Contamination, surface defects and hard-to-wet surfaces cause many problems in paints and coatings. Unsightly effects are just some of the problems formulators face.

To address these defects, surfactants are added. Surfactants decrease a coating’s surface tension to allow better leveling, wetting and spreading – especially on unclean surfaces. The lower the surface tension, the more effectively a coating wets, levels and spreads.

Many industrial and commercial coatings, including paints, resins, adhesives, inks, clearcoats, floor coverings benefit from the addition of a surfactant.

3M™ fluorosurfactants are a family of advanced wetting and leveling agents, used in a broad range of aqueous and solvent-borne coatings. Based on innovative chemistry different from conventional fluorosurfactants, they offer formulators an outstanding level of performance and control.

They tend to reduce the aqueous/organic interfacial tension and remain surface active in the organic portion of the polymer system.

These fluorosurfactants:

  • Dramatically lower surface tension
  • Help paints and coatings overcome surface contamination
  • Are effective in both aqueous and solvent-based systems

With 3M fluorosurfactants it is possible to control the surface tension of the coating during the entire coating process.

Improved wetting

Fluorosurfactants aid in the wetting of a coating applied to a variety of materials, including hard-to-wet surfaces such as plastics and oily metals. They can even help overcome contamination from roller grease, condensation drip, dust, gel particles or silicones. Lowering surface tension during application helps to prevent surface defects, including cratering, picture framing, fish eyes and de-wetting.

Better leveling

Fluorosurfactants improve leveling by reducing or even eliminating gradients during the coating dry down phase-resulting in a smoother, more uniform surface.  Fluorosurfactants control surface tension throughout the entire drying or curing phase. Maintaining low surface tension throughout this process creates smoother, higher gloss coatings.