How can I formulate a low-VOC coating that forms a continuous film at low temperature?
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MFFT, or minimum film formation temperature, is the lowest temperature at which a coating will form a continuous film without cracking or losing film properties. Having a coating with a sufficiently low MFFT is important for aesthetics and for non-ideal application conditions, such as low temperatures, because it extends the painting season. Reduction of MFFT can be accomplished in a number of ways: reducing the Tg of the resin used, which yields a softer coating that has poorer scrub resistance properties; adding a coalescing solvent, which increases the VOC content of the formulation; or utilizing a coalescing surfactant like Air Products’ Dynol® 360 and AD01 surfactants. Unlike the other alternatives, Dynol 360 and AD01 surfactants lower the MFFT of a system without detracting from film properties while also providing outstanding defect-free foam control and excellent wetting. They also help the formulator create coatings that meet stringent environmental and VOC requirements.