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Coatings Ingredients

Biocide Selection: In-can Preservation, Dry Film Protection, Anti-fouling...

The ever-changing global regulatory landscape for anti-microbials additives makes the selection process daunting. But here is a general guide to help your decision. First and foremost is to understand the terminology, as different global regions may refer to the same material by alternate names.

4 Types of Antimicrobials / Biocides 

Antimicrobial additives (also called Biocides) are used in formulations to keep bacteria from spoiling paint during storage, or to keep fungi, algae and other micro-organisms from growing on the applied paint.

In-Can Preservatives

Paint spoiled by algae growth during storageAll waterborne paints contain nutrients for bacteria, fungi and yeast.  Microbial attack can therefor happen inside the can, which would affect the quality of the paint. When it happens, you can experience:

  • Foul odor
  • Loss of viscosity
  • Gassing
  • Phase separation
  • Discoloration
  • pH drop

To protect your coating from such issues & extend the storage life of your coating, you have to use In-can Preservatives. They are organic materials. They are used at low levels; <0.1% by weight typically.

An efficient In-can biocide should have the following properties:

  • A broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy

    Measurement of Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) is a good way to test biocide efficacy. MIC is the lowest preservative concentration at which growth of a test organism is inhibited under laboratory conditions.

  • Long-term protection
    Paints may be kept in storage for long periods and exposed to wide temperature variations. Optimum preservation can only be achieved if the in-can preservative is compatible with coating ingredients and is stable over time.

Anti-Fouling Agents


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