Silane-terminated Aliphatic Polycarbonate Dendrimer Solutions for Environmentally Green CoatingsEPA Contract Number: EPD11072
Title: Silane-terminated Aliphatic Polycarbonate Dendrimer Solutions for Environmentally Green Coatings
Investigators: Cameron, Randy E.
Small Business: Instrumental Polymer Technologies, LLC
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2013
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2011) 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 applicators. This is not impossible.
The key is to lower the labor costs for the paint applicator with an environmentally friendly coating system. A single component coating that requires no primer would be both a cost and environmental benefit. If coupled with 0% volatile organic components (0 VOC), and higher performance and nontoxic corrosion inhibitors, painting labor and material costs would be reduced along with VOCs and waste. Everyone wins. However, to achieve this, 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 currently are too expensive for the general coatings market. Instrumental Polymer Technologies, LLC, (IP TECH) 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 used this method to produce silane-terminated dendrimers as 0 VOC solutions in a cost effective manner. IP TECH also demonstrated that their condensation leads to adhesion and physical properties that not only match, but exceed those of current polyurethane coatings. Furthermore, the core of the dendrimers were shown to be able to store a reservoir of nontoxic, hydrophobic corrosion inhibitors.
The product is near ready to launch and IP TECH already has sampled to customers wanting abrasion and chemically resistant thin coats. The technology is also near ready for customers who commonly heat cure polyurethane coatings. Work needs to be done to reduce the cure time as a thick coating. In Phase II the cost and dry time of the product will be reduced to allow a broader launch into the polyurethane coatings market. Two methods have been determined and will be exploited.
The resulting solutions will be produced and marketed as a raw material to coatings producers by IP TECH through a distribution network that already is established. Production will use reactors IP TECH currently uses for polycarbonate polyol production. Costs are currently in line with commercial polyurethane dispersions.