The coatings industry is continually innovating to produce products with lower VOCs while maintaining properties and productivity. This is particularly true for the Maintenance and Marine markets where solvent borne or 100% solids epoxies are used to impart excellent protective properties to valuable steel and concrete substrates.
Reducing VOCs in epoxy coatings are particularly challenging since the reduction of solvents generally leads to significant viscosity increases. This increase causes difficulty in mixing and application of these two component systems. In order to counteract this problem, lower viscosity, lower molecular weight resins are employed. This in turn embrittles the final epoxy coatings reducing impact resistance and flexibility. These epoxies also contain higher levels of functional groups requiring more of the costly hardener to cure. This not only increases costs but also increases the latent heat of the system greatly reducing the workable pot life.
In subsequent posts, we will report on a new breakthrough technologies that improves the impact resistance and flexibility of low VOC epoxy systems while maintaining surface hardness. Simultaneously pot life, gloss, and corrosion resistance are substantially improved.