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The Waterborne Symposium

Environmentally Friendly Coating Technologies

Mission Statement:

To administer the preeminent educational/technical forum in the United States directed to the science and technology of surface coatings and  to provide revenue to support and advance the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi.


Juliane Pereira Santos - Atomic Force Microscopy Study: Effect of Low VOC Coalescents on Morphology and Phase Distribution of Latex Films

Juliane P Santos_Picture.JPG
Juliane P Santos_Picture.JPG

Juliane Pereira Santos - Atomic Force Microscopy Study: Effect of Low VOC Coalescents on Morphology and Phase Distribution of Latex Films


Juliane Pereira Santos
Oxiteno Industria S.A.
55 11 983891643
Co-authors: Robson André Pagani, Carlos Roberto Tomassini, Kip Sharp and Silmar Balsamo Barrios



Dr. Juliane Pereira Santos received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at UNESP in Sao Paulo. She completed her masters and Ph.D. studies on Langmuir Blodgett-Films at University of Sao Paulo (USP). Next, she did her postdoctoral on synthesis, structure, and properties of latexes at University of Campinas. Nowadays, she is a Senior Researcher at Oxiteno and is responsible for developments of surfactants and coalescents for waterborne coatings. Dr. Santos has published 8 papers in international journals and has 7 patent applications.


Environmental regulations have been the driving force for the development of new additives for waterborne coatings. Coalescents are one of the most critical additives for replacing in a waterborne formulation as they may impart latex stability, film formation as well as the mechanical properties, water resistance, gloss and hardness of the final film.
Despite the ubiquitous offer of new low VOC coalescents in the market, there is lack of information about their role on the microchemistry and microscopic characteristics of latex films.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a consolidate technique for evaluating the effect of coalescent on film formation and morphological aspects of the final films.
In this work, the effect of low VOC coalescents on latex particle coalescence, film morphology and distribution of phases within the films was investigated through AFM.
The low VOC coalescents investigated have VOC content  10 wt% based on Method 313 of South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Vinyl-acrylic and acrylic latexes with Tg of 15 and 29 °C, evaluated, have coalescent content of about 8 wt% based on polymer and form films in temperature lower than 5°C.
Topographic micrographs of the vinyl-acrylic and acrylic latex films showed that particle coalescence and film morphology are highly dependent on the type of coalescent. Usually, films containing the low VOC coalescents are smoother than the ones containing the standard high VOC coalescent.
Phase contrast micrographs of acrylic latex films showed that most of the low VOC coalescents investigated favor the segregation of phases with distinct viscoelastic properties along the films.
Correlation between the microscopic characteristics of latex films containing the low VOC coalescents and the properties of final paints will be presented.

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