Product success stories

One small reactor—infinite solutions

Our partners from a wide range of industries typically approach us with a specific problem to solve. Below are some product examples.


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Disbarit® nano basic

The challenge

To achieve deep, saturated colors, the manufacturing of paints and coatings traditionally requires numerous dispersion additives for pigment stabilization. These additives, however, have some of the negative side effects that come with large amounts of conventional dispersion additives, making the formulations highly complex and the product expensive. The challenge is to achieve pigment stabilization while drastically reducing the concentration of organic additives in the product.

The properties

Concentration:
25% ± 2% (w/w)

Liquid Dispersant:
Demineralized water

Particle Size:
< 250 nm

Appearance:
opaque

Storage Stability:
> 6 weeks (40 °C)

The solution

We developed an inorganic additive, Disbarit® nano Basic, a low-viscous dispersion of electrosterically stabilized nano barium sulfate. The particles move between pigments as spacers, physically preventing the sedimentation and agglomeration of pigment particles.

The benefits

The use of our new additive leads to a significant reduction of conventional stabilization additives.

The production process is simplified.

Depending on the application and pigment type, overall raw material and production costs can be reduced by up to 50 percent.

The product can be used in formulations with or without binders.

Concrete accelerator

The challenge

In the precast field, concrete is cast in slabs, and parts can only be removed from these once they’ve reached a certain solidity—which can take anywhere from eight to 24 hours. Our challenge was to accelerate the concrete solidification process (hydration) through compatible additives for such construction applications as bridges and high rises.

The properties

Concentration:
20% ± 2% (w/w)

Appearance:
Opaque

Liquid dispersant:
Water

Storage stability:
> 6 weeks (40°C)

Particle size:
< 250 nm

The solution

We created the concrete accelerator, a nano-scaled (high surface area) component that affects and accelerates the concrete hydration process. It is a low-viscous, custom-made dispersion of calcium-containing particles in water.

The benefits

Improved early compression strengths thanks to the accelerated hydration of the concrete.

Quicker construction project completion.

Lower costs for the client.

Flame retardant for textile fibers

The challenge

In textile production, flame-retardant (FR) polymers are used for manufacturing functional garments. The flame-retardant property is typically achieved through aftertreatment of the finished textile. As of yet, textiles, particularly those made in fiber-spinning processes, cannot be manufactured with flame-retardant polymers, since conventional FR pigments are too big. The challenge was therefore to create a sub-micron-size flame-retardant polymer with high alkaline stability.

The properties

Particle size:
< 1 µm

Concentration:
35% (w/w)

 

Liquid dispersant:
Demineralized water

The solution

To produce a smaller sized flame-retardant pigment, we used the MJR® process with suitable surface modifiers for continuous polymer synthesis. The resulting compound containing phosphorous and nitrogen is what makes these new manufacturing processes for flame-retardant garments possible.

The benefits

The availability of small flame-retardant pigments enables new textile fabrication processes, thereby improving textile performance.

Due to the small particle sizes, narrow size distribution and high hydrolysis stability in alkaline media, the additive can be applied during polyester or cotton-based textile fabrication.

As the aftertreatment process is no longer necessary, cost reductions can be achieved.

The textiles are generally softer and less stiff than conventionally manufactured flame-retardant garments.

Nano-scale metal particles for decorative and conductive coatings

The challenge

Applying metals to surfaces such as glass requires excellent melting behavior and high melting temperatures that can be critical for thermolabile materials. The challenge was to manufacture a nanoparticle product, finely dispersed in a liquid, that could be deposited as metallic film on thermolabile materials for decorative and conductive coatings.

The properties

Concentration:
30 – 50% ± 2% (w/w)

Appearance:
Viscous dispersion, typical metal colloid color

Liquid dispersant:
Selected polar protic and aprotic solvents

The solution

We developed a dispersion coating of nano-scale metallic particles with an improved melting behavior that can be applied to a wide variety of materials. These are typically used to decorate quality glasses or to create high-end mirrors.

The benefits

The lower thermal curing temperature allows metallic films to be applied onto thermo-sensitive substrates that had not been suitable as carrier materials before.

The improved melting of the metallic particles creates even, high-gloss finishes.

Wax dispersion

The challenge

Wax dispersions consist of finely dispersed wax particles in water and are used for a wide variety of surface and volume treatments. Currently, wax dispersions are made by first grinding wax in a mill and then discontinuously processing it in a stirrer tank. The challenge was to achieve the continuous production of submicron-sized wax dispersions.

The properties

Particle size:
100 – 1000 nm (adjustable depending on the application)

Concentration:
35 – 40% (w/w)

Stabilization:
Non-ionic/anionic/cationic (application-specific)

The solution

We applied the MJR® system to achieve a direct emulsification and solidification in a continuous process. This enabled us to create water-based wax particle dispersions that can be used in a wide range of protective and functional coating applications (e.g., transparency, slip friction), including architectural and industrial coatings.

The benefits

The continuous production of wax dispersions has been enabled.

Sticky waxes or those with a low melting point can be processed.

Cost benefits and consistent quality are achieved through the continuous production set-up.

As required, and depending on the wax applied, properties including slip/anti-mar, water or abrasion resistance can be optimized.

Non-conductive coating additive

The challenge

Most paints, pastes and coatings contain color pigments that turn the isolating binder property into an electroconductive one. The challenge was to develop an insulating coating with good coloristic properties, as many electronic engineering applications require this to prevent short-circuiting.

The properties

Liquid dispersant:
Selected polar protic and aprotic solvents

Storage stability:
> 6 weeks (40 °C)

Particle size:
< 50 nm

Concentration:
25 – 50% ± 2% (w/w)

The solution

Electric current conduction only occurs if the current can flow through the complete surface or volume via interconnected conductive particles (percolation). Conductivity can be reduced if the individual particles are covered with an insulating layer (similar to the rubber cover of an electric cable). We developed an inorganic additive for converting conductive pigmented coatings into electrical insulating ones through spacer technology. Thanks to a shell of insulating nanoparticles that prevent the pigments from percolation, electrically insulating pigmented coatings can be achieved.

The benefits

The formulation of paints and coatings with insulating properties and appropriate coloristics is enabled.

Fungicidal seed protection

The challenge

Young cotyledon seeds are prone to fungus attacks during their first few days of sprouting. Conventional fungicides are applied to the young plants and do not display long-term antifungal behavior. The challenge was to develop a solution that offers long-term antifungal protection.

The properties

Particle size:
Less than 2 µm

Concentration:
Seed treatment dispersion: 10 – 20%

Liquid dispersant:
Water

Storage stability:
> 6 weeks (40 °C)

The solution

We created surface-modified particles that adhere to the surface of the seed when applied and are then released in a controlled fashion over a period of a few days. The seeds are treated by means of seed etching, a surface modification procedure achieved through spraying and drying.

The benefit

Thanks to our fungicidal particles, cotyledons are better protected against fungus attacks, resulting in healthier growth and higher crop yields.