University Looks into CAPD Method for Coatings
In a study recently published by the Technical University of Denmark, researchers looked to a computer-aided product design (CAPD) method for the design and solvent selection of organic paint and coating formulations.
The research findings were recently published in Progress in Organic Coatings.
CAPD Method Research
Currently, the coatings industry is reported to spend a significant amount of time in the development and management of raw materials and products, where products are formulated mainly through experimentation and experience to achieve a desired functionality.
The desire to streamline this process inspired the research team to investigate what computer-aided tools might be able to achieve this more quickly through improvements and expansion of the current framework. To do so, the team combined multiple databases and models capable of estimating various physicochemical properties.
In its methodology, the CAPD included important functional properties for coatings and went as far as to expand on earlier product design studies to allow for estimation of additional health and safety-related indicators including aquatic lethal concentration, biodegradability and open cup flash point.
For the study, the team also considered additional paint-specific component interactions, new properties and estimation methods to better suit these modern environmental, health and safety-related considerations in designing paints. In addition to providing a new form of testing, the researchers also aimed to provide a clear description of all property models, estimation methods, tools and software used throughout the systematic framework. This reportedly included HSP compatibility between binders, solvents and pigments.
The design method was tested in three case studies to confirm that the extended CAPD methodology can provide paint and coating formulations to solve both general product design problems, and to find alternative formulations for existing products.
The first case study, which was performed using a general foundation problem for acrylic polymers, revealed a high degree of reproducibility to earlier studies, with some variance due to an extended knowledge base and selected property-functionality relationships.
The other two case studies focused on the substitution of ingredients in existing paint formulations. As a result of using the CAPD method, the team was able to discover several possible formulation alternatives with an expected performance like the original product.
The solvent selection methodology was tested for several commercial paint formulations, using the original solvent mixtures to verify the results, while providing formulation alternatives to guide further experimental testing.
According to the team, the suggested options can be used to retain key functionalities while lowering cost, substituting unwanted ingredients, or improving factors including health and safety, as indicated by lethal concentration, flash points and biodegradability.
Moving forward, the researchers believe that with the addition of new groups to the CAPD methodology, or new solvents to the ingredient database, users could engage in a wider search space than what was included in the case studies.
However, they note this could only be sought after if the increased space includes realistic formulation options. An important aspect is to provide a clear methodology for how estimation methods and property models can be utilized to provide functional formulated products, which could be extended to include other types of coating formulations including solvent-free or water-based coatings.