The growing use of nanosized particles in the development of new products with enhanced functionality further increases the value of the Zetasizer Nano from Malvern Instruments as an analytical tool for the paints and coatings industry. Offering both zeta potential and particle size measurement (in the range 0.6 nm to 6 microns) it is an ideal instrument for the optimisation of formulation performance in terms of both stability and surface finish.
Lacquers recently developed for use in the automotive industry incorporate nanosized ceramic particles to enhance scratch resistance. Particles several nanometers in diameter are used to impart the required properties while maintaining the transparent nature of the finished film. Photon correlation spectroscopy, the particle sizing technique used by the Zetasizer Nano is ideal for the analysis of products such as these, offering rapid measurement with minimal sample preparation.
While important visual aspects of paint performance, such as hue, gloss and opacity, correlate directly with particle size, zeta potential is a critical variable when investigating product stability. Paints are complex multicomponent suspensions, the performance of which is detrimentally affected by agglomeration and/or sedimentation during storage. The measurement of the zeta potential of each of the constituents as a function of variables such as pH and dispersant composition, facilitates manipulation of the formulation composition to deliver products with the required stability.