The binder, pigment and solvent are the major components of a paint formulation. Besides the three main categories of ingredients, paint can have a wide variety of miscellaneous additives, which are usually added in very small amounts and yet give a very significant effect on the product. In this section we explore the wide variety of raw materials that go into paints and coatings.
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There are a wide variety of additives that are incorporated into paint formulations to alleviate or eliminate problems that can arise, improve product quality, or prevent problems from occurring during manufacture, storage, or application. Some of the many types of additives include: adhesion promoters; antiblocking agents; anti-foams; anti-freezes; antioxidants; antifouling agents; biocides; coalescing agents; corrosion inhibitors; flatting agents; surfactants; and waxes.
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Film formers, such as natural resins and drying oils, and synthetic resins are normally blended with solvents to form the coating vehicle. When dried or cured, they hold the elements of the film and adhere to the substrate. The film formers, or binders are largely responsible for the physical properties and the resistance to degradation by the environment or during use.
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Pigments include inorganic and organic colorants, extenders and fillers, and functional pigments such as corrosion inhibitors. Pigments are powders of fine particle size used in virtually all paints, except clears. The primary purpose of pigments is to hide the substrate and they do so by adding color and opacity to the coating. Pigments also contribute other properties to the coating such as corrosion inhibition, chalking and gloss. They are also used to control flow characteristics, improve scrub resistance and reduce formulation costs.
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Both organic solvents and water are used in large quantities in paints and coatings as the carrier or dispersion medium for non-volatile binders, pigments, colorants and other additives that constitute the finished coating.
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