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Ask the Experts Inks and Graphic Arts

How can I improve the stability of my water-based carbon black pigment dispersion?

Jeanine Snyder
Senior Development

A stable pigment dispersion is critical to application performance. Formulating issues such as shock, flocculation, floating or flooding can develop when improperly stabilized pigment dispersions are let down into ink or coating systems. Air Products has developed Carbowet® 300 surfactant, specifically designed to achieve excellent wetting of hydrophobic materials leading to rapid incorporation of dry pigments and improved milling efficiency during the dispersion process. Carbowet 300 surfactant is designed to provide strong particle affinity and robust stabilization, minimizing stability problems in your system. Using Carbowet 300 surfactant in combination with a grinding resin can improve the viscosity stability of carbon black dispersions. Dispersions containing Carbowet 300 surfactant offer improved initial viscosities as well as better viscosity and dispersion stability after three weeks at 50 °C when compared with dispersions prepared with a grind resin alone. Solvent- and APE-free, this cost-effective surfactant offers improved dispersion and viscosity stability in resinated pigment dispersions where it functions as an environmentally preferable alternative to APEs and other surfactants used to provide color stability in printing inks and coatings.
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