Raw Materials & Equipment

Dow introduces Ecosurf LF APEO-free pigment grind surfactant

April 8, 2011

Combines low foam and high performance.

Dow Coating Materials (DCM) has launched Ecosurf LF Surfactants. These low-foam, high-performance additives for pigment dispersion offer good pigment wetting properties and color acceptance, plus additional foam control through cloud point defoaming.  

“Ecosurf LF Surfactants address the growing need for high performance with low foam, particularly in low VOC paint and coating formulations and in formulations where APEO-free surfactants are preferred,” said Kendall Justiniano, strategic marketing manager, DCM. “From a performance perspective, Ecosurf LF Surfactants compare favorably with our best APEO options, including Triton CF-10 Surfactant, for pigment wetting and color acceptance.”

When matched with the right dispersant, Ecosurf can also offer additional foam control through cloud point defoaming. Cloud point refers to the temperature at which ethoxylate surfactants become insoluble in an aqueous solution. Ecosurf LF Surfactants are initially soluble and offer wetting with low foam during pigment addition. As temperatures during pigment dispersion rise above cloud points, Ecosurf LF Surfactants become insoluble.

“In this form, Ecosurf LF Surfactants stop the creation of additional foam and even help to reduce existing foam,” said Greg Monaghan, architectural coatings group leader, DCM. “As the paint batch is finished and temperatures decrease, Ecosurf LF Surfactants return to a soluble state and contribute to other properties of the coating, such as color acceptance and freeze- thaw resistance.”

Cloud points are characteristic of ethoxylated nonionic surfactants, but have not been widely used in paint formulating until now, said Monaghan. “Foam becomes more of an issue as formulators lower VOC levels,” he said. “With Ecosurf LF Surfactants, paint formulators can take advantage of a second mechanism for foam control in the pigment dispersion and we expect this will be particularly useful where paint manufacturers are pursuing low VOC products.”

Ecosurf LF Surfactants are also readily biodegradable. For more information about Ecosurf LF Surfactants and other APEO-free options from Dow Coating Materials, please visit www.dowcoatingmaterials.com/surfactants.

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