Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Speciality chemicals group Albemarle Corp. announced 22 Sept that it has commercialised Ethacure 90, a new polymer chain extender that it claims "greatly improves" the processing of polyurea and polyurethane spray elastomer coating systems for uses such as truck-bed liners, concrete and steel coatings, potable water systems and industrial coatings.
The material, "was developed to fill a void in the market, providing an aliphatic curative with slow reactivity that provides excellent cure rate control," said Mike Gaudet, vice president of Albemarle's Stabilizers and Curatives division, in the company's announcement.
The company describes the new chain extender as unique: it is an aliphatic diamine, for aliphatic and aromatic formulations in sprayed and hand-applied coatings.
The chain extender's low reactivity and highly compatible diamine chemistry "provides formulators with improved cure-rate control in a wide range of aliphatic and aromatic systems," said Albemarle.
"Applicators will appreciate the way that Ethacure 90 extends gel time for improved processing through spray equipment. New curatives aren't commercialised very often and Ethacure 90's slow cure time provides formulators with new formulation flexibility that they never had before," added Gaudet.
Albemarle says the product, developed by Albemarle R&D, expands and complements Albemarle's existing portfolio of value-adding polymer additives, such as its aromatic curatives, Ethacure 100, Ethacure 300 and Ethacure 420, which it claims are market leaders.
Albemarle said a review by the US Environmental Protection Agency is complete and commercial sales will begin in November 2010.
Key benefits for formulators and applicators include excellent colour and UV stability, and slow cure speed and gel times with excellent processability in spray equipment. It also produces smooth, high-gloss finishes, and offers improved performance and durability in severe-service applications, according to Albemarle.