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latex paint[′lā‚teks ′pānt]
a suspension of pigments in synthetic latexes. The most common types of latex paints are polyvinyl acetate latex (made from homopolymers and copolymers of vinyl acetate), styrene-butadiene latex (made from copolymers of styrene and butadiene), and polyacrylic latex (made from acrylic resins).
The amount of film-forming material (polymers) in latex paints ranges from 40 to 55 percent. In addition, the paints usually contain plasticizers (such as esters of phthalic acid), emulsifiers (such as salts of synthetic fatty acids), pigment dispersers (such as so dium hexametaphosphate), thickeners (such as carboxymethyl-cellulose), antiseptic agents (such as sodium pentachlorophen-ate), thixotropic additives (such as bentonite), defoaming agents (such as organosilicon liquids), and surface corrosion inhibitors (such as sodium benzoate).
Since latex paints contain no organic solvents, they are nontoxic and inexpensive, and there is no danger of explosion or combustion during their preparation and application. Latexes are easy to use and may be applied, even to wet surfaces, by spraying or spreading with rollers and brushes. The paints dry at ordinary temperatures and form mat, porous films that allow moisture and air trapped below the film to come out without blistering or peeling the film. The disadvantages of these films are their sensitivity to water and frost and their relatively low mechanical strength. Coats of styrene-butadiene latexes darken in light and become dirty.
Latex paints are used mainly in construction and transportation to produce decorative and anticorrosive coatings. Polyacrylic latexes are used for painting the facades of buildings and wooden superstructures on ships; polyvinyl acetate latex and styrene-butadiene latex are used primarily for painting interiors.
World consumption of latex paints in 1976 exceeded 1 million metric tons. In some industrially advanced countries, 20 to 30 percent of the paint and varnish products manufactured are latex paints.
REFERENCEEntsiklopediia polimerov, vol. 3. Moscow, 1977.
M. M. GOL’DBERG