The layers of a coating are complex systems that contain various ingredients, including solvents/water, binders, pigments, fillers, and additives. Matting agents are a class of solid additives that are utilized in a variety of coating applications and technologies. Synthetic silica-based matting agents – such as those belonging to Evonik’s ACEMATT® product family – are used to provide variations in gloss levels, optical impression, and surface / haptic properties.

As is the case with most additives, there are several parameters that formulators should consider when selecting a matting agent. A complete understanding of the following criteria is the first step in painting a clearer picture of the optimal matting agent for a given formulation.

  • What is the end-use of the final coating? Even in the early formulation stages, it is important to consider the final use of the coating.  High-end applications, especially clear coats such as those used in automotive coatings, require the highest quality of surface appearance, which necessitates more attention when selecting a matting agent. On the other hand, applications where protective properties are more important than optical properties can consider matting agents with fewer optical benefits.  
  • What is the chemical technology of the formulation? There are three major technologies in the coatings market: solventborne, waterborne, and UV systems. Matting agents can be used independently of the coating technology. There will, however, be slight variations in the suitability of each product in these systems.
  • Is your coating clear or pigmented? Matting efficiency and viscosity are the most relevant parameters for formulating a pigmented system. Alternatively, clear coatings require the utmost transparency, so formulators should consider matting agents with excellent optical performance.
  • Do you need a matting agent with low impact on the viscosity of the final formulation? The impact of a matting agent on viscosity can be an important parameter in certain formulations. Evonik’s technical data sheets provide helpful guidance for selecting a matting agent with the least impact on viscosity.
  • What are the haptic requirements of the final coating? Haptic properties can be classified as smooth surface, rough surface, or soft-touch. The particle size of the matting agent influences the haptics of the formulation.
  • What is your incorporation technique? Some matting agents require high shear forces during incorporation. Others, like those belonging to the ACEMATT® family of products, can be incorporated with low shear forces during the last step of the formulation.

Keeping these considerations in mind, formulators can take advantage of additional online tools to further narrow down their matting agent selections. For example, Evonik’s COATINO® online service platform offers guided product recommendations to assist in selection, easy access to technical data sheets to compare and contrast product properties, and a free sample request form to begin evaluating various matting agents in your formulation. Additionally, carefully curated Product Selector Guides give a high-level overview of our top recommended products based on application, system technology, desired properties, and more.

Finally, Evonik offers to its customer the benefit of technical competence centers all around the globe. So if a more personalized solution is required, support is just an email or phone call away.

Visit our website for more information about what the Coating Additives business line of Evonik has to offer. Our online service platform COATINO® can be accessed by visiting