Dispersion Stabilization in Aqueous Coatings

In this presentation we will discuss how paint and ink formulators face significant challenges in producing high performance low and zero VOC coatings in water.  The design and adoption of high performance low and zero VOC coating additives is a requirement for formulators to meet their sustainability goals. Pigment and particle dispersion and stabilization is critical to the design of successful coatings formulations.  Dispersing pigments in water is more challenging than solvent based systems as there is a greater potential for self-assembly of the dispersant in the aqueous medium, which makes absorption and wetting of the pigment surfaces difficult.  In aqueous and universal colorant formulations, the dispersion must be stable in a range of environments where variables such as coalescents, co-solvents, pH, electrolytes and resin chemistry must be considered.  This presents particular challenges in the design and selection of dispersing systems, especially considering the range chromatic and extender pigments currently in use.  Development and utilization of appropriate screening evaluations is critical for quantifying and validating performance.   We have developed novel dispersants where we have optimized the performance through the control of polymer architecture, molecular weight and nature of our anchor groups. These dispersants are excellent at both wetting pigment surfaces and producing stable colorants for inks and paints in low and zero VOC applications. The development of new anchor group technology has enabled us to disperse a wide range of pigments including challenging organics, inorganics and high performance carbon blacks. Despite their water solubility, we have been able to develop dispersants with reduced impact on water or corrosion resistance.


As Technical Marketing Manager for Lubrizol Advanced Materials Charles’ role is to help the customer achieve their technical success by utilizing his extensive knowledge and background in paint and ink formulations to identify the best product for each application.  A Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry started the career of Charles Douglas in the graphics art arena. Possessing over 30 years of experience with major ink, resin, pigment, adhesive, and ink additive companies he has held varied positions from developmental, technical service, technical management, including technical marketing for these organizations.