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Non-Phthalate Benzoate Plasticizers - Do More than Just Plasticize

SpecialChem / Edward M. Petrie – Mar 13, 2013

This article reviews the various value propositions provided by benzoate plasticizers in adhesive and sealant formulations. It primarily focuses on waterborne systems, but opportunities in other product forms are also noted. The main applications for plasticized adhesives and sealants are identified as well as processes for selecting and evaluating a suitable plasticizer. Plasticizers are used in all types of adhesive and sealant formulations: waterborne, hot melt, solvent based, and 100% solids reactive. They are used primarily to flexibilize the final product and provide improved low temperature resistance. However, plasticizers can also provide additional benefits that are important to the formulator and end-user. Over the years, benzoate esters have proven to be excellent plasticizers for adhesives and sealants of all types and have especially claimed fame as non-phthalate plasticizers for waterborne latex systems. Benzoates were introduced as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plasticizers in the 1990s. Although today the largest application area for these plasticizers is in adhesives and sealants (Figure 1), demand for benzoates in PVC applications is growing very rapidly.

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