Axalta Scientists Present Collaborative Research Conducted with MIT on New Technologies for Water-based Coatings
MIT Research Fellow Dr. Michael Koerner and Devan Kestel, Axalta Coating Systems Chemical Engineer, presented their research at the 2015 Waterborne Symposium at the University of Southern Mississippi, in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 11th and 12th. Worldwide leading scientific experts in water-based coatings attend the annual meeting. Dr. Koerner’s presentation showcased a new atomization characterization technology developed by Axalta (NYSE:AXTA) , a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, that enables improved understanding of the property and behavior of liquid coatings during paint spray application. Kestel’s talk focused on the evaporation of water and co-solvents in water-based coatings that aim to produce coating films with improved mechanical and aesthetic properties.
Devan Kestel, Axalta Chemical Engineer (Photo: Business Wire)
Waterborne coatings are designed to be an environmentally conscious option. However, they can present some technical challenges. The Axalta and MIT team developed an advanced rheology characterization technology to analyze, quantify and help predict the behavior of complex fluids during spray applications. The new technology is designed to improve paint sprayability during the application process, which should result in an improvement in the surface quality and visual appeal.
“Advanced rheological characterization can help to reduce the number of trials that coating formulators typically conduct in order to judge each formula’s performance,” explained Dr. Koerner. “The new characterization technology we developed enables us to better interpret the interactions between various ingredients of a coating. It can also help us to provide optimized resins and balanced formulas to deliver coatings with improved appearance and workability,” Dr. Koerner added.
Evaporation of atomized droplets during coating film spray and flash drying is a key factor that can affect coating properties. In waterborne coatings, the high polarity and hydrogen bonding of water are not always accurately estimated in traditional evaporation models. The semi-emperical technique that the scientists developed includes the determination of relative evaporation rates of water, co-solvents and films that are formed under ambient conditions. The technology can help industry professionals to better understand the evaporation behavior of waterborne coatings during spray and drying processes and help to provide insight for optimizing coating properties, especially on leveling and smoothness.
“Axalta is focused on continuing to develop a deeper understanding of coating technology. Research programs and partnerships with esteemed institutions like MIT enable us to better formulate and design innovative coating products to help meet the needs of our customers and the markets we serve,” said Dr. Barry Snyder, Axalta Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
Further details of the Waterborne Symposium can be found at: http://www.waterbornesymposium.com/symposium/
About Axalta Coating Systems
Axalta is a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, automotive refinish and commercial vehicles to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, our coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials we coat to last longer. With more than 145 years of experience in the coatings industry, the 12,000 people of Axalta continue to find ways to serve our more than 120,000 customers in 130 countries better every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. For more information visit www.axaltacoatingsystems.com and follow us @axalta on Twitter.
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