37th Annual Waterborne Symposium

By Kerry Pianoforte | March 16, 2010

This annual event in New Orleans focused on Advances in Sustainable Coatings Technology

The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials hosted the 37th Annual Waterborne Symposium February 10-12 at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, LA. This year's event attracted more than 170 people and featured 25 papers by leading experts in a variety of disciplines related to the latest innovations in waterborne coatings technology.

The three-day event kicked off with the Plenary Lecture, "Going Green Beyond Waterborne Coatings," which was presented by Diana Strongosky, vice president of research and development, paints and coatings division at The Sherwin-Williams Company. "In recent years, going green has become a buzzword," said Strongosky. "It is interesting that thought leaders from different industries are on the same page-from movies to the Olympics-when it come to sustainability. There are three main drivers for developing green coatings: compliance, necessity as a result of high raw material prices and market demand."

Market demand presents a huge opportunity for sustainable coatings, with the U.S. Green Council predicting that one million homes will be LEED certified in 2010. According to Sherwin-Williams' research, 75% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay for socially responsible products, but cautions not just any products will do, they need to be value added.

"For a lot of customers there is a growing personal connection to going green," said Strongosky. "We have to deliver sustainable products that perform just as well as their traditional counterparts. Green only gains opportunity if it answers a need of the customer. The foundation of this is to develop innovative technologies and processes."

Best paper Awards ceremony
Robson Storey, USM professor and Symposium chair, presented The Shelby F. Thames Best Paper Award to Edwin Chan of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Polymers Division for, “Harnessing Surface Wrinkling to Measure the Viscoelastic Properties of Polymer Films and Coatings.” John Maddox of Eastman Chemical Company presented the first place award for the graduate student poster to Ryan Hensarling for his poster, “‘Clicking’ Polymer Brushes Using Thiol-Yne Chemistry: Indoors and Out.”
According to Strongosky, it is not sufficient for companies to simply develop green products, they must implement sustainability in all aspects of the company, from recycling waste to reducing its carbon footprint. "EcoVision is Sherwin-Williams' sustainability program, whereby, the company is committed to being a recognized leader in the development of sustainable processes, products and activities that are profitable, preserve natural resources and contribute to social improvement," said Strongosky. "The five areas of focus for this program are conservation, innovation, accountability, respect and responsibility. This philosophy refers to the phrase John Elkington first described in 1994 as the triple bottom line. This means a win-win-win business strategy for sustainable development for corporations, where sustainable products and systems use environmentally responsible materials that result in socially responsible products and process that are economically viable. We need to have partnerships with suppliers and collaborate with universities and work together as an industry to link our knowledge."

Sherwin-Williams predicts future trends and technologies related to sustainability that could improve performance of current latex coatings may include smart coatings, nanotechnology and renewable raw materials. "Sustainability and green provide not only challenges, but opportunities for innovation," Strongosky concluded.

The Keynote Lecture, "Painting TPO: 25 Years and Still Sticking," was given by Philip Yaneff, a coatings consultant who previously worked for DuPont Coatings for Plastics. "Since the early 1980s, TPO has become the number one material choice for automotive bumpers around the word," he said. "TPO growth has not been hindered by the low surface energy of the polypropylene component, as many pretreatment methods have been developed and implemented to ensure continual strong adhesion."

In his presentation, Yaneff discussed various changes that have occurred over the years to ensure successful commercialization of TPO, including waterborne coatings for plastics."There will be a global transition to low bake in North America," said Yaneff. "This will help meet environmental regulations, stronger adhesion requirements and more severe test methods for TPO. Changes are still occurring today and are still developing to ensure highly durable parties will continue to meet OEM needs and requirements."

Other papers presented included "The Use of Aqueous Pre-Dispersed Fumed Silica to Improve Film Formation in Waterborne Coatings," presented by Matthew Linares of Evonik Degussa Corp. Fumed silica in pre-dispersed, aqueous form offers not only ease of addition, but has demonstrated the ability to enhance multiple attributes in waterborne coatings, according to Linares. "One of the most interesting attributes enhanced by using these dispersions is improved film formation," he said. His presentation focused on a study conducted by the University of Minnesota to determine the mechanism behind the improvements in film formation observed with fumed silica dispersions in various latex systems. The study showed the improvement of film formation is due to reduction of cracking and lowering of minimum film forming temperature caused by the reinforcing nature of fumed silica. "Other attributes that can be enhanced by using fumed silica dispersions are anti-settling, improved sag resistance, reductions of film tack, improved dirt pickup resistance and anti-cracking in highly filled systems," he said.

"2K Waterborne Polyurethane Technology for Automotive Clearcoats Application" was presented by Philippe Barbeau of Perstorp, France. "Over the years, polyurethane systems have been used to a growing extent in a number of industrial application fields," said Barbeau. "This success comes from their outstanding properties, such as high solvent and mechanical resistance, very good adhesion onto various substrates, fast film formation and excellent weathering resistance, which make them ideal candidates for high demanding and high performance coating applications."

In addition to the main technical program, the Waterborne Symposium featured a Student Poster Session and two-day Technology Showcase consisting of fifteen tabletop technical exhibits, including displays from Air Products, Cognis, Evonik and Perstorp.

The Symposium concluded with an awards ceremony honoring the best papers and student poster. The USM Best Student Poster Awards were presented to undergraduate and graduate students. First place for undergraduate went to Emily Hoff for "Biomimetric Lipid Membranes for the Study of Membrane Surface Structure." First place for the graduate student poster was awarded to Ryan Hensarling for "'Clicking' Polymer Brushes Using Thiol-Yne Chemistry: Indoors and Out." The Outstanding Paper Award was given to Jung Kwon Oh of the Dow Chemical Company for "High Throughput Methods for Developing Low VOC Waterborne Coatings Derived from Polyurethane Dispersions Based on Natural Oil Polyols." The Shelby F. Thames Best Paper Award was presented to Edwin Chan of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Polymers Division for "Harnessing Surface Wrinkling to Measure the Viscoelastic Properties of Polymer Films and Coatings."

Next year's Symposium will be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza, March 2-4.


The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi has issued a call for papers for presentation at the 38th Annual International Waterborne Symposium, March 2-4, 2011 in New Orleans. Papers should relate to waterborne, high-solids, powder and radiation-curable coating systems; stimuli-responsive and "smart" coating systems; renewable raw materials for coatings and high-throughput methodologies for formulation. All papers should be original and represent recent advances in coatings science. Title, abstract and author's names (speaker's name underlined) should be submitted by mail, fax or e-mail no later than Aug. 14 to School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, The University of Southern Mississippi, Box 10063, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0063; (601) 266-4475; Fax: (601) 266-6265; E-mail: waterborne@usm.edu; Web: www.psrc.usm.edu/waterborne.