Sustainable Paint Brush Cleaner

Sustainable Paint Brush Cleaner


Jürgen Allgaier, Renate Beisser, and Jens Hillrich, Jülich Research Center, Jülich, Germany, together with the German company Bernd Schwegmann GmbH & Co. KG have developed a paint brush cleaner that is completely label-free, contains no solvents, does not irritate the skin, is pH-neutral and odor-free – and the new product cleans just as well as conventional products. The cleaner works without solvents, and has been launched on the market by Alfred Clouth Lackfabrick GmbH & Co. KG from Offenbach am Main, Germany, as CLOU® Universal-Farblöser.

The brush cleaner contains water, oil, surfactants and block copolymers. The polymers used contain a hydrophobic hydrocarbon chain and a hydrophilic part. The block copolymers, which are much larger than surfactants, deposit themselves at the border between the oil, water, and surfactant. By this, they stiffen the boundary layer formed by the surfactants between the aqueous and oily layers. This, in turn, reduces the membrane area, larger micelles form and the amount of surfactant needed drops.

According to the researchers, the microemulsion dissolve water-or solvent-based paints, lacquers, varnishes, oils, waxes, fats, and soot. It removes color splash, bitumen, tar, and most adhesives, and canl be used to clean spray guns, paint tools, and mixing equipment.

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