The Sustainability Impact of High-Solids PUDs in Coatings Applications

Posted by Performance Coatings Team on 01/25/2023

Balancing performance with environmental impact has always been a challenge. As technology has advanced and the need for greater sustainability continues to increase, that balancing act has become ever more attainable.

High-solids polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) can deliver an exceptional combination of sustainability and performance in water-borne coatings for wood and protective applications.

Polyamide polyurethane technology with high solids (up to 50% or even 60%) offers a range of sustainability benefits, from reduced freight costs and CO2 emissions to improved productivity with faster drying times while delivering outstanding performance properties.

Water-borne PUDs have sustainability built in because they don’t need hydrocarbon-based solvents or potentially hazardous solvents. As the level of solids increases and level of water in the PUD decreases, additional sustainability is achieved.

Acrylic emulsions can have higher solid content (33%-55%), but they are typically softer polymers with lower performance level. Conventional PUDs have a lower solid content (33%-38%), but better hardness values and higher overall performance than acrylic emulsions. New high-solid PUDs – with up to 60% solid content – developed by Lubrizol, such as Aptalon™ 8080HS Polyamide Polyurethane, deliver high hardness and very high-performance characteristics.

From sustainability and efficiency perspectives, a high-solid PUD with 50% solid content compared to one with 35% solid content can enable manufacturers to ship 35% more resin, reduce CO2 by up to 40%, and painters to be 50% more productive.

Freight, Packaging and CO2 Savings

Analyzing freight and packaging savings referenced above, a PUD with solid content of 35% would require packaging of 6 metric tons to deliver 2.1 metric tons of active solid content. With a solid content of 50%, 4 metric tons of packaging would deliver 2 metric tons of active solid content, resulting in an approximately 35% reduction in transportation costs and storage space.

Productivity and Labor Savings

Higher solids positively impact efficiency and productivity in the application step because thicker films can be applied per application to reduce the total number of applications needed to achieve optimal performance. With 35% active solid content, three layers are typically needed. With 50% solid content, only two layers are needed. That’s a 35% reduction in application time and waiting time between layers, and leads to 50% more productive applications, saving labor and delivering a faster return to service.

Lubrizol’s High Solid PUD

Aptalon™ 8080HS Polyamide Polyurethane is a high-solids, water-borne dispersion for hard surface protection. With 50% solids content, it formulates hard, tough durable films with high gloss, and maintains outstanding chemical and abrasion resistance. With fast dry times and 35% bio-based carbon content, Aptalon 8080HS is an advanced technology for protecting wood, concrete, and metal surfaces.

Contact us to learn more about how Lubrizol high-solids PUDs can positively impact sustainability in coatings applications.


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