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Ask the Experts Paints and Coatings

I’m confused by the bewildering number of defoamers available. Do you have any simple guideline to help me choose a defoamer?

Jim Reader
Lead Research Chemist

As waterborne coatings contain many different ingredients, it can be difficult to predict a defoamer’s performance. However, some simple elements to consider first are the VOC and viscosity of the formulation. High-PVC (pigment volume concentration) formulations and high-viscosity formulations need strong defoamers, like mineral oils, such as Surfynol® DF75 defoamer. In high-gloss systems, mineral oils can cause haze, so in these systems silicone defoamers, such as Surfynol DF58 defoamer or Surfynol DF62 defoamer, can give effective foam control without haze. It can be difficult to control foam in low-viscosity formulations and clear coats, because strong defoamers can cause incompatibility problems like craters and fish-eyes. In these cases, molecular defoamers such as Surfynol DF110D defoamer or Surfynol® AD01 defoamer work best.
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