PHILADELPHIA - A new reformulation tool from Dow Coating Materials is helping paint formulators and the coatings industry find new and improved opportunities to save on TiO2with ROPAQUE™ Opaque Polymer replacement. The Dow Hiding OpTiO2nizer™ Reformulation Tool uses key inputs to calculate reformulations using less TiO2and estimates the associated cost savings for formulations while maintaining dry hiding performance and equal tint strength.

Dow Research Scientist Dr. David Fasano, who developed the tool, points to rising TiO2cost as a major incentive for reformulating with ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer. In high-quality flats, the optimum level of TiO2replacement with ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer can be more than twice what it was a few years ago, and the savings potential has gone from about 10 to more than 40 cents per gallon. There is also room for TiO2savings and added value in low-level TiO2paint formulations, such as mid-tones, primers and economy interior flats.

“New market conditions are making big changes in the way ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer can be used to optimize hiding performance, formulation cost and TiO2supply,” said Fasano. “The Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool is designed to help formulators easily and quickly compare options and identify promising formulations to pursue in the lab. This is another important step in our ability to deliver hiding expertise, new tools and 30 years of performance data to assist Dow customers in their reformulation efforts.”

The Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool factors in the cost of TiO2, ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer, extenders, binder, dispersant and coalescent. It offers close to 200 options for formulators to customize formulations using different levels of TiO2reduction and fraction of critical PVC in addition to different ways to balance extenders. To help guide formulators, the tool also has the ability to recommend options based on desired sheen. These recommendations are based on data compiled by Dow collected over more than 30 years of ROPAQUE opaque polymer formulation experience.

In addition to enabling adjustments to extender, coalescent and dispersant levels, the Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool estimates gloss changes and recommends flatting extender as needed. Cost comparisons take raw material inputs into account, including additional flatting extender, to better reflect total formulated cost savings.

“We are also doing a lot of work with ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer in PVA paints,” notes Dow Research Scientist Dr. Heather Eckenrode. “To help PVA formulators balance TiO2reduction, cost savings and paint performance, the Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool has an interface for modifying fraction of critical PVC, with six different options to help formulators reach their target balance of TiO2savings, formulated cost savings and paint performance.”

Eckenrode conducts customer tutorials demonstrating how the tool can be used to explore reformulation options in a wide variety of formulating spaces including high-quality flat through semi-gloss, PVA flat through semi-gloss, economy interior flats, mid-tones and primers. She explains, “By augmenting individual formulation expertise and lab testing, the Hiding OpTiO2nizer Reformulation Tool assists paints formulators in addressing the increasing cost versus performance challenges of today’s market.”

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