Old 02-02-00, 09:19 AM
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What do VOC's (volatile organic compounds) do in paint?
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Old 02-03-00, 06:22 PM
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An interesting, and a complex question!
Generalizing, paint is composed of Pigments, Binder, Solvents, and may contain smaller portions of driers plus surface active ingredients.

The Vehicle is roughly divided into the Binder and Solvent portions. Again, roughly the Binder forms the dry film and consists of Pigments, Resins and/or Oils. Volatile organic compounds are used both as vehicle solvents (pigment solvents in some cases), and to impart desirable characteristics to the film. Some characteristics include flow and leveling, film formation and sheer strength, and lowering film thickness.

Interestingly, pigments contribute more than color to the film. Some pigments influence the softness or hardness of the coating, others the permeability, and others are used to stabilize pigment suspension, improve leveling and flow control, build film thickness, and lower gloss.

Modern paints and stains are marvels of Chemical Engineering and continuing research. Today it is possible to purchase Zero VOC latex paints, however, many latex paints contain VOCs in minute quantities and varying proportions. The exact nature of any VOC compound depends on the ingredients and processes used in manufacturing and the intended service of the coating.
Old 02-06-00, 09:08 PM
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Well done Watson(2000)!
I'm impressed!
In short, VOC's are Organic chemicals and petrochemicals that emit vapors while evaporating. In paints, VOC generally refers to the solvent portion of the paint which, when it evaporates, results in the formation of paint film on the substrate to which it was applied.
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