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Looking for Solvent Resistance?

 

The situation

As a custom formulator we handle many customer requests on a daily basis. Drawing from our experience we normally solve most requests very quickly and effectively. However sometimes a request arrives that offers more of a challenge.

 

The Basic Requirement

Late last year a request came to us for a material that could withstand an oxidative environment as well as organic and aqueous solvents. This proved to be quite a challenge as most formulations have either organic resistance or aqueous resistance but not both.

 

The Formulating Problem

Working with the customer, we developed a test procedure to evaluate potential materials suitable for their use. This allowed us to provide meaningful test samples in a timely fashion. Initial trials showed promise for at most two of the three resistance requirements but never all three. Epoxy formulations had very good water and organic solvent resistance but lacked oxidative resistance. The urethane formulations had moderate performance for at least two of the three required resistances with low to satisfactory performance for the third. From these trials we determined that epoxies would not satisfy all resistance requirements since they could not withstand oxidation. The urethane formulations, however, suggested a possibility of success since, as a whole, the formulations attempted covered every required resistance to some degree.

 

We deduced which components in each urethane formulation enhanced a specific resistance and blended them. This blend of hydrophobic material and chemically resistant material produced a system that could withstand oxidation, water, and organic solvents at 40oC. Currently this formulation is undergoing evaluation with the customer and they are pleased with the performance

 

Using a keen eye for observation and working together with the customer we provided a solution for an unconventional and challenging request. Though not perfect, this urethane system provides a balanced marriage between oxidative, water, and organic solvent resistance. Further research continues to fine tune this system for even better performance.

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6380 Viscount Road,
Mississauga, ON L4V 1H3. Canada