AIChE Journal Highlight: Colloidal Polymers Evolve into Highly Functional Materials


Polymer colloids, including emulsion polymers, micro­particles, and nanoparticles, represent an important category of specialty materials that enable environmentally friendly specialty and smart coatings, drug-delivery vehicles, media for diagnostic and catalytic applications, and precursors for novel highly ordered materials.

In the July AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Evolution of Functional Polymer Colloids for Coatings and Other Applications,” John Klier of the Univ. of Massachusetts and James Bohling and Melinda Keefe of the Dow Chemical Co. discuss the evolution of polymer colloids to address important societal and technological challenges.

Emulsion polymers have evolved from simple binders for coating and adhesive applications to highly tailored functional particles capable of imparting key performance attributes to water-based coating systems — helping facilitate a transition from solvent-based to water-based coatings.

“The chemical and physical nature of these industrially important materials have been shaped by societal needs and performance requirements. Health and safety concerns and restrictions on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have driven architectural coating formulations from predominantly solvent-borne in...

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