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Specialty Additives Update

July 2014

Fighting foam in ink and graphic arts applications

spec add updateFoam is a frequent problem when formulating waterborne inks because surfactants that have been added to lower the surface tension of the ink or wet out substrates and pigments can stabilize the air bubbles introduced during mixing or application. Trapped air bubbles in the formulation may cause problems such as reduced grind efficiency, handling hassles, and surface defects, which can potentially detract from the performance of the finished product. The selection of a defoamer for a given formulation must take into consideration many factors, including the ink raw materials, method of manufacture, means of application, and cure conditions. The optimum defoamer will be one that balances the strength of the defoamer with the compatibility and solubility of the defoamer in the system.

At Air Products, we offer a diverse range of defoamers to meet your formulating needs. For effective knockdown foam control and performance longevity, we offer our organic-based defoamers such as, Airaise® 4500 and Surfynol® DF-220 defoamers. In the toughest situations, where foam control is critical and surface defects cannot be tolerated, we offer Surfynol DF-695 and Surfynol DF-66 siloxane-based defoamers specifically designed for aqueous ink systems. In addition, our Airase Structured Siloxane Defoamer Line (SSDLTM) also offers products such as Airase 5300, Airase 5400, and Airase 5500 defoamers which are designed for applications where strong defoaming is required with good long-term persistency and film compatibility. These products are specifically designed to have predictable performance relative to each other in terms of defoaming strength and formulation compatibility to allow formulators to take a systematic approach to defoamer selection. Our molecular defoamers, such as, Surfynol MD20, AD01 & DF110 Series Deformers, offer defect-free foam control in printing ink applications. Molecular defoamers are an excellent formulating alternative for those situations where silicones and organic defoamers either can’t be used or aren’t effective.

Our broad defoamer product portfolio based on three distinct product types—organic, siloxane, and molecular—can provide you with a wide range of formulating options. No matter what your formulating needs, Air Products offers you innovative and flexible solutions to the challenges you face. 

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