Revolutionising the matrix: Binding together inorganic and organic elements

04 January 2024

BASF is launching its IO-Hybrid Technology to the coatings market. Specifically developed for the architectural market, the binder uses both organic and inorganic nanoparticles to create a matrix that delivers enhanced performance and sustainability criteria. 

PPCJ spoke to Chee Seng Yong, Director of Industry Business Management (Architectural Coatings), Dispersions APAC, BASF, to find out more

Q. Can you explain what IO-Hybrid Technology is and what sector/s of the paint industry it is intended for?

A. IO-Hybrid Technology is a revolutionary method of polymerisation that combines organic and inorganic nanoparticles to form a unique matrix. This technology has been specifically developed for interior walls coatings and offers numerous advantages and distinctive characteristics.

Q. What prompted BASF to create this product – what problems did your customers have that they needed a solution for?

A. BASF innovates IO-Hybrid Technology to address the evolving needs of the paint industry and meet customer demands. This technology offers a combination of inorganic and organic elements, resulting in enhanced performance and sustainability. The need for differentiation in the market, coupled with the demand for a high-cost-in-use solution, has driven the development of this product that offers low environmental impacts and health hazards.  BASF’s commitment to continuous innovation drives the development of IO-Hybrid Technology, enabling them to stay at the forefront of the industry and offer innovative solutions to their customers.

Q. What are the main benefits of using this binder technology, in terms of the characteristics it can bring to paint?

A. By developing IO-Hybrid Technology, BASF aims to provide superior hiding performance, improved durability and increased opacity in paint formulations to deliver high value in cost performance balance. By combining inorganic and organic elements, it doubles the number of micropores within the paint and increases the dry film thickness by 10%. The high number of centres of light reflection achieved through IO-Hybrid Technology leads to higher light reflective and hence, increased dried opacity.

Additionally, this innovation eliminates the need for in-can biocides and anti-microbial, which promotes a safer and healthier environment for users.

Q. When it comes to architectural and decorative paints, the concerns in the coatings industry are often focused around health. How does IO-Hybrid Technology align with this trend?

A. When it comes to interior decorative paint, the top priorities are ensuring safe handling during painting and protecting the people inside the house. This technology enables the production of decorative paint that is both in-can biocide-free and anti-microbial.

IO-Hybrid Technology’s creation of a high pH environment effectively prevents micro-organism contamination, eliminating the need for in-can biocides in dispersion and paint formulations. This advancement ensures a safer and healthier environment for users, maintaining performance levels. In-can biocides, commonly used to prevent microbial growth and extend coating shelf life, can pose health and environmental risks. By removing reliance on in-can biocides, paints formulated with IO-Hybrid Technology offer comparable performance without the associated concerns.

The alkaline-enriched micropore structure of IO-Hybrid Technology in Acronal® EDGE 7073 enables it to actively combat viruses and bacteria on walls. This unique feature helps keep spaces clean and protected. The micropore structure of the coating creates an alkaline environment that is unfavourable for the growth and survival of viruses and bacteria. As a result, the coating provides an added layer of protection, reducing the risk of contamination and maintaining a hygienic environment.

Q. What sustainability criteria does this technology meet?

A. IO-Hybrid Technology is closely related to the current trends in decorative coatings. This innovative technology addresses several key trends in the industry, including sustainability, performance and health and safety.

In terms of sustainability, IO-Hybrid Technology offers a more eco-friendly solution by reducing the reliance on in-can biocides and incorporating more sustainable materials. This aligns with the increasing demand for coatings that have a lower environmental impact and meet sustainability goals.

Overall, IO-Hybrid Technology aligns with the current trends in decorative coatings by offering sustainable, high-performance and safe solutions. It enables paint manufacturers to meet the evolving needs of consumers and stay ahead in the competitive market.


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Q. Are there any other industry trends or concerns that this technology addresses?

A. By addressing industry concerns regarding the increasing cost of raw materials, this technology offers a solution. Paints based on IO-Hybrid Technology provide a cost-performance balance by delivering superior hiding capabilities at a lower formulation cost.

Q. Regulatory requirements are often cited as a common concern for paint manufacturers. Does using this technology help paint manufacturers to address these concerns?

A. As regulations on biocide content in decorative paints become stricter, utilising this technology helps meet GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) requirements, especially for lower biocide content in paint.

Q. How does BASF balance achieving concerns with trends in the industry, such as sustainability requirements and being non-harmful to health, with the performance of the product?

A. As per our research findings, IO-Hybrid Technology-based coatings can achieve long-term anti-microbial properties without the need for heavy metal compounds that can pose long-term hazardous risks to humans.

Even after being aged for one year, coatings utilising IO-Hybrid Technology continue to exhibit a high level of anti-microbial efficacy.

Q. And finally, which regions will this product be available in?

A. This product will be available across Asia Pacific region.

For more information, visit the IO-Hybrid Technology page

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