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Specialty Additives Update

June 2011
Environmentally Friendly Additives for Advances in Industrial Maintenance Coatings

Specialty Additives UpdateFormulators of industrial maintenance coatings are now faced with the challenges of meeting new regulations that limit VOC content to 100 g/L. While there are many ways to create compliant formulations, most of them can compromise your coating’s performance. The use of low-VOC resins can lead to poor film formation, long dry time and soft films. Removal of volatile coalescing solvents results in a higher minimum film formation temperature (MFFT), poor coating integrity and film defects. Substituting a low-VOC coalescing agent doesn’t solve the problem because these agents are often difficult to incorporate and can cause film defects. It may seem impossible to get compliance and quality at the same time.

Air Products’ coalescing surfactants can help you meet target VOC levels and maintain performance. For example, EnviroGem® 360 and EnviroGem AD01 surfactants provide multifunctional benefits in industrial maintenance coatings—they significantly reduce dynamic surface tension and contribute zero VOC per EPA Method 24 to your formulation. By reducing the minimum film formation temperature and improving low-temperature film formation, our EnviroGem 360 and EnviroGem AD01 surfactants function like volatile coalescing solvents—without the drawbacks. The EnviroGem 360 surfactant is a low-foam, superwetting surfactant that allows you to coat low surface energy substrates. The EnviroGem AD01 surfactant helps improve dynamic wetting and also minimizes foam. Both materials are truly multifunctional additives.

Now you can readily formulate low-VOC coatings based on NMP-free waterborne, high performance, urethane-acrylic hybrids and other resins. Plus you can achieve properties comparable to those seen in high-VOC counterparts. With system optimization, you can achieve good film formation, integrity, hardness, good dry times and excellent chemical resistance. At Air Products, our goal is to meet today’s regulations with new ideas, novel solutions, and environmentally preferable alternatives. With the help of cutting-edge ingredients from Air Products, limiting VOC content doesn’t need to limit the performance of your industrial maintenance coatings.

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