Growing concern over volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other emissions is motivating adhesive and coating formulators to capture and recycle solvents, reduce solvent use, or switch to solvents with better environmental profiles. Although environmentally suitable, “drop-in” replacements for conventional solvents are still a distant future vision, and a strong evolutionary path is developing to complete this quest.

Even in “water-based” adhesives and coatings, solvents are sometimes used in conjunction with water to dissolve or suspend components or to provide a more efficient film forming function. For example, many water-reducible coatings contain small amounts of a “co-solvent” such as a glycol ether or alcohol to aid in coating and handling.

This article reviews new solvents that have been developed for the purposes of: (1) formulating and processing adhesives, (2) cleaning equipment, and (3) removing contaminants from substrates prior to adhesive bonding or coating. A leading technology in this pursuit is the development of bio-based or “green” organic solvents.

Performance Properties Non-Performance Properties
  • Dissolving (solvating) power
  • Viscosity
  • Evaporation rate
  • Color
  • Odor
  • Toxicity
  • Flammability
  • Raw material cost
  • Disposal cost and cost to reduce emission levels
  • Conservation of resources and availability
  • Hazardous emissions (types and levels)
  • Health and safety factors

Industrial Solvents
Industrial solvents are vital In the adhesives and coatings industries. They are used as component ingredients in formulated products or as processing aids in manufacturing (e.g., cleaning fluids). Different applications require specific solvating or other properties, and different solvents can be often blended to achieve the specific properties required for an application.

Log in to your free Materials Today account to read the full article.

Already a Materials Today member?

Log in to your Materials Today account to access this feature.