Larry’s paint business had been in service for almost thirty years in East Texas. As his son Carson was growing up, he liked to tag along with his father to jobs around town. Larry did a great job earning repeat business and by the time Carson graduated from college, Larry had more customers then he could handle. Thankfully, Carson had shown interest in the business and was able to step in right away to help. And since so many customers were repeats and the town was fairly small, most of them knew Carson already, and trusted him to do the same quality job as his father.
One day Carson thought he’d impress his father by showing him a new additive that helped the paint they were using dry faster while perfectly preserving the color and texture. He’d read about controlled polymerization and how new additives were helping painters do everything from speeding up drying times to controlling paint thickness.
“Dad…check this out. I read about controlled polymerization the other day and picked up this additive…it reduces drying time by half. What do you think?”
Larry replied, “I don’t know anything about ‘controlled polymerization or whatever,’ but I’ve been using that for over a decade. It’s going to take you a while to teach me anything new…”
Many professional painters will profess that chemistry isn’t their speciality. What they really mean is that talking about chemistry as it applies to paint and additives isn’t something with which they have a lot of comfort from a technical perspective.
That said, most experienced painters understand how paint, primer, and various additives work together to manipulate paint characteristics like adhesion, gloss, clarity, and hardness. They actually know quite a bit about paint chemistry even if they can’t detail it by name. It’s similar to how a musician can be a guitar virtuoso without knowing how to detail the names of the scales or notes they are playing. Painters rely on chemistry every day to make a living and advances in chemistry, even when they don’t know the names, have a great effect on their day to day work.
Of all the vast chemistry concepts that are part of the paint sector, perhaps none is more complex than controlled polymerization. Controlled polymerization technology (CPT) is the process by which the building blocks of polymers can be manipulated and structured in ways that create different products without altering the chemical composition of the material itself. Sounds complicated, right? The reality is that even though professional painters (and many scientists as well) may not be able to detail the processes and procedures around controlled polymerization, they most certainly know its effects.
Controlled polymerization allows for things like new wetting agents and dispersion additives that help professional painters more easily manage paint qualities like color and drying time. Without controlled polymerization techniques, professional painters would have substantially less control over their materials with little hope for new advances in the future. The most interesting use of CPT is not in the additives it creates, but in the advances it allows to happen.
New regulations and restrictions dictate that introducing new monomers – the original building blocks of paint – into commercial painting will be almost impossible. However, controlled polymerization technology from companies like BYK mean that existing monomers can be reshaped and synthesized into new additives and chemicals that will help professional painters continue to find efficiencies and control in their work.
For the professional painter, controlled polymerization means additives and tools that make painting more efficient, safer, and more controlled. Quality can be more exact and planning can be more detailed. In other words, even if you don’t know what the chemistry is called and how it works, professional painters can rest assured that advanced techniques like controlled polymerization technology will continue to lead to new products and advances that help companies like Larry’s thrive.
BYK is at the forefront of these innovations for professional painters. Click here to read more about BYK’s globally successful CPT-based additives.