Product Announcement from 3M Advanced Materials Division
The Science of Smooth
3M™ Novec™ Fluorosurfactants are a family of advanced wetting and leveling agents, used to help improve performance in a broad range of aqueous and solvent-borne coatings, including paints, resins, adhesives, inks, clearcoats and more.
If a coating contains components of different surface tensions, the solids will tend to migrate, resulting in an "orange peel" effect. Novec fluorosurfactants concentrate at the liquid surface, lowering the surface tension of the liquid. This allows the liquid to wet and spread more evenly, and reduces the possibility of surface defects
Improved wetting - For a liquid to wet a surface, its surface tension must be lower than the surface energy of the substrate and all the contaminants on the substrate. Novec fluorosurfactants aid in the wetting of a coating applied to a variety of materials, including hard-to-wet surfaces such as plastics and oily metals. They can even help overcome contamination from roller grease, condensation drip, dust, gel particles or silicones. Lowering surface tension during application helps to prevent surface defects, including cratering, picture framing, fish eyes and de-wetting.
What's more, Novec fluorosurfactants help to maintain low surface tension throughout the entire drying process. This helps to create smoother, higher gloss coatings.
Better leveling - When a liquid contains components of different surface tensions and areas of different evaporation rates, there is the possibility that surface tension gradients could form defects at the liquid/air interface. These defects are in the form of a surface roughness often referred to as "orange peel." Novec fluorosurfactants improve leveling by reducing or even eliminating these gradients during the coating dry down phase-resulting in a smoother, more uniform surface.