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New Silicone Foam-Control Agents For Waterborne Coatings

SpecialChem / Jan 26, 2004

Environmental concerns over the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the atmosphere have exerted pressure on the coatings industry to produce waterborne alternatives for almost all classes of solventborne coatings. As the use of waterborne coatings continues to grow, so do the demands for ever-faster production times and application speeds. These pressures intensify an inherent problem with aqueous formulations -- foam generation. A number of different types of organic- and silicone-based foam-control polymers, compounds, emulsions and dispersions are employed to combat foam, and selecting the proper one, its use level and incorporation method for a specific coating or ink formulation can be quite a task. In addition to effective foam control, the compatibility of the antifoam in the ink or coating formulation must be balanced to avoid surface defects such as craters or fisheyes. Silicone-based antifoams and their performance in selected application will be reviewed in this article, with particular emphasis on polymeric silicone-polyether foam-control agents.

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