the 20 L small chamber method. The emission rate of TVOC and formaldehyde from all paints began to stabilize after approximately 7 days after 24/48 hours of curing even though Korean standards stipulate that paint should be measured and analyzed after the third day of application. The emission factor of TVOC and formaldehyde from oil-based, emulsion, and water-dispersion paints were also measured using the FLEC method. There was good correlation between the 20 L small chamber method and the FLEC method for oil-based, emulsion, and water-dispersion paint emissions. With the FLEC method, using paints prepared under identical conditions, the emission rate was stable 24 hours after installation of samples because the air flow rate of FLEC is much higher than that of a 20 L small chamber, and the relative cell volume of FLEC is much smaller than that of a 20 L small chamber.

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Correspondence to Sumin Kim.

Additional information

Supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) by the Korea Government (MEST) (No. 2011-0001031

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Kim, JA., Kim, S., Kim, HJ. et al. Measurements of formaldehyde and TVOC emission from paints and coating materials using small chamber method for building composites. J. Wuhan Univ. Technol.-Mat. Sci. Edit. 27, 120–125 (2012).

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Key words

  • formaldehyde
  • TVOC
  • paints
  • coating materials
  • FLEC