Isobutyl Isobutyrate (IBIB)
IBIB has one of the lowest weight/gallon (7.13 pounds) of any ester solvent available. EPA guidelines limit the
maximum weight of a solvent for a given volume of coating; therefore, solvents with lower density contribute
to lower VOC.
Exempt under SARA III, Section 313, and HAPs regulations
In the Untied States, Xylene emissions are reportable under SARA, Title III, Section 313 (TRI list), and Title III of
the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (HAPs). A blend of IBIB and VM&P ™ naphtha (56.4/43.6 weight) is an effective
xylene replacement in many coating formulations. Isobutyl acetate should be substituted for some or all of the
VM&P ™ naphtha when the aliphatic hydrocarbon tolerance of the coating is low or when additional solvent activity
However, in electrostatically applied coatings, where xylene is used to adjust electrical resistance, a 60/20/20
blend of IBIB, isobutyl acetate, and VM&P ™ naphtha or an 80/20 blend of n-butyl acetate and IBIB may be more
effective as replacements.
Low water miscibility
With low water miscibility, IBIB is an excellent retarder solvent for moisture-sensitive coatings such as
polyurethanes. However, if a slower retarder solvent is required for a polyurethane coating, Eastman EEP
solvent affords an improved balance of properties while maintaining low moisture sensitivity.
Low surface tension
High-solids coatings tend to have higher surface tension than low-solids coatings. High surface tension can be a
contributing factor to poor coating atomization, poor wetting of the substrate, or film defects such as craters,
fish eyes, and edge pull. One way to reduce the surface tension of a high-solids coating is to use a low-surface-
tension solvent such as IBIB.
IBIB has high electrical resistance, which is helpful in adjusting the resistivity of a coating applied
electrostatically. Generally, alcohols and ketones (low resistivity) are used in high-solids coatings to maintain
package stability and lower viscosity. The addition of IBIB to high-solids coatings should enable formulators to adjust
electrical resistance without sacrificing package stability
and/or application viscosity.
Low solvent crazing of plastics
In coatings for plastic substrates, many retarder solvents with high activity have a tendency to craze the plastic
surface and lower its impact strength. Because of its balance of evaporation rate and good solvent activity,
IBIB is useful as a retarder solvent in coatings for plastic substrates that are sensitive to solvent attack.
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