Biocides for effective prevention of paints from microbial spoilage

Pause for a minute and imagine what a fresh coat of paint can do to your home. It not just adds a splash of colours to the walls, but also gives a rejuvenating appeal and re-defines your entire living space. Paints are so far the best inventions by the mankind that can instantly change the decor of your home or business premises. Beyond giving a luxurious wall finish and adding vibrant colours, paints have a vast chemistry associated to them. In fact, there is a whole new branch of chemistry that deals with the study of paints.

Composition of paint

For most of us, paint is just the colour of our walls, cars, or a coating on furniture and woodwork. But the reality is, paint is a mixture of various components that undergo a number of changes in the manufacturing process before being used by us. Typically, paints consist of pigments, solvents, resins and additives; all of which have their unique properties that contribute in the preparation of this stable emulsion.

  • Pigments- give the paint color
  • Solvents — make it easier to apply
  • Resins — help it dry
  • Additives — Filler substance, that also acts as anti fungicidal agents

What are biocides in paint?

However, the above said components of paint play an important role in giving this emulsion the right texture and make it stable, but the fact that these water-based paints are susceptible to microbial attack, cannot be ignored. Hence, the paint manufacturers had a major challenge in coming up with a new formulation that would reduce or stop the paint deterioration due to microbial activities. This led to the use of biocides as an additive to stop the microbial attack and increase the shelf-life of the paint. The microbial issues were predominant in marine industry and were also faced during bulk paint storage. The use of biocides in paints is a breakthrough in the painting and coating industry that prevents the undesirable chemical and physical changes of the paint.

What are biocides?

In a broader sense, biocide is a poisonous substance that can kill any life form (bio- life, cide — poison). But, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives a slightly different definition of biocides, “a diverse group of poisonous substances including preservatives, insecticides, disinfectants, and pesticides used for the control of organisms that are harmful to human or animal health or that cause damage to natural or manufactured products.” Therefore, as we explore the use of biocides in paint and coating industry, they act as a protective film, necessary to prevent microbial spoilage.

Innovations in formation of eco-friendly biocides in paints

The R&D in biocide paint and coatings is to reduce the toxic component in the paint formula, nullifying the fouling effect and increase the shelf-life. What do biocides do, depends on the type of paints, whether it’s a domestic paint formulation or a marine coating substance. As the use of biocides is more prominent in the marine coating industry, researchers have come up with a new anti-fouling paint that is being supplied under the trademark Armanda. This anti-fouling paint is based on acrylic resin activated by silica as active group. This innovative formula contains Ultima crust-remover silicon marine coating, and controls the rate of biocide release. Some of the anti-fouling formula uses 100% solid PU coatings to protect the pipes against corrosion by eliminating the use of solvent altogether.

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