A Refreshing Alternative In Roof Coating Technology

Oct. 1, 2007

When Arkema Inc. introduced Kynar 500® PVDF resin to the coatings industry in 1965, it received rave reviews from the field.  Architects, contractors and building owners loved its long-term performance capabilities, which were a welcome change from the coatings of the day.  A PVDF resin, Kynar 500® was unlike any other coating additive of the day.

Up until that time, traditional roof coatings were seen as a mere band-aid solution - something to apply to a rooftop until a better, more durable solution became available or affordable.  With Kynar 500® PVDF, roof coatings instantly became a viable, long-term solution for aging, and even failing, rooftops. The widespread use of PVDF resin in virtually all of today's most high-performance coatings is a testament to its popularity as well as its durability.

Never one to rest on its laurels, Arkema recently introduced its most recent formulation to make a splash in the coatings industry - Kynar AquatecTM water-based flouropolymer resin.  An innovative technology based on the Kynar® PVDF resin, only now in a convenient emulsion form, Kynar AquatecTM based coatings deliver the durability and performance of traditional Kynar 500® PVDF based coatings with the ability to dry at ambient temperatures.

Officially introduced in March 2006 but on the market for slightly more than a year, Kynar AquatecTM water-based PVDF is receiving the same rave reviews that made Kynar 500® PVDF one of the most trusted names in the roof coating's industry.  Not only do Kynar AquatecTM based coatings offer similar long-term capabilities as coatings which feature Kynar 500®, but its low VOC formulation makes it suitable for today's environmentally conscious contractors and consumers, something that many within the industry can't stop talking about.

"With Kynar AquatecTM, you do not have to worry about potentially dangerous VOCs released into the environment or entering a building," commented Tim Leonard from ERSystems (Elastomeric Roofing Systems, Inc.), manufacturer of elastomeric materials and systems, including roof coatings.  "Water-based coatings are the fastest growing segment of our business and Arkema's Kynar AquatecTM is a big part of that growth."

According to Leonard, environmental aspects are driving the push toward water-based coatings such as those made with Kynar AquatecTM.  He said the time has finally come that you do not have to give up performance to use an environmentally friendly product, but there's more to Kynar AquatecTM than low VOCs.

Shawn Carney, special accounts manager at United Coatings A Subsidiary of Quest Specialty ChemicalTM, another leading manufacturer of protective coatings says that the biggest asset in using Kynar AquatecTM is the long-term, cool-roof capabilities that it provides.  Kynar AquatecTM helps increase a coating's reflectivity, allowing it to meet the needs of energy-efficient building codes, such as California's Title 24.  Not only that, but according to Carney, Arkema's newest formulation can help them stay reflective for a longer time than traditional coating additives.

This is especially beneficial for building owners, since they can dramatically reduce their buildings' heating and air conditioning bills by utilizing a reflective rooftop.  Kynar AquatecTM-based coatings can add valuable years to a rooftop's service life and lower its overall life-cycle costs, resulting in a much greater return on the owner's roofing investment.

"The biggest benefit that we see in the Kynar AquatecTM technology is its improved solar reflectance compared to traditional materials," commented Carney.  "KYMAX [United Coatings' Kynar AquatecTM-based product] has better dirt pickup resistance and color stability than traditional coatings, which equates to better solar reflectance that lasts longer.  With this system, coating colors will stay truer, longer."

According to Leonard and Carney, Kynar AquatecTM-based coatings are available in a multitude of colors, which means owners have just as many options as they have had before, only now they get them in a more environmentally friendly, more reflective product.  ERSystems offers 12 standard color options and United Coatings offers nine standard colors, meaning building owners can match their rooftop to their specific architectural and stylistic preferences without compromising performance.

Building owners and the environment aren't the only ones benefiting from Arkema's Kynar AquatecTM.  Contractors are reaping the benefits of this new technology as well, and many of them are embracing it as a way to differentiate and grow their business.

Jim Arnold, owner of J. Arnold and Associates, LLC, a coatings contractor based in Barnwell, SC, is using the environmental benefits of Kynar AquatecTM water-based PVDF as a way to expand his current repertoire and provide his customers with a quality alternative to traditional coatings.

"Building owners and architects are beginning to buy into this technology because of its environmental benefits," said Arnold.  "It's excellent for busy, heavily occupied buildings because you can apply the coating without having to vacate the premises, and it also offers much easier clean-up than typical elastomeric coatings because of its water-based formulation."

Even more impressive to Arnold than the environmental benefits, are the product's aesthetical characteristics.  "Traditional elastomeric coatings usually go on flat, but the new Kynar AquatecTM-based coatings have a very nice shine to them, which results in a nicer looking finished product," he said.  "When aesthetics are important, Kynar Aquatec-based coatings are the only way to go."

Arnold said he first found out about the Kynar AquatecTM-based coatings approximately one year ago when he was working on a 7,000-square-foot job that called for a bright-colored red coating.  He said red coatings typically fade quicker than most other colors, but the Kynar AquatecTM technology helps deter fading.  "The special-made red coating that I used on that first job never would have held up without Kynar AquatecTM.  Traditional elastomeric coatings couldn't touch that color."

Arnold is just one of many contractors utilizing the benefits of Arkema's Kynar AquatecTM technology to land jobs that they traditionally could not have received.  Commercial Roofers, Inc based in Las Vegas, NV, recently applied United Coatings' KYMAX roof coating to a famous hotel and casino along Sin City's strip.

According to Dennis Perry, senior project manager at Commercial Roofers, officials at the hotel were looking for a highly reflective, long-lasting roof system and United Coatings' KYMAX and Arkema's Aquatec were the perfect solution.

"The hotel featured an old, worn EPDM roof system and they were looking to replace it with something that offered a significant upgrade in reflectivity due to the sometimes sweltering sunshine here in Las Vegas," commented Perry.  "Aquatec-based coatings such as KYMAX offer a nicer sheen and they keep their color longer, so we knew it was the perfect product for the job."

No matter who you ask, it seems as if everyone is on the same page when it comes to Arkema's Kynar AquatecTM water-based PVDF.  The product may be relatively new to the market, but the verdict is already out.  Much like the Kynar 500® PVDF that was introduced more than 40 years ago, Kynar AquatecTM water-based PVDF is changing the way people think about roof coatings, only this time the ante has been upped.

Kynar® and Kynar 500® are registered trademarks and Kynar AquatecTM is a trademark belonging to Arkema Inc.

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