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Improvement of wetting

Feb 12, 2014

Wetting can be influenced by the substrate surface and via the formulation of
the coating. In principle, a solid surfaceis always well wetted if the surface tension of the liquid is small compared to the free surface energy of the substrate. Substrates with low surface energies include polyethylene, polypropylene and Teflon, examples of high energy surfaces are metals, metallic oxides and glass.

Cleaning of metallic substrates removes grease and increases their surface energy. Corona treatment of the surface of plastics has a similar effect: A more energetic surface zone is generated by oxidation. Not only the material per se, but also its surface texture, plays a role and this can be exploited in some cases.
The most widely used method for improving wetting is the addition of substrate wetting additives to the liquid phase. These surface active compounds attach themselves preferentially to the phase boundary where they reach a higher concentration than in the bulk phase.

Silibase offers substrate wetting additives which, when used in even minimal
amounts, substantially lower the surface tension of the liquid coating so that
difficult substrates can also be wetted.

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