Low VOC curing agents

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Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are organic chemicals having a low boiling point/high vapour pressure at room temperature. Most classical solvents widely used in the coatings, inks, varnishes and adhesives industries are VOCs. They are easily released in the atmosphere during process or from the finished products and they form air pollutants having detrimental effects on human health and on the environment. As a consequence, there is an increasing tendency to try to reduce VOCs and substitute them, whenever possible.

In Europe, various regulations have been put in place to control the use of VOCs. European Paints Directive 2004/42/EC on the limitation of emissions of VOCs due to the use of organic solvents in decorative paints and varnishes used in buildings and vehicle refinishing products sets maximum total VOC contents in the ready-to-use products.

In this directive, a VOC is defined as being "any organic compound having an initial boiling point less than or equal to 250°C measured at a standard pressure of 101,3 kPa". This means that, next to the classical solvents used in solventborne epoxy applications, some traditional diluents used in solventfree systems are also considered a VOC.

Curing agents used for civil engineering applications very often employ benzyl alcohol. Benzyl alcohol has, however, a boiling point of 204 °C and therefore classifies as VOC. In QR Polymers, we devote much effort in developing suitable alternatives.

One of the products recently introduced and met with much appreciation on the market is our amine adduct hardener RD-0190. This benzyl alcohol-free curing agent shows huge potential in replacing a conventional amine adduct when 0 VOC is required.

Another recent development is Q-RIT 381, a 0 VOC salicylic acid-free curing agent. This product allows faster cure and provides superior chemical resistance to epoxy floorings or paints.

See the product specifications below. For more information, please contact us.

(% m/m)
Viscosity @25°C (mPa.s)HEW
Gel time
(minutes) (a)
Uses and comments
RD-0190100Typically 8009330Benzyl alcohol-free. O VOC. Excellent waterspot resistance. For use in floorings and other contruction applications.
phr 50 (liquid resin, EEW 190)
Q-RIT 3811001000-40008415-16Salicylic acid-free, benzyl alcohol-free. O VOC. Superior chemical resistance. Alternative to Mannich bases.
phr 44 (liquid resin, EEW 190)
(a) with a liquid resin (EEW 190), 100 g mix, measured @23°C

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