List of specialty additive examples
Paint has to be one of the most common but underappreciated substances ever invented. There is nothing in your life that is not in some way affected by paint. We put paint on our walls, our appliances, and on the hood of our cars, to protect these valuable surfaces. Paint comes in thousands of different types, purposes, and colors, and line distributor shelves by the hundreds.
If you are in the paint business as a distributor or applicator, realistically, you probably don’t know everything there is to know about paint. Even chemists and chemical engineers who design and experiment with advanced paint formulas realize paint composition can be extremely complicated. However, the four basic components in a typical can of paint are actually quite straightforward. A paint can’s contents holds a balanced combination of pigments, binders, solvents, and additives.
In this article you will learn:
It is when you start breaking each component down when things get tricky. Safe to say, when ingredients of paint and their functions are properly mixed and applied, the results can be near magic. If they are not, then undesirable results like peeling, blistering, and outright failure begin to happen. People have been painting all kinds of things for thousands of years. Some early cave paintings date back to prehistoric times. The Greek and Roman civilizations were masterful painters — and not just on their buildings and implements. It includes their artwork, which still looks like the day it was painted because these great masters knew the basics of paint. Historically people have painted to preserve antiquity; however, chemistry advancements have drastically improved the cost and efficiency of today’s paint mixes.
When we talk about a can of paint, you immediately think of a liquid product. For the most part, paints come premixed or ready for color additives. Most commercial paints are liquid-based but some are occasionally supplied in dry, solid or powder forms. It depends entirely on your specific application for selecting a liquid or a solid product. The type of paint you choose will dictate its composition.
Known as emulsions, latex, or water reducible liquids.
Liquids with non-aqueous properties like oil-based alkyd mixtures.
Liquids use reactive monomers like epoxies, polyuria, and energy curables.
Dry, solid compounds applied with an electrolysis process.
Waterborne and organic/non-organic solvent products compose the majority of paints. When special applications require extensive durability, you can use 100 percent systems. Powder coatings are highly popular for exterior metal finishes. All four paint types have varying levels of quality.
You are likely wondering what makes a high-quality paint. First, there is a misconception that thicker paint is better paint. This is simply not true. The best definition of ‘paint’ is a blend of liquid materials applied to a surface in thin layers that dry to form a solid film protecting the substrate’s physical properties. This is achieved by mixing paint’s four basic components in precisely the right amounts for the painted article.
The highest quality paints are not always thick, heavy solutions. Performance depends on the surface materials and the performance expected. Quality paints for the space station’s surface are designed to withstand extreme cold and continual bombardment from dangerous cosmic rays. They are extremely expensive and applied in many layers only microns thick. Quality paint for house interior walls and trim serve lighter duties. They are applied in thicker layers and fewer coats. House paints are also more economical to purchase and apply, but starting with quality paint makes all the difference. Durability and appearance still matter whether you are in space or at home watching space exploration shows on TV. The main difference between high-quality and inferior paints is the amount of specific solids in the paint can compared to the specific liquids. Do not interpret this as meaning thicker paint is better paint. Far from it. It is the exact materials in the solids working in conjunction with the liquids or solvents which matters most. Let us take a detailed look at the four parts in a typical paint can and how it applies to paint quality.
No matter what a paint is designed for, it contains four primary components. It does not matter if you apply paint as an aerosol by spraying, a liquid in brushing, or as a solid through powder coating. Paint is always a medium composed of four parts or raw materials. Each component has its purpose, and it is the properties and proportions which make a high-quality paint mixture.
Great paint systems are best understood in the context of mixed raw materials concurrently combining performance and allure. Like all systems, paint relies on each component simultaneously synchronizing its desired asset performance to maximize form and function. The purpose is usually protecting a surface, making it attractive, and enduring as long as possible under expected conditions.
The method and protocol of blending a paint is critical to its desired performance. First of all, paint is not mixed into equal proportions. Pigment, binder, solvent, and additive ratios or percentages are as diverse as the products they are applied to.
Additives are low-level ingredients providing specific paint properties such as mildew resistance, de-foaming, and good flow and leveling. These ‘chemical helpers’ support a paint’s pigment, binder, and solvent solution. Additives are additional ingredients that improve paint performance and aesthetics.
Pigments are the biggest factor for making high-quality paint. It is not that other players are not important, but paints starting with poor or inferior pigments have a weak foundation. Mixing decent paint starts with having sound pigments.Pigments are tiny grains of organic or non-organic compounds. Most paint pigments are tiny, with diameters measured in millionths of meters, or what are called “microns.” They are expressed in micron units of measurement or µms. There is a correlation between micron size and pigment performance. Large pigment particles measuring 5 µms tend to be duller and darker. They have more protective power than smaller pigments of 0.5 µms that appear much more colorful and glossy.
There are two main pigment types, both having unique properties and can be cleverly mixed for extremely high performance. But this does come with a cost. Specialized pigments used in costly automotive finishes can be hundreds of times more expensive than universal pigments used in cheap house paint.
Strong paint pigments:
Binders are a paint’s backbone. They form a solid structure enabling pigments to cover and colorize a substrate’s surface. Binders do exactly what their name suggests, they bind pigment molecules to substrate structures and give paint its adhesion, surface tension, integrity, and durability. Properly bonded paint will not lift, peel, blister, or detach from its surface. That is, if both the substrate and binder possess the surface energies enabling adhesion and other physical properties. The science of pigment, binder, solvent, and additive blending is complex. Without proper binders, the failure rate of paints rises dramatically no matter how good the pigment or boosting additives are. Binders are the key to long-term paint performance. They allow permanent adhesion, give durability for cleaning, resist abuse from the elements, and allow recoating if eventually needed.
The two types of paint binders are alkyd binders and latex binders. Alkyd binders are oil-based binders, and are naturally produced from vegetable oils or synthetic-based chemicals processed as petroleum byproducts.The term “latex” is usually associated with rubber, but is not the case with latex paints.
Alkyd binders dry by chemically converting reactions with air during evaporation. Whether vegetable or mineral oil-based, alkyd paints allow their pigments to flow onto a surface and bind at a relatively predictable rate. Temperature and humidity have an effect, but eventually oxygen absorbs oil and the paint dries to a hard, even surface with a different chemical signature. The problem with convertible binders is they are hard to repaint because old paint and new products are chemically different. Alkyd binders are called “non-convertible binders” because they stay chemically stable during their drying process.
Latex binders dry by a different process. Latex binders are known as non-convertible binders curing or chemically coalesce by reacting with the pigment and binding agent through a process called a “thermoplastic reaction.” However, when paints with latex binders dry, they remain chemically consistent and don’t convert their final signatures. This makes them easy to paint over or touch up. Latex binders and water-based solvents are excellent in the right conditions, but need time to chemically bond. Latex products are highly affected by high heat or sudden moisture loss from wind or fans, and are also susceptible to excess or insufficient water.
Paint solvents are the liquid medium turning solid pigments and binders into a workable fluid mass. They are also referred to as “carriers” or “vehicles.” Solvents enable paints to be uniformly sprayed, rolled, or brushed on to a substrate surface. Solvent-based paints are structured according to their specific properties. This affects their viscosity or thickness and rate of flow. Surface tension and evaporation rate are the most important solvent aspects.
Typical solvent properties include:
It is important to stop for a moment and think about how a typical painting process works. We have discussed three parts, so far. Pigments give paint color, depth, and coverage. Binders give it adhesion, strength, and durability. Solvents do a special job: they allow the pigment and binder blend to flow onto a surface and spread before drying.
In liquid paint applications, there is no way around using some sort of solvent or diluent to uniformly apply to a surface. The question is what type of solvents are best with specific solid blends? The answer is your paint solvent(s), or carrier vehicle, must be compatible with your binding agent. Most pigments are adaptable with solvents, but is not the case with binders.We are back to two favorite liquid paint partners: oil and latex. There’s not much variation with water coalescing solvents. The only range is temperature, as in hot or cold.
Chemical solvents often carry a negative connotation. Many applicators simply prefer waterborne products to avoid perceived potential toxicity as well as other environmental controls such as flammability. Waterborne systems simplify choices, and when properly formulated with the right additives, water-based paints are especially effective.
The right pigments mixed and matched with the correct binders and solvents or co-solvents, and then applied properly. If those matched ingredients are in your paint can, you are off to a good start. But you can get an even better system if you boost your paint mixture with a suitable additive.
Here is a bit of trivia from the paint world. You have heard of the term “gunge.” Rumor has it gunge evolved from the mess where paints were loaded with additives causing problems. Gunge is the acronym for “Generally Unacceptable Nasty Gooey (E)ngredients” and it certainly described the gummy, sticky messes found in inferior paints.Fortunately, today’s quality paints have sophisticated additives leaving little gunge and mess. Additive utility has grown tremendously in modern paints. The right additive package often makes good paints great.
Paint additives serve many other specific roles. No matter what type of substrate you need painted and what conditions the finished product is exposed to, you will find an additive that will do the job.
List of specialty additive examples
|Fungicides, Insecticides, and Biocides||Drying Accelerants||Flow Control Agents|
|Corrosion Resisters||UV Stabilizers||Adhesion Promoters|
|Silicone Products||Surfactants||Thickeners and Rheology|
The most common additives found in today's quality paints
|Leveling Agents||pH Buffers||Flash Rusts|
|Freeze / Thaw||Substrate Wetting Agents|
“Quality” is often over-used in sales and marketing, and this is true in paint like most other products and services. Basically, quality means the consumer will meet performance expectations at a fair and competitive price. The axiom “You get what you pay for” is the most common sentiment in the paint industry. Ask any painting professional what quality paint is and you will get the same immediate answer: It’s a paint they can easily work with and which will last. Quality paints come from properly blending pigments and binders inside a liquid solvent. Often, additives are put in for specific applications. The list is too extensive to mention here, but it is worth mentioning that quality paint producers use the broadest array of additives. Not all paints are created equal by any means. If you are looking for true quality in paint products, you are well advised to choose a quality distributor.
Brenntag Coatings & Construction is your best source for high-quality paint and coating raw materials. We know what belongs in a can of paint and we will guide you toward the perfect ingredients for your project.
As a leading paint and coatings solutions provider, we offer an extensive range of raw materials through a distribution network of more than 190 locations. Our experience and connections with top suppliers ensures we source your ideal paint, coatings, and other items. We know which manufacturers supply excellent raw materials to help our customers succeed. That’s true today, and into the future.