Water based systems: from traditional polymers to high-tech hybridization strategies

Water based systems are safe and environmentally friendly. Their non-toxic and non-flammable nature reduces harmful emissions and increases worker safety.


Responsibility in human and environmental care lead to the development of waterborne polymer, as an excellent replacement of traditional solvent based paints. Waterborne polymers exhibit a wide range of advantages, such as flexibility, low temperature resistance, toughness, UV resistance and outstanding abrasion resistance. But the quality of the paint is strongly influenced by its water barrier properties.

Water penetration into the paint leads to growth of fungi and loss of adhesion between the paint and underlying substrate. In addition, water is the main carrier for the penetration of the aggressive ions originating from rain and water soluble gases such as CO2 and SO2 which both cause a negative effect on the protection of the substrate. Thus, control of waterproofing properties in the paint is critical to achieve its protecting characteristics.


Natural or synthetic water-soluble polymers are substances that dissolve in water and, thus, modify the physical properties of aqueous systems in the form of gellation, thickening or stabilizating emulsion droplets.


Emulsions are a class of disperse systems consisting of two immiscible liquids, in which there is an equilibrium among molecules that are lipophilic “fat-loving” in one phase and hydrophilic “water-loving” in the other.

Emulsions are widely used in many industrial applications, the following of which are
worth mentioning: food (which emulsions are by far the most widely used in systems
such as mayonnaise, salad creams, beverages, etc.); cosmetic and personal care products,
such as hand creams, lotions, sunscreens, hair sprays, etc.); pharmaceuticals;
agrochemicals (for formulation of many herbicides, insecticides, plant growth regulators,
etc.); rolling oils and lubricants, etc.


A waterborne dispersion is usually achieved by “emulsion polymerization”. An ab initio emulsion polymerisation involves the emulsification of one or more monomers in a continuous aqueous phase and stabilisation of the droplets by a surfactant. The final product is a latex comprising a colloidal dispersion of polymer particles in water.
Emulsion polymerisation involves the formation of polymer (latex) particles in the colloidal size range, namely a few nm to a few μm: a 200-gram sample of an emulsion generally contains more spheres than there are stars in the Milky Way.
Although polymer latices are the primary focus of waterborne systems it should be recognised that water dispersible polymers, suspension, mini- and micro-emulsion polymerisations may also be used in water-based coating systems.


Various methods have been adopted by Borma Wachs to improve water resistance and hydrophobic property of waterborne polymer via copolymerization with special monomers. Strong hydrophobic segments, are introduced into the polymer macromolecules as short side-chain. The modified waterborne co-polymer combines low surface tension, high-hydrophobicity and high weathering resistance as well as maintain the original physical and mechanical properties of waterborne polymer.

Copolymer and hyperbranched polymer are used in the formation of core shells of oil in water, in which the hydrophile block serves as the core, while the hydrophobic block forms the shell. In the micellar core: reactive, liquid and renewable and biodegradable plant oils are emulsified.

In the past few years, scientists have found microplastics in the environmental. And there’s growing concern about the potential health risks they pose to humans.
Some studies are suggesting that there are more microplastics on land than there are in oceans, but the research on land freshwater is still at the beginning.

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