Silane-Terminated Aliphatic Polycarbonate Dendrimer Solutions for Environmentally Green Coatings

EPA Contract Number: EPD10028
Title: Silane-Terminated Aliphatic Polycarbonate Dendrimer Solutions for Environmentally Green Coatings
Investigators: Cameron, Randy E.
Small Business: Instrumental Polymer Technologies, LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2010 through August 31, 2010
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Nanotechnology


Polyurethane (PU) coatings continue to be a detriment to the environment. As long as compliance leads to higher costs for coatings manufacturers and applicators, tighter regulation will lead to increased resistance by these companies or ultimately will shift production to less-regulated areas. The ideal situation would be if environmentally friendly practices led to lower costs for coatings manufacturers and applications. Although a difficult goal, it is not impossible.

The key is to lower the labor costs for the paint applicator. Fewer coatings layers, faster dry time, and less rework can be both a cost benefit and an environmental benefit. If coupled with a zero-VOC coating system, nontoxic corrosion inhibitors, and a one-component system to lower waste and inventory, everyone wins. To achieve this, however, a large jump in resin technology is needed.

Dendrimeric polymers, one of the four macromolecular architectures of nanotechnology, have unique properties to help achieve these goals. Unfortunately, these polymers are currently too expensive for the general coatings market.  Instrumental Polymer Technologies, LLC (IP TECH), however, has developed a method called evolution polymerization to make hydroxyl-terminated aliphatic polycarbonate dendrimers for a price competitive with common polyols. In Phase I of this project, IP TECH will demonstrate the feasibility of producing silane-terminated polycarbonate dendrimers as zero-VOC organic sol-gel solution in water. IP TECH will demonstrate that condensation of silane-terminated dendrimers leads to quick curing with excellent adhesion and physical properties.

IP TECH also will demonstrate the use of the dendrimer core to store a large reservoir of nontoxic, hydrophobic corrosion inhibitors. In Phase II, the product line will be developed, scaled up, and readied for market.

This project will result in a primer-less coating that saves time with applicators by:  requiring no priming, having a topcoat that dries faster, and requiring no mixing of components prior to spraying and when the pot life has been reached.

The resulting solution will be produced and marketed as a raw material to coatings producers by IP TECH through a distribution network that it already has established. Production will use a reactor that IP TECH currently uses for polycarbonate polyol production. The costs will be in line with current PU resin systems. Customers will be given the option of purchasing the dendrimers containing corrosion inhibitors in solution or without.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, nanotechnology, polyurethane coatings, PU, coating manufacturers, resin technology, dendrimeric polymers, corrosion inhibitors, environmental health, toxic waste, zero-VOC coating system, green coatings,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Silane-terminated Aliphatic Polycarbonate Dendrimer Solutions for Environmentally Green Coatings