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Materials Science



WACKER unveils polymeric binder for interior paints with ecolabel credentials


12/02/2019

WACKER will present a new polymeric binder for the production of interior paints with ecolabel credentials at the 2019 European Coatings Show. In VINNAPAS EP 3560, the Munich-based group is launching a new dispersion that facilitates the formulation of paints that have a lower odour and produce fewer emissions. The new product offers a compelling blend of very good dispersibility and high alkaline hydrolysis resistance. The 2019 European Coatings Show will be held in Nuremberg, Germany, March 19 – 21.

Interior paints are frequently made with organic solvents, which afford a way for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to enter the paint. VOC is an umbrella term that covers about 200 different substances, including various alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and esters. As the paint dries, these evaporate into the air, where they can irritate the respiratory organs and eyes or induce headaches in sensitive people.

Binders based on vinyl acetate-ethylene (VAE) offer an alternative solution here. In VINNAPAS EP 3560, an enhanced version of the tried-and-true VINNAPAS EP 3360, WACKER has now developed a VAE dispersion that enables wall paints to meet the requirements of various ecolabels, such as the “Nordic Ecolabelling for Indoor Paints and Varnishes.”

Paint makers now have a product that can help them meetthe growing demand for lower-emission paints. No organic solvents whatsoever are used in WACKER’s VAE technology due to the chemical structure: VAE copolymers are  hydrophilic (water-loving). Instead of organic solvents, water suffices as coalescing agent or film-forming aid. As a coat of paint dries, it contracts in volume, drawing the pigments, fillers and polymer coils closer to one another.

The particles have less room to maneuver, the polymer chains straighten out and the tangled structure reorganises itself into a coherent polymer film. This process is subject to a threshold temperature. Thus, the film-forming temperature of VAE binders from WACKER for use in paints is in and around the freezing point. Paints formulated with other polymers would not form a film at these temperatures. They need the additional help of organic solvents, which evaporate as the paint dr ies and are responsible for the bulk of the VOCs.

Despite their advantages, paints formulated with VAE binders are not entirely free from VOC emissions, as the free-radical polymerization process requires further substances, for example for starting and stopping the chemical reaction. The experts at WACKER worked intensively on the polymerization and composition of the binder, coming up trumps with VINNAPAS EP 3560, a high-quality, lower-odour and lower-emission product for matt to semi-gloss paints. They also succeeded in optimizing the dispersibility, which is responsible for better colour development and colour consistency. A further bonus is that the binder confers greater alkaline hydrolysis resistance on wall paints. As a result, paints based on VAE are better equipped to counteract efflorescence and so are ideal for primers applied to alkaline substrates such as concrete. The paints are breathable, too. This is a key criterion for preventing mold formation. Like VINNAPAS EP 3360, the new product features high wet-scrub resistance and makes for excellent processing even at low temperatures. The minimum film-forming temperature of VINNAPAS EP 3560 is approx. two degrees Celsius.

New at ECS 2019: The WACKER Forum
WACKER will be devoting a total of 240 square meters of floor space to solutions for paints, coatings, construction and adhesives applications at the 2019 European Coatings Show. More than 70 experts will be on hand at Booth 1-510 in Hall 1 to discuss the products and their applications with interested parties. Making a new appearance this year will be the WACKER Forum, right beside the main booth. Here, 15-minute presentations aimed at an international specialist audience will be held on technology, trends and innovations under the motto “Let’s talk about...” More information about the program of presentations at the WACKER Forum can be found at www.wacker.com/ECS2019.