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Specialty Additives Update

May 2013

Fighting foam in ink and graphic arts applications

fighting foam in ink and graphic arts applicationsFoam 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.

Air Products is pleased to offer a range of products allowing a systematic approach to defoamer selection based on product performance. In the toughest situations, where foam control is critical without causing defects, we offer Airase® 5400, Airase 5500 and Surfynol® DF66 defoamer, our siloxane-based defoamers specifically designed for aqueous ink systems. These products are specifically designed to have predictable performance in terms of defoaming strength and formulation compatibility. For pigment dispersions, we offer Airase 5200, Airase 8070, and Surfynol DF58 defoamers to eliminate foam and allow more efficient grinding. To ensure effective knockdown foam control with excellent sustainability, we offer our organic-based defoamers, Surfynol DF75 and Surfynol DF37. Our molecular defoamers, such as Surfynol DF-110C, DF-110D, DF-110L, and MD20 defoamers as well as Surfynol® AD01 surfactant, 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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