Safer Water-Borne Resin Technology For Concrete Sealers

Posted by Performance Coatings Team on 07/26/2022

For many years, clear concrete sealers relied exclusively on solvent-based resin technologies. More recently, water-based technologies have been gaining traction as an alternative as regulatory restrictions on VOCs and emissions continue to build and as these technologies have evolved to rival the performance of traditional solvent-based coatings.

While water-based coatings are viewed as safer alternatives to handle and use compared to solvent-based technologies, resin and additive manufacturers continue to improve formulations to make them even safer for end users, without sacrificing performance.

Lubrizol developed water-based resin technology for concrete sealers more than a decade ago that is safer and easier to handle while matching the performance of solvent-based resins. By focusing on continuous innovation, we go on evolving and improving this technology. The most recent advancement is a new water-based resin for concrete sealers that will launch later in 2022. This new resin will further enable floor coatings that have lower VOC formulating capabilities and are free of hazard-regulated substances.

Eliminating Co-Solvents for Lower VOC’s

Co-solvents are typically used in resins to help improve film formation in the coating. Our new resin will eliminate the need to use co-solvents in the formulation. By removing them, VOCs can be further reduced to help comply with continuously more stringent emissions regulations.

Apart from the ability to better meet rigorous regulations, lower VOC coatings are more convenient for the end customer. Higher VOC coatings lead to poorer air quality when applied indoors and often mean vacating a home or business for multiple days, whereas lower VOC coatings enable the end customer to be back inside in 24 hours or less.


Crosslinking Without ADH

In addition to eliminating co-solvents, the new Lubrizol water-based resin eliminates ADH, which is a regulated skin-sensitive substance. It achieves this through a new self-crosslinking mechanism developed to boost properties at early stages of film formation, based on non-regulated hazard substances. Crosslinking is needed to achieve certain performance, such as greater hardness and better chemical and mechanical resistance properties.

ADH is used in the traditional self-crosslinking mechanism. It reacts with other substances in the polymer to create crosslinking, with higher crosslinking leading to better performance. One challenge with ADH is that it is classified as hazardous in the European Union and the United States. For example, products containing ADH above a certain threshold will display the exclamation point pictogram (above 0.1% in the U.S. and above 1% in the EU). This type of hazard labelling can be problematic, or banned, in certain types of applications.

After nearly two years of development and through extensive testing, the new Lubrizol resin matches the performance of a solvent-based resin without the use of ADH or other hazardous substances. It also improves on our existing water-based resins with increased chemical resistance, enhanced wet look properties, and lower VOC formulating capabilities.

Contact us to learn more about this new co-solvent and ADH-free self-crosslinking resin. 

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