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Dr. Willie Lau to Deliver 2010 Mattiello Memorial Lecture at the American Coatings Conference

By Tim Wright

Published February 19, 2010
Dr. Willie Lau, scientist with Dow Construction Chemicals of The Dow Chemical Company, will deliver the Mattiello Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, April 13 at 9:00 am, on the second day of the American Coatings Conference, in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Lau’s lecture, entitled “Frontier in Emulsion Polymerization for Coatings,” will explore the recent development of polymer systems derived from the emulsion polymerization technology based on cyclodextrin as a phase transport catalyst. The technology delivers polymer compositions and molecular weight ranges not assessable by conventional processes with unique performance attributes. The use of catalytic level of cyclodextrin allows the incorporation of hydrophobic monomers or chain transfer agents by emulsion polymerization. The hydrophobic compositions provide superior water resistance properties as well as adhesion to hydrophobic surfaces. An example is an elastomeric roofing coatings binder product that has good water resistance and adhesion to modified bitumen roofing substrate. To exploit the unique property balances of controlled structure polymers as a practical approach for coatings applications, Dr. Lau developed emulsion polymerization methods in producing hardsoft segmental grafting copolymers that can be adapted to conventional manufacturing facilities. To gain an in-depth understanding of emulsion polymerization kinetics, Dr. Lau used Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy to carry out direct measurements of the time evolution of radical concentrations in semi-continuous emulsion polymerization systems. Dr. Lau’s innovative research achievements have contributed to the subjects of several dissertations and classroom studies in academic institutions.

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