Waterborne coatings are designed to be an environmentally conscious option. However, they can present some technical challenges. The Axalta and MIT team developed an advanced rheology characterization technology to analyze, quantify and help predict the behavior of complex fluids during spray applications. The new technology is designed to improve paint sprayability during the application process, which should result in an improvement in the surface quality and visual appeal.
“Advanced rheological characterization can help to reduce the number of trials that coating formulators typically conduct in order to judge each formula’s performance,” explained Dr. Koerner. “The new characterization technology we developed enables us to better interpret the interactions between various ingredients of a coating. It can also help us to provide optimized resins and balanced formulas to deliver coatings with improved appearance and workability,” Dr. Koerner added.
Evaporation of atomized droplets during coating film spray and flash drying is a key factor that can affect coating properties. In waterborne coatings, the high polarity and hydrogen bonding of water are not always accurately estimated in traditional evaporation models. The semi-emperical technique that the scientists developed includes the determination of relative evaporation rates of water, co-solvents and films that are formed under ambient conditions. The technology can help industry professionals to better understand the evaporation behavior of waterborne coatings during spray and drying processes and help to provide insight for optimizing coating properties, especially on leveling and smoothness.
“Axalta is focused on continuing to develop a deeper understanding of coating technology. Research programs and partnerships with esteemed institutions like MIT enable us to better formulate and design innovative coating products to help meet the needs of our customers and the markets we serve,” said Dr. Barry Snyder, Axalta Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.