A new reformulation tool from Dow Coating Materials is helping paint formulators and the coatings industry find new and improved opportunities to save on TiO2 with Ropaque Opaque Polymer replacement. The Dow Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool uses key inputs to calculate reformulations using less TiO2 and estimates the associated cost savings for formulations while maintaining dry hiding performance and equal tint strength. Dow Research Scientist, David Fasano, who developed the tool, points to rising TiO2 cost as a major incentive for reformulating with Ropaque Opaque Polymer. In high-quality flats, the optimum level of TiO2 replacement with Ropaque Opaque Polymer can be more than twice what it was a few years ago, and the savings potential has gone from about 10 to more than 40 cents per gallon. There is also room for TiO2 savings and added value in low-level TiO2 paint formulations, such as mid-tones, primers and economy interior flats the company said. The Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool factors in the cost of TiO2, Ropaque Opaque Polymer, extenders, binder, dispersant and coalescent. It offers close to 200 options for formulators to customize formulations using different levels of TiO2 reduction and fraction of critical PVC in addition to different ways to balance extenders. To help guide formulators, the tool also has the ability to recommend options based on desired sheen. These recommendations are based on data compiled by Dow collected over more than 30 years of Ropaque opaque polymer formulation experience. In addition to enabling adjustments to extender, coalescent and dispersant levels, the Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool estimates gloss changes and recommends flatting extender as needed. Cost comparisons take raw material inputs into account, including additional flatting extender, to better reflect total formulated cost savings.