Dow Coating Materials

Expert Insights

Our Experts Can Help Yours

Dow Coating Materials is a technology leader in the coatings market with world-class research and development capabilities. Dow scientists and experts help lead the industry, collaborating with your industry experts, driving real-world innovation and generating breakthroughs year after year.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Catch our experts at upcoming conferences where we will be sharing innovative technical and market information.

See Upcoming Events
Dow experts are frequent presenters at industry conferences

Exposing the Cold Truth About Paint

The team at the Dow Exposure Station in Spring House, PA, test paints in extreme conditions.

Read More
Dow Exposure Station Manager and guest view exterior paint panels that have been exposed to the elements.

Contact Our Team

If you have questions about which products are best for your unique application or would like to discuss how to use them, our experts are available to help.

Contact Us
Contact Dow Coating Materials for recommendations and guidance

Tracking Titanium Dioxide

Posted By: Rusty Johnson, North America

Titanium dioxide scatters light even more than diamonds

Let’s face it. Nothing beats titanium dioxide when it comes to scattering light – not even diamonds!

Titanium dioxide is processed from titanium ore. It’s not nearly as rare as diamonds, but recent reports suggest that titanium ore demand will exceed supply unless new mines are opened. That means ore suppliers will have to reach further and dig deeper for new reserves, a process that will take both time and money.

So it’s not surprising to see that more paint producers are taking significant steps to reduce their reliance on TiO2. We have been working with a number of producers on ways to use higher rates of ROPAQUE™ Opaque Polymer in whites and pastels. Many also are realizing never-before-seen cost savings in paints that require less TiO2, such as mid-tones and interior flats.

We're also getting a lot of interest in our newest hiding technology. EVOQUE™ Pre-Composite Polymer helps improve the light-scattering efficiency of TiO2 and enables facilitates TiO2 reductions of up to 20%. Even higher TiO2 reductions are possible when it’s used in combination with ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer.

As I said at the outset, nothing beats titanium dioxide for light scattering. But we can make TiO2 work more efficiently and cost effectively. If you, too, are looking for more options, drop us a line. It may be time to rethink hiding.

Bigger Cities, Smaller Footprints

Posted By: Luo Kai, Greater China

The Shanghai skyline illustrates the rapid pace of urban migration in China

The rapid pace of urban migration is shining new light on the importance of sustainable building and construction. Here in China, urban areas will become home to more than two thirds of our population by 2030.

To understand how coatings could contribute to more sustainable urban development, Dow Coating Materials conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of commonly used construction materials. LCAs track products from raw material sourcing through final production, estimating the cumulative impact on the environment in categories such as:

  • Water and air quality
  • Water and energy consumption
  • Greenhouse gas emissions

Dow’s LCA found that waterborne paints outperformed ceramic tiles in eight out of 10 environmental categories, including energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.

This study helps reinforce the need for replacing solventborne coatings with waterborne options. In the past, customers may have perceived a performance gap between these two chemistries. We’re hoping to change that mind-set with products like our OUDRASperse™ WB Series for maintenance and protective coatings that bring solvent-like performance to water-based coatings. We are seeing a lot of customer interest and enthusiasm for these new solutions.

Working together, we can make big gains toward more sustainable urban development.

Seeking Sustainable Solutions

Posted By: Dave Fasano, North America


In the architectural space, many paint companies have launched or are pursuing zero-VOC product lines. Squeezing the last bit of VOC out of a paint formulation is a lot like losing those last two pounds on a diet. It can be tough!

HEUR rheology modifiers are a good example. These are extremely efficient thickeners, but when you take out the solvent to reduce or eliminate added VOC, you wind up with a product that’s not just thick in the paint can – it’s also thick in the drum and difficult to pour and handle when you're making paint.

Adding surfactant can help reduce as-supplied viscosity, but it adds to the formulation cost, and it can often throw off your paint performance.

With ACID SUPPRESSION™ Technology, Dow offers a better way. Instead of adding solvent or surfactant, ACID SUPPRESSION Technology uses pH to turn thickening on and off. It lowers viscosity in the drum for easy handling and formulation. Then it raises viscosity in the paint can to provide the desired thickness required for smooth and even application with exceptional results.

ACID SUPPRESSION Technology is a solvent-free technology platform that has already produced two easy-handling ultra-low-VOC capable HEURs: ACRYSOL™ RM-400 and ACRYSOL 995 Rheology Modifiers.

Contact our tech service team to learn more or to order a sample

Hiding Technology

Posted By: Linda Adamson, North America

It’s amazing when I'm at conferences and people come up to me and say, "Hey, I saw that new ad out there. What is that stuff? That sounds really intriguing." It means a lot to have experts come to me as an expert in this industry.

There are many different experts in the marketplace, from our customers – who I consider experts from the perspective of their formulations – to other suppliers, who are experts in their areas, whether it’s binders, rheology modifiers or other additives. I'll admit, it is kind of fun to have people approach me, and I get an opportunity to tell colleagues who may work for a competitor or a different supplier about this technology.

Most important, our customers can talk to us fundamentally and technically about hiding, how it works, and how they can make it better. They know that the answers we provide are based on strong analytical capabilities. We have proof from analytical data to formulating data, applications data, and even exterior durability data. Customers know that we have everything at our disposal, and all they have to do is ask.

Right now, we are asking customers to "rethink hiding," in terms of performance. Beyond that, I envision many customers upgrading some of their lines because of what EVOQUE™ Pre-Composite Polymer Technology can deliver. Once they see it like I have, they are going to see the possibilities.

And that is the real reward of being considered an expert – working with customers to create evolution in the marketplace.

Benefits Beyond Hiding

Posted By: Rusty Johnson, North America

Door in need of paint with effective coverage

A cover story on EVOQUE™ Pre-Composite Polymer in PCI Magazine speaks volumes about the industry's interest in more efficient use of titanium dioxide (TiO2). It also calls out the fact that this technology does more than improve hiding.

As we continue to compile data at the Dow Exposure Station in Spring House, PA., we're finding that EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer brings some very unique features to exterior paint formulations, including improved tannin stain blocking, nailhead rust resistance and flash rust resistance.

For interior paints, we're finding that EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer helps improves stain resistance and stain removal. These barrier benefits are giving paint formulators even more reasons to make the switch from conventional to composite paint made with EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer.

Read PCI Magazine Article

Spreading the Message About TiO2 Efficiency

Posted By: Linda Adamson, North America

Two chemists work on a formulation

Recently my colleague Dave Fasano and I contributed an article to PCI (Paint & Coatings Industry) magazine on how ROPAQUE™ Opaque Polymer and EVOQUE™ Pre-Composite Polymer work, either separately or together, to help formulate paints at lower TiO2 levels while maintaining equal hiding.

It always feels good to publish your work, but it feels especially good when you know it can help your customers. Managing titanium dioxide use is a big issue for our industry, as tight supply and cost increases make change necessary.

With the recent development of EVOQUE Pre-Composite Polymer, Dow Coating Materials now offers two different – but complementary – ways to help enhance hiding and stretch tight supplies of TiO2.

Read more

What I Learned from a Pioneer in Polymeric Hiding

Posted By: Dave Fasano, North America

Dr. John Hook, retired research fellow, describes the art of paint formulation.

Having worked at Dow Coating Materials for almost 30 years now, I've seen my share of breakthroughs that have changed the paint and coatings industry. One of those game-changing technologies was ROPAQUE™ Opaque Polymer, which was co-developed by my friend and mentor, Dr. John Hook, back in the early 1980s.

Like today, the coatings industry was looking for ways to mitigate the high cost of TiO2 without sacrificing performance. ROPAQUE™ Opaque Polymer was born of this need. It uses hollow-sphere technology to create air voids that are optimized to scatter light and allow formulators to reduce their dependence on TiO2 – all while maintaining hide and matching desired color palettes.

Today, the economics that come from substituting ROPAQUE Opaque Polymer for TiO2 have never been more favorable. It was, and still is, an excellent alternative pigment for light scattering in paint.

Watch the Video

The Great Indoors

Posted By: Paul Doll, North America

Indoor air quality is important for both homes and commercial properties

Many of us have heard about the importance of improving indoor air quality through proper ventilation and mechanical air cleaners. But what if the paint on our walls could also help? Now it can.

Dow Coating Materials has developed and commercialized a proprietary new coating technology that takes formaldehyde out of indoor air. This amazing act of chemistry occurs when airborne formaldehyde comes in contact with paint containing FORMASHIELD™ Binder Technology. When the gas and binder meet, an irreversible chemical interaction takes place that transforms formaldehyde from a volatile and carcinogenic compound into an inert material.

This innovation is an important milestone for paint on several counts. First, FORMASHIELD Technology targets one of the most common indoor air pollutants. Formaldehyde is emitted from everyday products and sources, including carpeting, cabinetry, drapes, paneling, automobiles and cigarettes. It can build up indoors, and exposure can lead to a host of medical problems ranging from skin irritations and respiratory problems to longer-term health conditions.

Perhaps even more significant, however, is that FORMASHIELD Technology is only the beginning of what we foresee to be a broad portfolio of coating materials that target a wide range of indoor air contaminants.

Learn More

Protecting What's Precious

Posted By: Melinda Keefe, Ph.D., North America

Dow is collaborating with art conservationists to enhance cleaning processes used to preserve modern and contemporary art.

As an art lover, it gives me a thrill to not only experience fine art as a viewer but also contribute to art preservation as a scientist.

From the Terracotta Warriors to the Sistine Chapel, coating materials developed by Dow have played a key role in helping to preserve some of the world’s oldest and greatest treasures. Now we are thrilled to be collaborating with art conservationists at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Tate in London to enhance the cleaning processes used to preserve modern and contemporary art. Learn about how Dow research helps Tate restore Rothko’s masterpiece Black on Maroon (1958) marred by graffiti in 2012.

Many of these masterpieces were created with acrylic paints, which pose some very unique challenges for art conservators. Unlike traditional oil paintings, for example, modern acrylics are rarely varnished. Dust and dirt are more easily embedded into the painting’s surface, and traditional cleaning methods risk altering the subtle nuances that define these works of art.

By combining the expertise of leading art conservationists with our knowledge of acrylic emulsions and high-throughput research capabilities, Dow is helping to develop materials and methods that can help conservationists maintain and protect the original beauty of modern acrylic art.

Watch the Video

Happy Birthday RHOPLEX™!

Posted By: Stan Cook, North America

2013 marked the 60-year anniversary of RHOPLEX™ 100% Acrylic Binders

As we close out 2013 and the 60-year anniversary of RHOPLEX™ 100% Acrylic Binders, it seems appropriate to reflect on the evolution of the RHOPLEX Brand and its impact on the birth and growth of the waterborne latex paint market.

Today, waterborne paint has virtually replaced all but the smallest niches of the architectural paint market, thanks in large part to the inauguration of RHOPLEX AC-33 Binder and a steady stream of next-generation RHOPLEX Binders that have successfully raised the performance bar of waterborne paint and expanded the waterborne share of market to include primers, flats, semi-gloss and even gloss finishes.

In 2008, the American Chemistry Association recognized this achievement as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. With current top sellers like RHOPLEX VSR-50 Binder for exterior paints and newer products like RHOPLEX 585 High-Solids Binder, the RHOPLEX Brand is as vital today as it was 60 years ago.

Let’s hope all of us in the paint and coatings industry age as well as RHOPLEX Binders!

Learn more about the impact of acrylic emulsion technology on modern paint

Exposing the Cold Truth About Paint

Posted By: John Calderaio, Dow Exposure Station

Dow Exposure Station Manager and guest view exterior paint panels that have been exposed to the elements.

Every winter at the Dow Exposure Station in Spring House, Pennsylvania, we look forward to another season of sub-zero temperatures, snowstorms, ice storms and bitter winds. What better way to put exterior paint formulations to the test? We let Mother Nature do her job, and then we watch and record what happens.

This year, we’re especially excited about tracking the performance of exterior paints formulated with our line of EVOQUE™ Pre-Composite Polymers. Part of this series has been out on the test fences since 2008. As we look at this series and the many series we’ve added every year since then, we see that EVOQUE polymer-based paints are performing consistently better than conventional paints. EVOQUEbased paints outperform conventional paints particularly in key barrier properties like:

  • Tannin stain resistance
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Nailhead rust resistance

Some of our boards also look whiter and cleaner than competitive series. These evaluations – rated through visual observation – correlate with what we’re finding through the eXposure Vision™ Viewer, our high-resolution imaging system that mechanically evaluates and compares paint performance over time.

But don't take my word for it. Come to Spring House and see for yourself!

Watch what's happening at Spring House

Meet the Experts

See all Experts

Linda Adamson

Architectural Technical
Services Manager
North America
Linda Adamson, Architectural Technical Services Manager, North America

Luo Kai

Commercial Director Greater China
Kai Luo, Commercial Director, Greater China

Dave Fasano

Application Scientist North America
Dave Fasano, Application Scientist, North America

John Calderaio

Manager Dow Exposure Station
John Calderaio, Manager, Dow Exposure Station

Melinda Keefe, Ph.D.

Research Scientist North America
Melinda Keefe, Ph.D., Research Scientist, North America

Paul Doll

Senior Scientist North America
Paul Doll, Senior Scientist

Rusty Johnson

Global Account Executive North America
Rusty Johnson, Global Account Executive

Stan Cook

Field Market Manager
Architectural Binders
North America
Stan Cook, North American Field Market Manager, Architectural Binders