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Specialty Additives Update

June 2013

Forget about foam!

Air Products' defoamer and deaerator solutions

foamFoam is a persistent challenge to formulators and applicators. The selection of the proper defoamer or deaerator can greatly reduce a formulator’s frustration and improve the quality of the finished system. Air Products recently published two articles to help take some of the guesswork out of finding the right additive and how to introduce it effectively to your formulation.

  • “Predicting Defoamer Performance,” March 2013, Paints & Coatings:
    Difficulties in finding a suitable defoamer exist because the performance of each defoamer is affected by the formulation in which it is used—change the formulation, and the defoamer performance may change as well. Also, since the formulation tends to be decided before it’s time to consider a defoamer, the defoamer has to work within that formulation. This article presents a brief review of defoamer chemistry and formulation and describes how defoamer performance is affected by other formulation components in the coating. It also introduces a new line of defoamers designed to have predictable performance relative to each other to allow formulators to take a systematic approach to defoamer selection. Each product in this line has a different balance of defoaming strength and formulation compatibility for optimal defoaming performance in different formulations.
  • “Novel Zero-VOC Deaerators for Waterborne Coatings,” January 2013, Coatingstech:
    Microfoam is a major problem for formulators of low-VOC waterborne coatings. The presence of tiny, trapped air bubbles in a coating film leads to haze and lower gloss, and can also affect coating rheology during application. To eliminate such problems, deaerators or defoamers are required as part of the formulations. This article explores how deaerators’ compositional and structural parameters can be controlled to “dial-in” deaerator effectiveness and compatibility. It also introduces our new zero-VOC deaerators, designed to eliminate both macrofoam and microfoam without generating surface defects so you can improve the coating performance on different substrates.

Air Products offers a full spectrum of defoamer chemistries, including organic oil, mineral oil and silicone-based as well as our own unique molecular defoamers based on Gemini surfactant technology. Our siloxane-based deaerators are designed to eliminate foam, pinholing and solvent popping problems in water-based coatings in demanding situations such as application by spray technologies.

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