The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) held the 41st Annual International Waterborne, High-Solids and Powder Coatings Symposium February 25-28 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Waterborne Symposium is a technical forum for environmentally-friendly coatings technologies. Proceeds from the symposium are used by USM for various elements of academic program development including junior faculty development, graduate student stipends, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and especially scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in Polymer Science. Most of these students enter the coatings or related polymer industries upon graduation. These scholarships are key to USM’s efforts to recruit the highest-achieving students into their Polymer program.
This year’s event featured 41 papers organized into six sessions related to various aspects of surface coatings: opening, general, waterborne, additives, pigments and powder coatings.
Plenary Speaker: James Rawlins
The opening session began with plenary speaker, James Rawlins of USM who presented a talk entitled “The World of Surface Coatings is Centered Around the Glass Transition Temperature, But Which One?”
Polymeric materials are employed in a wide variety of applications and whether the desired performance is a mechanical response, specific permeability, chemical reactivity or general response to any given stimuli, the target properties are strongly affected by the molecular dynamics of all blended materials and reactants.
“It is reasonable to expect that polymers used in coatings would contain or develop some degree of porosity as they rely upon evaporation of small molecules such as water or solvents during formation,” said Rawlins. “Many materials exhibit a measurable glass transition. However, the use of a single value is a macrospoic concept that does not adequately represent the molecular and dynamic situation for a surface coating that must, by definition, be a blend of materials, applied and adhered to a substrate, and subjected to a wide range of environmental conditions. In combination, all these situations result in different measured in service glass transition values at different points in time and location. Therefore, in an attempt to understand the world of surface coatings in a realistic context, we propose that all the various glass transition values affect performance along with our ability to quantify and predict the structure-property relationships that deliver protection, decoration and function in coatings.”
Featured guest speakers were Joe Lichtenhan of Hybrid Plastics and Steve and Beth MacDaniel of Reactive Surfaces. Lichtenhan’s presentation, “POSS Surfaces, How They Impact Biological and Industrial Polymer Coatings,” focused on how advancements in the performance of polymer-based products has led to a search for new technologies. Accroding to Lichtenhan, this search has increasingly been focused on smaller and smaller length scales. The sought after level of control has progresses from the macro to the micro to the nano.
“It has become axiomatic in the plastics industry to regard the development of new resins as too capital-intensive, expensive and fraught with risk with regard to ultimate market acceptance,” said Lichtenhan. “However, nowhere is tis the search for new polymeric materials more intense nor the possible rewards for such efforts greater than in the field s of industrial coatings and biological surface.”
POSS chemicals used as additives provide a simple tool for the realization of new physical characteristics in industrial and biological coatings. Measuring 1.5 nm in diameter, POSS chemicals provide a tremendous amount of surface area and volume control when incorporated into formulations. “The control of surface area and volume in polymers often leads to improved flow, adhesion and active ingredient carrying capacity of common resins,” Lichtenhan added.
Steve and Beth MacDaniel jointly presented a lecture inspired by their monthly iPaint column which appears in this magazine. Coatings technology has its own specific sets of intellectual property issues. The MacDaniels offered their insights on the law and how it applies to departing employees, employee privacy expectations, paying lawyer fees to file patents of questionable value and trade secrets being leaked. The presentation ended with a lively question and answer session.
Sidney Lauren Memorial Lecture
The third annual Sidney Lauren Memorial Lecture, “From Evolution to Innovation,” was presented by Christopher Howard of Evonik Corp. His lecture highlighted current and future issues shaping the coatings industry.
“Paints and coatings have long served both beautification and decorative functions,” said Howard. However, today’s coating demands are drastically different than our predecessors. Modern coatings enhance the value of many things from homes and offices to automobiles, military equipment and marine vessels. We must understand the value proposition that modern coatings bring forth.”
Howard then went on to detail the new developments and the key drivers for new technology. Some of these key drivers are government regulations, cost reduction through lower-cost materials and more efficient processes, energy and fuel savings, preservation of the environment and durability and weathering.
Other issues shaping the industry are globalization and consolidation and recruiting and retaining talented people to the paint and coatings industry.
“The coatings industry continues to face challenges both externally and internally, but also has the ability to grasp some real growth opportunity through technology capabilities, global drivers and U.S. economic potential and talented employees,” Howard concluded.
Charles Hegedus of Air Products presented “Specialty Additives for Waterborne Architectural Coatings.” Architectual coatings encompass a wide range of applications and application scenarios, which has resulted in coatings with a variety of required properties for successful application and life cycle,” said Hegedus. He said this is further complicated by environmental concerns and specialty additives play a key role in reducing or eliminating VOCs and APEs. Pigment wetting and dispersing additives help wet, grind, disperse and stabilize pigments, which span a variety of chemistries.
“Selecting additives for coating formulations sounds simple, but it is far from it,” concluded Hegedus. “Not only is it complicated, it is critically important to the success of the coating during application and service life. In the most simplistic terms, the most successful way of selecting additives is to clearly define and understand formulation and application parameters and then match those parameters with the appropriate additive chemistry and properties.”
Robert Ruckle of Siltech presented “Incorporation of Fluoro-Silicones into Various Coating Films and the Resulting Properties.” In his talk a series of non-PFOS fluoroalkyl silicones were examined in various coatings f ilms for their impact on coatings properties such as coefficient of friction reduction, tape release and stain release. According to Ruckle, earlier results of reactive silicones in films have shown interesting results on stain release and the expectation is that the fluoroalkyl group will enhance these properties.
Axalta Coating Systems’ Ayumu Yokoyama presented “Use of Melamine in Ambient Cire 2K Waterborne Polyurethane Coatings.” Yokoyama explained the scientific breakthrough that reduces the gassing that can result when traditional solvent based coatings are reformulated to use water. The symposium is attended annually by leading scientific experts in water-based coatings.
“Ambient cure waterborne coatings have a tendency to gas in thick film applications,” Yokoyama explained. “The gas results from the reaction between residual water and other coating components. We found a way to reduce this gassing by replacing some of the components.”
Waterborne coatings are an environmentally responsible alternative to traditional solvent-based coatings. However, converting existing solvent-borne coating systems to water presents technical challenges. The discovery presented by Dr. Yokoyama not only resolves the gassing issue but also results in more durable coating films. His discovery is the first in the industry to resolve the gassing issue and improve coating quality with a simple and cost effective approach.
The newly formulated waterborne coatings can be used by both automotive original equipment manufacturers and refinish body shops for vehicle coatings. The coatings can also be used by commercial vehicle manufacturers who are involved in painting complex shapes like trailers, truck lifts, built-on cranes, and truck and trailer bodies. Coatings used for rail systems such as locomotives, high performance cars that carry liquids and dry bulk material which must be insulated from substrate materials, passenger carriages, high speed trains, tramways and metro, and agriculture and construction equipment also will benefit.
In addition to the main technical program, the Waterborne Symposium also included a three-day Technology Showcase. The Showcase, now in its 17th year, focused on emerging technologies, new materials, innovative services and equipment. New this year, the Showcase has added an exhibitor product showcase to be held during show houses.
Student Poster Sessions/Awards
There were a number of awards presented at this year’s Waterborne Symposium.
USM students presented their research during the Poster Session. This year’s session included 22 student posters.
The winners of the Eastman Student Posters Graduate were Phillip Pickett for “’Polysoaps’ to Serve as Uni-Molecular Micelles for Oil Spill,” Keith Parson for “Polymer Micelles as Molecular Templates for Size Control in Gold Nanoparticle Synthesis” and Sarah Exley for RAFT Polymerization of 2-(D-Gluocosyloxy)Ethyl Acrylamide [GLCEAM], 2-(-D-Galactosyloxy)Ethyl Acrylamide [GALEAM] and Phosphatidylserine Mimics.”
The undergraduate Student Poster winners were Patrick Carter for “Development and Characterization of Biodegradable Polyhydroxyalkanoate/Caseinate Blends for Thin Film and Packaging Applications,” Tyler Brown for “Understanding the Structure-Activity Relationship of Bio-Inspired Statistical Copolymer Prepared Via Aqueous RAFT as Antimicrobial Peptide Mimics” and Chase Tretbar for Polymerization of Blocked Isocyanate Functional Polymers and Post-Polymerization Modification by Thiol-Isocyanate Reactions.”
The SSCT Student Best Paper Award was given to Brooks Abel, USM, for his paper titled, “Versatile Brush Architectures for siRNA Delivery via Controlled Polymerization/Click Chemistry.”
The Siltech Innovation Award was given to Hui Yu of New Functional Polymers LLC, for her paper titled, “ Novel Synthetic Methods for Bicyclic Coating Resin.”
The Shelby F. Thames Best Paper Award was given to Shannon Morrison of BYK Additives, for his paper, “ Instantaneous Interfacial Barrier Growth Stabilization of Water-in-Water Dispersions.”
For the first tine this year, the Symposium added a new format with a panel discussion session on Automotive Coatings, which was chaired by Dale Pritchett, publisher of Coatings World.
Automotive Coatings is a $15.7 billion dollar market and the second largest market in the global coatings industry. This Automotive Panel offered attendees the opportunity to hear firsthand from major automotive and pigment manufacturers about the future innovations, performance and green technologies that are the key factors in this dynamic market.
The panel was comprised of Mark Nichols, technical leader, paint research, materials research department, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor Company; Bill Eibon, director, global color technology at PPG Industries and Russell Schwartz, chief technology officer at Sun Chemical Corporation.
The 2015 Waterborne Symposium will be held February 9-13 at the Sheraton New Orleans.