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A Drop of Brilliance: Discovering the Magic of Cobalt-Free Driers

31 октября 2023 г Corporate Innovation
allnex, the leading supplier of specialty chemicals, is excited to share more about the expansion and global reach of their Additives line of products.

For Bernhard Hirschmann, Additives Global Business Development Manager, additives have always intrigued him. “They usually represent a mere 3% of the ingredients used in coatings or ink formulations, yet additives have the power to enhance flow and leveling, surface appearance, foam control, and other crucial properties like weather resistance, chemical resistance, and water resistance,” he said.

One tiny drop into the formulations makes a significant impact on the final outcome. “Sounds magical, right?” laughs Bernhard. “But seriously, this is why I like to work with this business - It has great impact.”

allnex is continuing to rapidly expand its growth into the Additives market. Our ADDITOL® Cobalt-Free Drier Series is one of our recent success stories.

The thousand-year-old concept of additives

“We could actually say that the concept of Additives in paint dates back to prehistoric times,” said Bernhard.

Cave paintings around the world, made by our ancestors thousands of years ago, are preserved due to the application of additives. “They found out that with only paint pigments from plants or insects, they cannot keep the drawings on the wall for long – and eventually experimented with fatty acids to preserve the colors.” (Read the Royal Society of Chemistry resources or Pigments through the Ages page for more.)

Now several thousand years later, in the modern world of coatings, we have way more options than simply using fatty acids to preserve colors. Top notch and highly engineered additives are the final touches to enhance the performance and sustainability of the resin products and the final coating.

Cobalt-Free Drier, a recent success

Driers are the crucial ingredients in paint or coatings that make them dry in a short period of time – with certain ones shortening drying time from days to hours. Driers are one of the major Additives product lines offered at allnex.

allnex has been producing Driers for quite some time, but our scientists knew it was time to take them a step further. Traditionally, driers have had cobalt as an active ingredient, which was anticipated to be reclassified as carcinogenic 1B, potentially leading to a ban on its usage in coatings and paints containing more than 0.1% in many European countries.

Alternatives for cobalt with comparable performances in driers are not easy to find. However, the allnex teams embraced the challenge to find something better – more sustainable, safer and yet have the same outstanding performance -  and developed the ADDITOL® Cobalt-Free Drier Series.

At the Sustainability Conference last year, Bernhard presented the product series to the audience and received very positive feedback. Rainer Blaha, Business VP Additives, is very proud of the achievement. “The team actively listened to the market, foreseeing the need for strategic adjustments even before regulatory frameworks were established. As a result, we found a perfect alternative for cobalt, eliminating regulatory concerns while maintaining exceptional performance and quality standards”, he said.

One of the key strengths of the ADDITOL® dry CF series is the fact that it is compatible with both solvent-borne and water-borne products. This versatility empowers customers to utilize just a single drier across a wide range of technologies, simplifying their processes and reducing the need for multiple additives.

In addition, the allnex additives offer a sustainable alternative to the conventional inks still used in print magazines and newspapers, please reach out with questions.

For more information, please contact Bernhard Hirschmann or Tim Kittler.