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Acrylic & Latex Coatings

Coating formulas contain many different types of raw materials and ingredients; typically it is common to classify a coating on the basis of the binder resin they employ. Coatings Product Data Sheets and other technical documents refer to binder resins as binders, resins, polymers or vehicles.

Latex Coatings

Latex is a term used by the US paint industry that describes the paint’s general form and covers all paints that use synthetic polymers as binders including: styrene-butadiene, vinyl acetate, vinyl-acrylic, acrylic esters, styrene acrylics etc. Latex coatings are waterborne emulsions that can contain a number of different thermoplastic resin particles that are covered with an emulsifier to keep them apart in the liquid stage. As the water and the emulsifier solvents leave the film, the particles coalesce into a solid film. Historically, in the architectural coatings market, vinyl acetate or polyvinyl acetate (PVA) were referred to as latex paints.

Acrylic Coatings

Acrylic coatings employ resins that are primarily polymeric derivatives of acrylic and methacrylic acid. Coatings that contain only these resins are typically described as all acrylic or 100% acrylic. Acrylics are the dominant material in architectural coatings. They have excellent UV and weathering resistance, gloss retention and adhesion along with chalk and crack resistance. They also have been the vehicle of choice for high build elastomeric coatings providing flexibility while resisting moisture.

However, recent improvements in the manufacture of waterborne acrylics have created “industrial grade” acrylic coatings with very good corrosion resistant properties and in some cases resistance to splash and spill of certain acids.These resins are commonly co-reacted with other resins to add UV and general weathering resistance to the combined material. Acrylics can also be applied as coalescence cure emulsions and water dispersions.

Concerns on the application of latex coatings:

  • Humidity during application must be low enough for the water to evaporate efficiently.
  • Shipping and storage near freezing temperatures 32°F (0°C) harms the material

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