Biocide-Free Dispersant Technology for Water-Based Paints & Coatings

Posted by Performance Coatings Team on 10/19/2021

Biocides control bacteria, which is particularly beneficial in water-based paints and coatings that are vulnerable to microbes and contamination due to the presence of water. In-can preservatives protect paints and coatings from bacteria, fungi and yeast. However, the use of biocides in water-based formulations is becoming more challenging as permitted levels continue to decrease.

Common biocides used in water-based paints and coatings, such as methylisothiazolinone (MIT), can be skin irritants. In 2020 in the European Union, paints containing MIT had to start being labeled with the GHS 07 symbol (exclamation mark) plus the H317 phrase “May cause an allergic skin reaction.”

Previously, coatings in the EU containing ≥1000 ppm of MIT had to include the hazardous label. With the new regulation, the limit for labeling dropped to ≥15 ppm.

Like the final paints and coatings that contain water, most dispersants used in these products are diluted with water so they won’t be too viscous. The addition of water means a biocide must also be used in the dispersant to prevent microbial growth and contamination. The ultimate solution is to remove the water from the dispersant so a biocide is not necessary. The challenge becomes creating a dispersant that doesn’t require dilution to make it usable - providing formulators more flexibility in choosing a biocide they can add to their paints and coatings products.

Solsperse™ W150 Biocide-Free Dispersant

Lubrizol now offers an innovative dispersant—Solsperse™ W150—that is 100-percent active, free of water and biocides. With a low viscosity, Solsperse W150 is pourable at room temperature and is a cost-effective polymeric dispersant primarily intended for pigment/particle dispersion in aqueous paints, printing inks and colored concentrates.

Through chemistry innovation, Solsperse W150 is a free-flowing liquid which exhibits low viscosity at room temperature, allowing easy incorporation to formulations. This new dispersant is suitable for use across a wide range of organic pigments, inorganic pigments/particles and fillers in both resin-free and resin-containing dispersions to deliver improved pigment wetting and dispersion and higher pigment loadings, as well as improved particle size and rheological stability.

Contact us to learn more about how this new biocide-free dispersant can help formulators enhance coating performance while meeting regulatory requirement for biocides.

Performance Coatings Team

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