Technical Sales Manager
Gabriel Ferrante is the Technical Sales Manager for Sappi Valida in industrial applications, including paints, coatings and concrete. He graduated from KU Leuven with a MSc in Rheology engineering. Gabriel began his career in 2015 as Patent reclassification analyst at E.P.O. (European patent office). Prior to joining Sappi in his current role, Gabriel worked in a distribution company as Technical Support and Market developer for specialty chemicals with a focus on industrial applications.
For more than 20 years, the coatings industry has been undergoing a change from “solventborne” to “waterborne”. The main drivers for this change include increased general awareness on health and environment, more strict government regulations on VOCs and HAPs, as well as the common goal of manufacturers to reduce carbon footprint. Fibrillated cellulose produced by Sappi is an innovative biomaterial, acting as multifunctional stabilizer and rheology modifier in waterborne coating formulations. Very high surface area and insoluble 3D fibril networks are at the foundation, manufactured only via mechanical processing of the cellulose fibers, no chemicals are involved. The product increases the sustainability of the formulation via reducing VOC content and carbon footprint. At the same time, it allows to solve significant challenges in waterborne coating formulations. In-fact, the implementation of fibrillated cellulose enhances the rheological properties and stabilizes pigments in formulations under broad pH conditions(1-13), reduces and solves the syneresis, with little or no effect on viscosity. Fibrillated cellulose benefits are also visible in the dry paint. Its implementation re-inforces the coating layer, anti-scratch, reduced mud cracking, increases robustness towards common household chemicals, and improves the contrast ratio.