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Frequently Asked Questions


What Kind of Fluoropolymer Is LUMIFLON?

Most formulators recognize the LUMIFLON resin family as a family of fluoropolymers. However, that description is only part of the complete story. A better definition for LUMIFLON resins is that they are “hybrid” fluoropolymers. In order to build in the properties necessary for the creation of resins that are user-friendly, AGC selected vinyl ethers as comonomers for the chlorotrifluoroethylene monomers, which pass on the ability to solvate these resins in a wide variety of commercial solvents. In addition, these vinyl ether comonomers contain hydroxyl groups, which add functionality to these resins. The final product is a fluoropolymer resin that functions the same as a polyol and can be used in 2 component ambient-cure coatings that utilize isocyanates as the crosslinking resin component.

Now, because of the vinyl ether presence, typical properties connected to the standard fluoropolymers like polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or ethylenetetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) are somewhat diminished with the LUMIFLON resins. However, they do exhibit strong weatherability characteristics and above average chemical resistance properties. And, because this marriage of fluorinated monomers and vinyl ether monomers is successful, high gloss properties can be realized. Lastly, the LUMIFLON resins also show a wide range of compatibility with both acrylic and polyester polyols. This will allow for the engineering of paint formulations to specific physical properties like increased flexibility and abrasion resistance.

Can LUMIFLON Resins Be Used In One Component Coatings?

Since we have often referred to LUMIFLON resins as polyols, most paint chemists naturally assume that every formulation that uses a LUMIFLON resin needs to be a 2 component coating. Actually, there are three types of coating formulations that can be created which are one-component in nature.

The first is a traditional baking finish that can employ either an amino resin as the crosslinker or a blocked isocyanate performing this same duty. This opens the door for the formulation modification of standard resin systems which will add an increased level of weatherability to the finish. These coatings will also showed improvement in chemical resistance.

The second type is your typical water-based air-dry emulsion coating that has found its way into numerous markets since its inception in the late 1940s. There are 2 LUMIFLON emulsions that can take part in these formulations – FE4300 and FE4400. Their mechanism for forming a film is identical to the other emulsion types that reside in the coatings for these markets – coalescing of the emulsion particles with organic solvents. Depending on the market that has been targeted, these LUMIFLON emulsions have also shown a good level of compatibility with all types of acrylic emulsions.

The third type of one-component coating which can be formulated is a solvent-based air dry lacquer or an oxidizing alkyd-type coating. The LF810 resin is a higher molecular weight polymer that is available in solution form. Again, this resin can be used as a modifying polymer which will boost the weatherability of these formulations. Both pigmented finishes and clearcoats can be made, depending on what market area is targeted. It is, however, important to remember that LUMIFLON resins cannot absorb UV energy. In order to protect the substrate of a clearcoat finish, UV absorbers must be in the formulation.

Is It Important To Screen Every Raw Material That Goes Into a LUMIFLON-based Formulation?

This is a question that comes across my desk every now and then. Most of the manufacturing plants for coatings have a stock number of raw materials that are included in the majority of formulations they manufacture on a regular basis. These are the raw materials that will be chosen for any new formulation if the formulation requires that type of ingredient. I have no problem with this approach when it comes to constructing a starting point formulation for a LUMIFLON-based coating. Bringing in a whole new inventory of raw materials for a small percentage of a plant’s production will not sit very well with the production staff and the purchasing agents. However, I will not promise that there won’t be surprises when some standard ingredients and/or typical amounts are employed in LUMIFLON-based coatings. For these coatings, it is always wise to assume nothing. Thorough laboratory testing for compatibility and long term stability are necessary to insure that your formulation won’t disappoint the customer in the field. In addition, AGCCA’s technical service laboratory in Exton, PA is creating new formulations every day – finding out what works and what doesn’t work. We are only a phone call or email away.

How Important Is The Catalyst Level In a Two Component LUMIFLON-based Formulation?

Two component polyurethane finishes will cure as quickly as the hydroxyl groups and the isocyanate groups react with each other and form a crosslinked matrix. The speed of these reactions depends on several things – temperature, accessibility of the one functional group to the other, and the amount of catalyst in the formulation. Catalysts are an important ingredient, as they allow the formulator to fine tune their formulation so that the speed of dry is as fast as desired but not so fast as to burden the applicator. The standard rule of thumb level of the dibutyltin dilaurate catalyst, an industry standard since the emergence of this technology, is 0.005% (based on total resin solids). However, it is a common mistake to assume that all polyols behave the same during this curing/crosslinking process. LUMIFLON polyols are no exception. When choosing the level of catalyst for your LUMIFLON formulation, I would start at a catalyst level that is 0.0005% (based on resin solids) and adjust it if necessary to meet the pot life expectations of your customer. If you are working with non-tin catalysts, make sure you start at the lowest recommended level and adjust from that point. Also, I would run a stability test on your finished formulation to make sure that the catalyst of choice will not seed out or lose its effectiveness as the coating ages. AGC Chemicals will work with our customers to choose the right catalyst for their specific application.

What Degree of Adhesion Can Be Expected From a LUMIFLON Resin?

This is an interesting question that pops up from time to time. The reputation of fluoropolymers as non-stick coatings will make any curious coatings formulator ponder about the adhesion properties of LUMIFLON resins. It is important to remember that the chemical structure of the solvent-based LUMIFLON resins is such that they possess properties that are foreign to pure fluoropolymers – the ability to be dissolved in a wide range of solvents, the ability to achieve a high gloss, etc. These modifications of the resin structure will also improve its ability to adhere to a variety of substrates without the use of special primers or exotic additives in the formulation. Of course, the adhesion properties can be limited when it comes to the traditionally difficult surfaces to coat – especially hard, glossy substrates. It is always prudent to check a coating’s adhesion to any potential substrate before signing off on the formulation.

Having told that story, the water-based LUMIFLON FE emulsion products are a different story altogether. Due to the component and processing changes necessary to create stable emulsions with this type of hybrid fluoropolymer, the adhesion of these resins is compromised. In order to formulate a water-based 1K coating with adequate adhesion to metal substrates, these emulsions have to be blended with the conventional water-based emulsions (most popularly, the acrylic type) used in coatings for this market. The maximum percentage of LUMIFLON emulsion recommended as part of the total binder in the formulation is 50%.

As far as the 2K water-based LUMIFLON dispersion resin, our FD1000 product falls somewhere between the solvent-based resins and the emulsion resins. Again, it is important to check the adhesion performance during the creation of the formulations and to utilize appropriate additives to insure proper substrate wetting and proper surface tension reduction in the coating.

Are Other Functionalities Besides Hydroxyl Possible?

AGC Research in Japan has been working on new FEVE resin products with different functionalities than hydroxyl groups. The latest development product is a silanol-functional FEVE resin, which eliminates the use of isocyanates as the crosslinker of choice for ambient-cured FEVE coatings.

Can It Be Used In Coil Coating Paints?

FEVE coatings have been used in coil coating finishes for many years. By using a blocked isocyanate and an ample catalyst amount in the formulation, cure speeds necessary for the coatings successful performance in the coil coating application process can be attained.

For Solvent Borne Formulations, Is Ambient Cure For Isocyanates Obtained With Traditional Organocarboxylate Catalysts Or Can It Be Done Without?

A catalyst is necessary for the ambient curing of FEVE resins. The most popular at this time is Dibutyltin Dilaurate. The level of catalyst is much lower than standard 2K polyurethane formulations. The suggested starting point for a standard formulation is 0.0005% based on total resin solids.

What Is The Application Temperature And The Highest Temperature It Can Tolerate?

The solvent and water based products can be applied at room temperature or with heat depending on what the application requires. These products can be used up to about 450F.

What Is The PH Range It Can Withstand When The Cured Film Is Exposed To Acids Or Bases?

We have not done specific work on high and low pH chemical exposures. We have done chemical resistance testing of popular acids and bases and that information is available.

Are FEVE Coatings Ideal For Regular Moderate Coating Thickness Designs?

Yes. Films with a thickness between 1-3 mils are typical

Are The Fluorinated And Vinyl Ethers Segments Actually Chemically Joined?

Yes. This is an alternating copolymer. The fluoroethylene monomers and vinyl ether monomers are polymerized via radical polymerization. The resulting bonds between the two are covalent in nature.

Is FEVE Resin Similar To Calcium Sulfonate?

The chemistry is completely different; however, both are protective against corrosion. FEVE works though by withstanding degradation by UV radiation. This allows it to protect the other protective layers of paint below it- including corrosion resistant or sacrificial primers.

Any Reactivity With Different Midcoats?

We have not seen reactivity issues.

Is There A Cure Mechanism That Uses Isocyanate Free Materials?

Most FEVE resins contain hydroxyl functionality and can be crosslinked with amino resins.

What Would The Cure Temperature Be?

The cure temperatures depend on the application. Many of the 2K systems can be cured at room temperature but can be baked as required by the application. We recommend not exceeding 450F.

Can The Solvent Based Grades Be Used Without The Use Of Isocyanates Or Melamines?

There are solvent grades with low OH functionality allowing them to be used in 1K air dry systems.

Was This Tested Via QUV B Testing?

QUV-B has been performed. The results vary depending on the system but systems containing FEVE resins have shown greater than 80% gloss retention after 12000 hours QUV-B exposure.

Have You Done Any Florida Exposure Testing?

Yes. Coatings based on FEVE resins have shown greater than 60% gloss retention after 10 years exposure in South Florida.

Any Specific Non-Isocyanate Cross-linkers That You Can Recommend?

Amino crosslinkers or melamine resins can be used in 2K systems with FEVE resins. These systems are used in baking applications.

How High Is Temperature For Excellent Thermal Resistance?

Organic coatings based on FEVE resins can resist temperatures between 400-450oF.

Is Cross-Linking A Must For Ambient Curing? If So, Must It Be An Isocyanate? If Not, Is Gloss Possible Without Cross-Linking?

Different grades of FEVE resins are available. Some have sufficient hydroxyl values for crosslinking while others do not. Those with low hydroxyl values can be used in ambient cure systems without crosslinking. A high gloss coating can be achieved with these systems

How Does LUMIFLON Achieve Exterior Durability Without A Healthy Slug Of Fluorine In The Polymer?

FEVE resin chemistry has a relatively low level of fluorination compared to typical fluorinated resins. It is able to achieve the same if not superior exterior durability due to its unique chemistry. The alternating structure of fluoroethylene and vinyl ether segments is the key to its performance.

How Does Japan Outdoor Exposure In Okinawa Compare To That Of South Florida (AAMA specs)?

It is a hot and humid climate, just like South Florida. The average amount of UV radiation is actually slightly stronger in Okinawa than in the South Florida exposure sites.

Can You Dissolve A UV Absorber Like Tinuvin In The FEVE Part Of The Formulation To Protect The Substrate Below From UV Radiation?

Yes. UVA and HALS may be used in FEVE based coatings. The liquid versions are easiest to blend. It is also important to use less basic HALS in waterbased coatings.

What Is The Melt Point Of The 100% Solid Version?

Softening points of solid LUMIFLON Resins range from 117-136o C.

What About Resistant To Ponding Water In High Build Acrylic Roof Coatings?

Coatings based on FEVE resin technology show very low water absorption, but do not inhibit permeability. FEVE based coatings, including blends of FEVE and low Tg acrylic resins, show high resistance to water absorption but are breathable.

What Is the Shelf Stability Of FEVE Emulsion?

FEVE emulsions have a minimum of 1 year shelf stability unopened.

Is It Possible To Use FEVE Emulsions in Architectural Coatings For Cementitious Substrates?

This application is currently being studied. FEVE emulsions have a good balance of moisture properties: resistant to water, but permeable to vapor. This allows for proper drying of the cement.

What Types Of Thickeners Can Be Used With FEVE Emulsions?

HEUR type thickeners have been used successfully with FEVE emulsions.

What Are The Health And/Or Safety Concerns With FEVE Coatings?

FEVE emulsions and dispersions are non-hazardous. The solvent based products pose safety risks based on that of the carrier solvent (xylene in most cases). FEVE polyols can be reacted with polyisocyanates and amino crosslinkers. Both types of crosslinkers have hazards associated with them.

Describe The Expected UV Durability Of FEVE Coatings.

FEVE based coatings have been used in applications that maintained color and gloss for over 30 years. This longevity will decrease in blended systems (i.e. FEVE resin blended with an acrylic).

What Is The Relationship Of 10,000 Hours QUV-A Accelerated Weathering To Real-World Outdoor Exposure?

10000 hours QUV-A is considered a relatively long aging period. It has been related to up to 10 years in the field. QUV-A has limitations though. Its spectrum is focused at 340nm whereas sunlight has a much broader range of wavelengths. QUV-A is useful for screening purposes but is no substitute for real world exposure.

What Are The Bond Strength Or Adhesion Properties With Various Kinds Of Substrates When The Resin Is Loaded With 50% Or Greater FEVE?

Adhesion properties of the solventborne FEVE resins are good up to and beyond 50% of the total resin solids of the coating. Only some of the waterbased resins are recommended to blended at levels of 50% or less.

Can FEVE Resins Protect Fungicides Used To Inhibit Algae And Fungi?

FEVE resins are not UV blockers. However, they do resist degradation and erosion initiated by UV light. This prevents loss of additives like fungicides due to erosion of the coating.

Since The FEVE Dispersions And Emulsions Are Not Shear Stable Can They Only Be Used As Clear Coats? Are Pigmented Liquid Dispersions Compatible And Can You Add Matting Agents To Achieve Varying Gloss Levels?

We do not recommend grinding in the FEVE dispersion, but a water pigment paste can be made and added to the FEVE portion of the paint. We have also seen good compatibility with off the shelf liquid colorants. Matting agents can be used with FEVE resins, but we are just beginning our work in this area though. One of the attractive characteristics of our resins is high gloss, which is uncommon amongst many fluorinated resins for paint.

What Are Some Major Differences Bbetween PTFE And FEVE Based Coatings?

PTFE is considered a true fluoropolymer while FEVE resins are alternating copolymers of vinyl ether and fluoroethylene monomers. PTFE coatings offer the ultimate in barrier and protective properties, but they are limited by application. They tend to require high heat to cure and also are traditionally only available in powder form. FEVE offers the high performance of a fluoropolymer with the usability of a traditional resin for paint. The vinyl ether portion of the copolymer allows for solubility in solvents and the regularly alternating structure insures that the fluoroethylene performs. PTFE coatings are ideal for extremely harsh environments, like pipe linings. FEVE resins are best suited for applications requiring high performance in outdoor environments while maintaining aesthetics like high gloss and brilliant color.

What Human Protection Measures Are Required When Field Applying FEVE?

Waterbased FEVE resins are non-hazardous. Solventborne FEVE resins require ventilation as does any solventborne resin or coating because of the hazards of the carrier solvent itself.

What Is The Rate Of Reaction Of FEVE As Compared To Acrylic Polyol With Isocyanate?

FEVE polyols have all primary hydroxyls. It is very reactive and tends to require significantly less catalyst than a traditional or acrylic or polyester polyol would require.

What Are The Solids Of This Resin And The Viscosity?

Solids vary from 40 to 100% solids depending on the grade.

What Is The Typical Level Used In Erethane?

FEVE polyols can be used as the sole polyol in a 2K urethane system or it can be blended with other polyols such as acrylics and polyesters.

Can The FEVE Polymer Can Be Blended With STD Polymers In The Market In Order To Improve Overall Properties?

Yes. We have done several blending studies with polyesters, acrylics, and alkyds.

What Is The Sacrificial Primer For FEVE?

Organic or inorganic zinc-rich primers

What Is The Rate Of Reaction Of FEVE As Compared To Acrylic Polyol With Isocyanate?

FEVE polyols have all primary hydroxyls. It is very reactive and tends to require significantly less catalyst than a traditional or acrylic or polyester polyol would require.

What Is The Typical Level Used In Urethane?

FEVE polyols can be used as the sole polyol in a 2K urethane system or it can be blended with other polyols such as acrylics and polyesters.

Are The Functionalities Always OH?

yes. We ae looking at alternative functionalities, but the cost is very prohibitive at this time.

How Flexible Are LUMIFLON FEVE Resins?

It depends on the grade of FEVE resin that is used. If more flexibility is necessary, KFLEX polyester resins can help increase this property.

What Is The Temperature Range For Melting Points Of The 100% Solids Resins You Offer?

The softening points range from 90-120oC (194 to 248oF).

What Is The Temperature Resistance Of The FEVE Polymers, Solvent Based And Water Based?

The temperature resistance of FEVE resins ranges from about 450 to 500oF.

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