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Dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether

Green NMP Replacement
Dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether (DPGDME) is a very versatile and environmentally friendly solvent. It is not listed as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP), has low toxicity and offers an alternative to solvents being phased out as result of the Clean Air Act. Like all Glymes it is an aprotic solvent with excellent chemical stability and outstanding solvency for organic materials.

DPGDME is used as solvent for formulating polyurethane dispersions. It is used as a substitute and alternative to NMP (N-methyl pyrrolidone). DPGDME based PU dispersions (PUDs) are used for example for leather finishing / coating of car and aircraft upholstery where solvents with low toxicity are mandatory.

NMP is listed under Proposition 65 as known to cause reproductive toxicity. NMP will have to be substituted in many applications on medium term. Dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether is an excellent replacement for NMP. DPGMDE shows similar solubility properties and similar physical properties like NMP. Mixtures of DPGDME with N-methyl pyrrolidone dissolve DMPA (dimethylol propionic acid) and allow for formulating products with reduced NMP content.

Generally dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether is used in waterborne coatings and high solids coatings. It is used to produce binders (for acrylic paints) and acts as coalescing agent. It is widely used in two-pack PU coatings.

DPGDME is used as co-solvent in UV curable polyurethane based resins.

DPGDME is used in water-thinnable two-pack PU clear coats used, for example with wood and furniture coatings.

DPGDME is also used for water-thinnable two pack PU topcoats for industrial coatings.

DPGDME is used as solvent for the hardener for water based anti-graffiti lacquers.

The strong solvency of dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether can be enhanced by mixing it with Tetraglyme (tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether). This mixture is used for hard polyurethane resins.

DPGDME is a very strong solvent for coatings and paints. It is used in paint strippers, coatings-and graffiti removers and industrial cleaners for degreasing. In some of the mentioned applications, small amounts of a protic solvent is added to improve the soil release effect. DPGDME also is a substitute for chlorinated solvents like methylene chloride or trichloro ethylene in paint and varnish removers and delacquers.

DPGDME is also used to formulate hard surface cleaners containing bleach (hypochloride based). DPGDME is bleach-compatible and improves the ability of cleaners to remove grease and enhances the disinfecting properties.

Having no free hydroxyl functionality, DPGDME is used as inert solvent for electrodeposition coatings. Such coatings are mainly based on cationic epoxy resins.

Being a non-HAP solvent, dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether is used as replacement for xylene as process solvent for the production of alkyd and polyester resins. A mixture of DPGDME with an aliphatic solvent (1:1) is an ideal replacement for xylene as water entrainer. DPGDME increases the solubility of the monomers during the polymerization reaction. Both solvents are excellent azeotroping solvents for water and create an azeotrope containing 50% water. The molecular weight distribution of the polymer is not affected and the resulting resins excert higher clarity. This solvent mixture has a high flash point of above 350°C and even increases the reaction rates compared to xylene as solvent.

Further Applications

  • Solvent for production of binder systems for paints
  • Solvent for industrial maintenance coatings
  • Electronic cleaners
  • Coupling agent
  • Coalescent in high and medium gloss waterborne paints and coatings
  • Co-solvent in aluminium paste formulations (coated aluminium)
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