CLEVELAND – New developments in waterborne epoxies, low-odor solvents and vinyl acetate-ethylene polymers for low-VOC coatings were highlighted recently at the 43rd Annual Technical Symposium of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Societies for Coatings Technology.

The two-day program, carrying a theme of "Waterborne Coatings: Sink or Swim 2000," drew more than 180 attendees and also included a "New Product Showcase" exhibition featuring the products and services of 57 coatings-industry supplier companies.

Event highlights included the presentation of the John Weaver Speaker's Award for the best technical-program speaker to Andrew Gilicinski, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Gilicinski described research that demonstrated excellent application properties of low-VOC coatings based on vinyl acetate-ethylene polymers. He said the research showed that ethylene is an effective co-monomer in reducing glass transition temperature of vinyl-acetate homopolymers, and also appears to provide more effective plasticization than other commonly used monomers. Gilicinski’s paper was titled "Mechanistic Studies of Vinyl Acetate-Ethylene Polymers for Low-VOC Paints."

The program's 11 other presentations included a report on progress in the development of waterborne epoxy coatings, provided by Derek Kincaid, Shell Resins & Versatics. In "New-Generation Waterborne Technology," Kincaid described advances in the performance of waterborne coatings based on a solid epoxy resin and a hydrophobic amine adduct hardener, with both components being predispersed in water.

In a paper originally presented at this year’s Waterborne, High-Solids and Powder Coatings Symposium in New Orleans, William D. Arendt of Velsicol Chemical Corp. discussed architectural-coatings formulation work involving a new solvent, 2-ethylhexyl benzoate. Test results in a variety of formulations indicated that the solvent offers effective and efficient coalescence with very low odor and VOCs, Arendt said.

Other papers delivered at the symposium addressed a variety of technical topics, including waterborne alkyd paints; quality monitoring of batch processes; two-component waterborne polyurethanes; dispersion of heat-sensitive waterborne coatings; dispersant use in waterborne pigment concentrates; measurement of waterborne-coatings properties with the falling-needle viscometer; and waterborne polyurethane resins for glass coatings.

The symposium’s organizing committee was headed by co-chairmen Vicki Fisher, Jamestown Paint Co., and Rick Shannon, Beaver Paint Co. The technical-program moderator was Dave Larcey, ITC/Floridin Inc.

More information on participation in the new-product showcase or submitting a paper for consideration at next year’s program is available from Fisher at, or Shannon at The committee is particularly interested in presentations on equipment/processing, automotive-related topics and architectural paints, Fisher said.