A new application for an old product
AkzoNobel is justly proud of the many groundbreaking discoveries its researchers have made in the laboratory. But innovation takes many forms, and sometimes it’s about understanding that an old product can be used in a new way. Which is precisely the case with a product called Bermocoll® EBS 481FQ. Bermocoll is a family a products called “nonionic cellulose ethers” that have numerous applications in the paint and construction industries. Bermocoll products are usually used as thickeners, stabilizers, and pigment dispersants in paints, and to provide workability and enhanced adhesion in cement and gypsum-based systems.
But a technical team in China has come up with a new application for Bermocoll® EBS 481FQ, in response to customer need. In the Chinese construction industry, a coating called “stone paint” is often applied to exterior walls. This “stone paint” is a highly viscous material, somewhere between paint and cement. In China and elsewhere in Asia, it is used in a way similar to stucco in Europe and North America, to give attractive and often interesting exterior effects. The coating system may include stone chips or colored sand that are held together with a binder – a system that is, in a sense, something about halfway between paint and cement.
However, many builders experienced problems with “whitening” or “blushing” with their stone paints. Those attractive exterior walls were not so attractive when these problems occurred. Our team in China began to explore potential solutions, and they discovered that just a small quantity of Bermocoll® EBS 481FQ added to the stone paint formulation effectively impeded the whitening and blushing. They also tested it against competitive products and came away convinced that they had a winner. And when they showed the benefits they had observed in their trials to their customers, Bermocoll in effect sold itself. In a little over two years, it has assumed a leading position in the market as an additive to impede whitening and blushing in stone paints.
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