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Knowledge is power

Glossary Terms

1. Adhesion

Adhesion is the tendency of dissimilar particles or surfaces to cling to one another. This phenomenon is caused by intermolecular forces such as van der Waals forces, electrostatic attraction, or chemical bonding. Adhesion is crucial in various natural processes and technological applications, including painting, gluing, and biological cell attachment.

2. Additives

Additives in paints are chemical substances added to enhance specific properties and performance. They can improve durability, flow, drying time, and resistance to environmental factors. Common additives include biocides to prevent mold growth, thickeners to control viscosity, and UV stabilizers to protect against sun damage.

3. Bio-based Sources

Bio-based sources refer to raw materials derived from renewable biological resources such as plants, algae, and waste. These sources are sustainable alternatives to conventional petroleum-based materials which are limited and depleting at an alarming rate. Products derived from bio-based sources tend to have a lower carbon footprint and are more environmentally friendly, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and contain environmental impact.

4. Binders

Binders in paints are essential components that hold the pigment particles together and provide adhesion to the surface being painted. They form a continuous film, ensuring the paint adheres properly and enhances durability. Binders also influence the paint’s gloss, flexibility, and resistance to environmental factors. Common types include acrylic, alkyd, epoxy, and latex.

5. Coatings

Coatings are protective or decorative films applied to surfaces to enhance their durability and functional or aesthetic properties. They can offer protection against corrosion, wear, UV radiation, or chemical attack. In the context of polymers, coatings can be formulated to provide specific characteristics such as improved adhesion, flexibility, hardness or increased resistance to environmental factors.

6. Epoxy Resins

Epoxy resins are a family of monomeric or oligomeric materials containing an oxirane ring that can be reacted with curing agents to form thermoset polymers possessing a high degree of chemical and solvent resistance, outstanding adhesion to a broad range of substrates, a low order of shrinkage on cure, impact resistance, flexibility, and good electrical properties. They are widely used in the production of paints, adhesives, sealants, and composites.

7. Epoxy Curing Agents

Epoxy Curing agents, also known as Epoxy Hardeners, are substances sed to crosslink and hence cure epoxy resins. When mixed with the resin in appropriate quantities, curing agents initiate a chemical reaction that transforms the liquid epoxy mixture into a solid, cross-linked 3D structure. The choice of curing agent can influence the epoxy’s cure time, mechanical properties, corrosion resistance and chemical resistance.

8. Homopolymer

A homopolymer is a polymer consisting of only one type of monomer unit repeated throughout the chain. This uniformity gives homopolymers consistent physical and chemical properties. Examples include polyethylene, made from repeating ethylene units, and polystyrene, made from repeating styrene units. Homopolymers are widely used in various industrial and commercial applications due to their predictable behavior.

9. Monomer

A monomer is a small molecule that can chemically bond with other monomers to form a polymer. It serves as the basic building block in polymerization processes, creating large, chain-like structures. Common examples include ethylene, which polymerizes into polyethylene, and styrene, which polymerizes into polystyrene.

10. Macromolecules

Macromolecules are large, complex molecules with high molecular weights. Some essential to biological processes include proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Polymers, a subset of macromolecules, consist of long, repeating chains of smaller units called monomers. While all polymers are macromolecules, not all macromolecules are polymers, as some may not have a repeating structure.

11. Polymers

Polymers are large, chain-like molecules made up of repeated smaller units called monomers. These materials are ubiquitous in daily life, found in everything from plastics and rubbers to DNA and proteins. Their properties can vary widely, from the tough and durable nature of polyethylene used in containers to the soft, flexible nature of silicone found in medical devices. With the plethora of available monomers, one can design materials for specific applications

12. Phenalkamine

Phenalkamine is a type of curing agent derived from natural cardanol found in cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL). It is used in epoxy systems, offering rapid curing at low temperatures, excellent corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, flexibility and adhesion properties. Phenalkamines are widely used in marine and protective coatings.

13. Polymerization

Polymerization is a chemical process where small molecules called monomers join together to form a large, chain-like molecule known as a polymer. This process can occur through different mechanisms, such as addition (where monomers add to each other without losing any atoms) or condensation (where monomers join and release small molecules like water).

14. Pigments

Pigments in paints are finely ground substances that impart color to the paint. They can be organic or inorganic compounds and are chosen for their color stability, opacity, and durability. Pigments are mixed with binders to form paint and determine its final hue and covering properties.

15. Speciality Polymers

Speciality polymers are a subset of polymers tailored for specific applications or to exhibit unique properties. Unlike commodity polymers, which are produced on a large scale for general-purpose applications, specialty polymers are often designed for niche markets or specialized applications, such as high-performance engineering plastics or biocompatible polymers for medical use.

16. Solvents

Solvents in paints are liquids that dissolve or disperse the binder and pigment, allowing the paint to be applied smoothly. They help control the paint’s viscosity and drying time. Once applied, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind the solid components that form the paint film. Common solvents include water (in water-based paints) and organic solvents like mineral spirits or turpentine (in oil-based paints).

17. Surface Tension:

Surface tension is a physical phenomenon where the surface of a liquid acts like a stretched elastic membrane. This effect arises because the molecules at the surface experience a net inward force due to cohesive interactions with other molecules in the liquid. As a result, the surface area of the liquid is minimized, causing droplets to form spherical shapes and allowing small objects to float on the surface without sinking.

18. Surface Energy

Surface energy refers to the excess energy present at the surface of a material compared to its bulk. It arises due to unbalanced molecular interactions at the surface, leading to higher energy levels. Surface energy influences phenomena like wetting, adhesion, and surface tension, playing a crucial role in material science, physics, and engineering applications.

19. Thermoplastic

Thermoplastics are polymers that can be repeatedly melted and reshaped upon heating. They are flexible, recyclable, and used in a wide range of applications due to their ease of processing. Common examples include polyethylene (used in plastic bags) and polypropylene (used in food containers).

20. Thermoset

Thermosets are polymers that irreversibly harden through a curing process, creating a rigid, cross-linked structure. They offer high thermal stability, mechanical strength, and chemical resistance. While durable and heat-resistant, thermosets are brittle and challenging to recycle. Melamine resins used in kitchenware, such as durable plastic plates and bowls are a good example.

21. Wettability

Wettability refers to the ability of a liquid to maintain contact with a solid surface, influenced by the intermolecular interactions between the liquid and the solid. It plays a crucial role in adhesion, as good wettability ensures that the adhesive spreads well over the surface, forming a strong bond. High wettability typically corresponds to low contact angles, indicating better adhesion properties.