Currently, the challenges faced by the coatings industry are not just to reduce cost and improve performance but also to fulfill strict legal requirements. To replace products containing hexavalent chromium or lead, among other heavy metals, and reduce or eliminate VOCs is becoming compulsory in developed countries and is a growing trend in the developing ones.

Thus, some of the most effective and to date widely used anticorrosive pigments such as zinc chromate, zinc tetraoxychromate, strontium chromate, red lead etc. and even their natural replacement, i.e., zinc phosphate, are under scrutiny. For example, zinc and strontium chromate are carcinogenic. Most recently, according to the EU Directive 004/73/CE, zinc phosphate is classified as dangerous to the aquatic media. Nubiola, a global leading pigments company, is investing time and resources to fulfill the request for real replacements, which are in high demand.

Feasible Alternative for Waterborne Industrial Coatings

According to our experience, an excellent alternative for water-based industrial coatings are formulations based on highly-soluble eco-friendly modified zinc phosphates that require no special labels. Our Nubirox 100 series is based on this chemistry.

Thorough lab research and active promotion within the sector has proven that a small particle size zinc phosphate, modified with zinc molybdate and an organic surface treatment, improves binder compatibility and at the same time enhances the continuity between the inorganic pigment and the surrounding organic binder. This product is traded under the Nubirox brand, and more specifically, Nubirox 106. These advantages, together with higher pigment solubility, result in excellent performance in waterborne systems where it is difficult for the binder to create an even coat.

Moreover, Nubirox 106 has proven to be suitable in organic-based solvent coatings in extremely thin film applications (i.e., coil coatings) due to its small particle size and the improvement of the coating’s mechanical properties. Another key factor is its great compatibility with other anticorrosive inhibitors.

Regardless how effective the pigments might be, close technical cooperation among customers’ R&D staff and our technical support labs, based in Atlanta and Barcelona, is always advisable. Active partnership over the standard activity of buying and selling is always a must. To improve current formulations and/or to develop new anticorrosion solutions, such an approach is really needed to avoid future failure.

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