Rohm and Haas Place Environmental Emphasis on Development of New Coatings

Gary Calabrese, Ph.D., vice president and chief technology officer at Rohm and Haas, says the company continues to take an innovative approach to creating technology for environmentally advanced coatings products. Calabrese emphasizes the company's long history of developing key ingredients -- binders and additives -- enabled the creation of high-performing water-based paints going back to the 1950s. He noted that Rohm and Haas scientists are the world's experts in acrylic chemistry. "Their ability to manipulate the acrylic polymer to meet specific market needs is unsurpassed," says Calabrese. He cites the science behind Avanse(TM) MV-100 for industrial coatings and how it continues to meet and surpass government regulations because of the nature of this high performance, environmentally advanced waterborne acrylic latex polymer.

"With Avanse(TM) MV-100, our chemists started thinking about how to build a better mousetrap," explains Calabrese. "They first thought about what the resin does and how to make it perform better." When dealing with coatings, the pigment needs to be uniformly spaced to provide proper coverage and protection. The unique technology of Avanse(TM) MV-100 allows for controlled adsorption of latex particles on the surfaces of pigment particles, making for more even distribution throughout the film.

The benefits of the Avanse technology include helping the coating adhere better to the surface and protecting the surface against corrosion and weathering. Another benefit is that the technology can reduce the cost of paints by letting paint makers use less titanium dioxide. "It's like getting two for the price of one," says Calabrese. "You get all the benefits of a high-performing paint that costs less with lower emissions." Avanse(TM) MV-100 uses this advanced technology to provide a better mousetrap for industrial coatings on metal, which has been historically a "tough nut to crack." With this new technology, customers are getting something special. This revolutionary product was created to provide superior barrier properties in an environmentally advanced waterborne, industrial coating that can be applied directly to metal as a bottom, mid or top coat and endure with a high gloss, dirt-resistant finish

According to Calabrese, events happen that create an impetus to develop technology. Often those events come about through legislation and government regulations. The history behind the drive for lower volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in coating products began with the Clean Air Act in 1963 that became law in 1970. Through the 1970s and 1980s, new technologies had to be developed to keep pace with ever-lowering VOC regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And where stricter government regulatory changes for VOCs have not been implemented, consumers are demanding the change.

Calabrese says that he expects Rohm and Haas will continue to meet both market demands and government regulations for more environmentally advanced products and technology. He notes that, in 2007, Rohm and Haas is devoting about half of its $300 million research budget to bringing more sustainable technology to market across the portfolio. "In many ways, when it comes to acrylic technology, the world is coming around to our sweet spot," says Calabrese, "and, at Rohm and Haas, we certainly are ready to meet and exceed those needs."

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