Dow UCAR Emulsion Systems, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., has launched a new technology platform focused on improving dirt pickup resistance in paint and coatings formulations. The new platform will focus on every aspect of dirt pickup resistance, including exploring new testing protocols, development tools and products. New product research will include multiple latex chemistries, including acrylic, styrene acrylic and vinyl acetate ethylene polymers, giving formulators multiple solutions that address dirt pickup resistance.

“This research will be critical as we develop latex technologies that enable formulators to meet industry demands for products like new low-VOC formulations and more advanced elastomeric coatings,” Gerald Vandezande, global architectural coatings product development leader at Dow UCAR Emulsion Systems, explained. “For example, to achieve lower VOC levels, coatings formulators have to use softer latexes that form a film without high levels of coalescing solvent. Elastomeric coatings also require softer latexes. Softer formulations allow dirt to more easily cling to the coating surface and thus are harder to keep clean. New technologies and products are needed to counteract dirt pickup in softer latexes.”

Trends in residential and commercial construction are also driving greater need for new answers. According to Vandezande, even traditional latex coatings do not offer the dirt pickup resistance needed in applications where keeping a surface continually clean is either impractical or cost inhibited - such as high-rise buildings and new construction in geographies with higher levels of airborne dust.

“There is a clear need in our industry today for high-performance products with enhanced dirt pickup resistance,” Vandezande said. “At the same time, new solutions will better prepare us to meet future industry demands without sacrificing product performance.”

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