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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Coating 2.0 – the improved waterborne biobased version

Thursday, 7 June 2012 | Posted by: Sonja Specks, European Coatings Journal

Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that waterbornes and biobased coatings are not just substitutes? They are new products!

Customers request: no VOC, environmental friendly and  as good in performance as established solventborne fossil coatings.

Substituting solvents is – as everybody knows nowadays – not an act of taking out "solvents” from the formulation and replacing it 1:1 with water to gain a waterborne coating.

It is a matter of time and effort to adapt the other raw materials as well, exchange them or to test new ones. At the end, the product is recommended for the same application, purpose and substrate. But it has not much to do with the solventborne predecessor.

The same is true for biobased raw materials

It has taken time, efforts and lots of tests to find out which raw material can be used to get the same polymer chain as the fossil one.
And the coatings industry already found a lot, e.g.:

  • Soy or castor oil for polyurethanes
  • Soy oil for epoxies for UV coatigns
  • Chashew nut shells provide hydroxyl groups
  • Vegetable oils, sucrose and cellulose for alkyds
  • Sugar for acrylic monomers
  • Corn, soybean or citrus fruits for biobased solvents

You can clearly see that all of these new developments are labour-intensive. 

Comparison with up-to-date-inventions, the I-pad

Look at the i-pad. It has still something to do with a personal computer. But do you really expect this new design, the small size and all other benefits are as inexpensive as a PC?

Why should a waterborne coating do? It, too, is an updated version of a coating 1.0 – 2.0 fulfills all requests: no VOC, environmental friendly and without solvents. So please: Pay the extra price.

And then, asking for additional performance boosting skills. That would be a coating version 3.0:  the additional performance advantage. For example scratch resistance from cellulose acetate or the biodegradeability of polyactides from corn.

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