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Defoamers Selection for Architectural Coatings

Get familiar with factors to consider when selecting defoamers for your architectural coatings.

Find the details about the various classes of defoamers, their mode of action, as well as their strengths and limitations per application.

An appropriate selection process would help you develop better formulation of flat / matt wall paints, satin / eggshell paints, semi-gloss dispersion paints, high gloss paints and clear varnishes. Explore more!


Need for Defoamers in Architectural Coatings


TAGS:  Architectural Coatings    
Defoamers for Architectural Coatings
In Architectural Coatings, use of defoamers is mainly needed in waterborne systems, only by exception in solvent-borne systems. Dispersion paints, such as wall paints, is the largest segment. Defoamers are needed to avoid foam formation during manufacturing as well as application. Waterborne paints tend to stabilize foam, mainly due to the presence of surfactants and wetting agents.


Defoamer Families in Architectural Coatings - Strengths & Limitations


Defoamer Families Benefits Risks
Oil-based, non dispersible
  • High defoaming efficacy
  • Lowest cost
Needing good incorporation, intercoat adhesion
Oil-based, Silicone based dope, non dispersible High defoaming efficacy
  • Some risk for (intercoat) adhesion
  • Breaking flow curtain
  • Needing good incorporation, intercoat adhesion
Easy dispersible, oil, Silicone based defoamer
  • Easy incorporation
  • Good film properties
Low risk for intercoat adhesion failure
Easy dispersible, oil-free, Si based defoamer
  • Easy incorporation
  • Good film properties
  • Meeting oil-free regulation
  • Low risk for intercoat adhesion failure
  • Low risk for haziness
High Silicone content, oil free Excellent binder compatibility, for best film appearance
Oil-free, Si-free, non dispersible Best adhesion
  • Risk for poor film appearance
  • Risk for loosing efficacy during storage
Wax-, Si-, and oil free, dispersible
  • Best adhesion
  • Film appearance
  • Modest defoaming efficiency
Risk for loosing efficacy during storage

 » Expertize Yourself in Solving Foaming Issues of Coatings 

Solve Foam Issues with Optimal Defoamers Selection

Select Defoamers for Architectural Coatings


Several types of paints are used in architectural coating applications. Also, there are different ways of paint application for different coatings. The section below with apprise you withe process of selecting a particular defoamer for coating application. You would be able to select defoamer(s) according to the application mode for a typical class of coating, like:


Select Defoamers for Flat or Matt wall paints


In most of the cases, paints used for flat / matt wall applications are high PVC dispersion paints (PVC from approx 60 to 85), with the risk of foam formation leading to opacity issues. In flat / matt wall paints, the choice of the right defoamer is cost sensitive.

Type of Flat/Matt Wall Paint Millbase Let-down Brush and Roller Application Spraying Dipping Flow Coat Industrial
Oil-based, non dispersible goodgoodgoodgoodgood
goodgoodgoodgood
goodgoodgoodgood
goodgoodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood
Oil-based, Si dope, non dispersible goodgoodgoodgoodgood
goodgoodgoodgood
goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgood good good goodgood
Easy dispersible, oil, Silicone based defoamer goodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood
Easy dispersible, oil-free, Silicone based defoamer goodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood
High Si content, oil free goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood
goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood
Oil-free, Si- free, non dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood
Wax-, Si-, and oil free, dispersible goodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood

Select Defoamers for Satin or Eggshell Paints


Medium to high PVC dispersion paints are commonly used for Satin / Eggshell architectural coatings (around 45 to 60). In Satin / Eggshell paints, foam formation decreases the appearance, including the degree of satin.

Brush and Roller is the main procedure of application for Satin / Eggshell paints. Notably with rolling, there is a high risk of air inclusion making the choice of the right defoamer a critical step.

Type of Satin Paint Millbase Let-down Brush and Roller Application Spraying Dipping Flow Coat Industrial Baked 2-pack
 Oil-based,  non  dispersible goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
 Oil-based,  Si dope,  non  dispersible goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood good good goodgood goodgood goodgood
 Easy  dispersible,  oil, Si  based goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 Easy  dispersible,  oil-free, Si-based goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 High Si  content, oil  free goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
 Oil-free, Si-  free, non  dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood goodgood goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood
 Wax-, Si-,  and oil  free,  dispersible goodgood goodgood goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood

Select Defoamers for Semi Gloss Dispersion Paints


Main paints used for semi-gloss applications are exhibiting low to medium PVC (30 to 45). In semi-gloss paint applications, formation of foam affects film appearance, but also gloss level.

Type of Semi Gloss Paint Millbase Let-down Brush and Roller Application Spraying Dipping Flow Coat Industrial Baked 2-pack
 Oil-based,  non  dispersible goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgood  goodgoodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood
 Oil-based,  Si dope,  non  dispersible goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgood goodgood good good good goodgood goodgood goodgood
 Easy  dispersible,  oil, Si  based goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 High Si  content, oil  free goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
 Oil-free, Si-  free, non  dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood
 Wax-, Si-,  and oil  free,  dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood

Select Defoamers for High Gloss Paints

Typical paints used for high-gloss architectural applications are low PVC dispersions. In high gloss paints, surface disturbances resulting of foam formation are easy visible. This is thus critical to select the right defoamer in order to maintain constant gloss level.

Type of High Gloss Paint Millbase Let-down Brush and Roller Application Spraying Dipping Flow Coat Industrial Baked 2-pack
 Oil-based,  non  dispersible goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgoodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood goodgood
 Oil-based,  Si dope,  non  dispersible goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgood good good good goodgood goodgood goodgood
 Easy  dispersible,  oil, Si based goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 High Si  content, oil  free goodgood goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
 Oil-free, Si-  free, non  dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood
 Wax-, Si-,  and oil  free,  dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good

Select Defoamers in Clear Varnishes

In unpigmented clear varnishes architectural applications, main binders used may be dispersion or clear solution. Foam formation can affect transparency in the liquid varnish as well as in the dry film, hence the need for careful monitoring.

The highest risk in clear varnishes formulation is micro-foaming: in such cases, defoamer with de-aeration features and easily dispersible will be the best solution.

Type of Clear Varnish Let-down Brush and Roller Application Spraying Dipping Flow Coat Industrial Baked 2-pack
 Oil-based,  non  dispersible good good good good good good good good
 Oil-based,  Si dope,  non  dispersible good good good good good good good good
 Easy  dispersible,  oil, Si based goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 High Si  content, oil  free goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgoodgood
good
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
goodgood
 Oil-free, Si-  free, non  dispersible goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgood goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgood
 Wax-, Si-,  and oil  free,  dispersible goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
good
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood
goodgoodgood
goodgood

Select Defoamers for Pigment Dispersions

Typical binders used for pigmented architectural applications are concentrated dispersions of pigments/ extenders in binder-free liquid.

The key to formulate successfully is to avoid effect of pigment dispersion in aqueous medium, usually binder free. When selecting a defoamer for pigment dispersion applications, there is a high risk of loosing defoaming action due to adsorption of defoamer onto pigment, hence the criticity of the choice.

Type of Pigment Dispersion Millbase Let-down
 Oil-based, non dispersible goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 Oil-based, Si dope, non  dispersible goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgood
 Easy dispersible, oil, Si based goodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgoodgood
 High Si content, oil free goodgoodgoodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood
 Oil-free, Si-free, non dispersible goodgoodgood goodgood
 Wax-, Si-, and oil free,  dispersible goodgoodgood goodgoodgoodgood


Commercially Available Anti-foaming Agents for Architectural Coatings





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