• Lecithin Food

Why Do Paint Manufacturers Use Lecithin?

Manufacturers add some extra oomph to paint applications, by using industrial-grade liquid soy lecithin. The typical job of this natural emulsifier is to act as a stabilizer, anti-splatter ingredient, and emulsifier. It's also known for its ability to improve the binding properties of the paint by making it more viscous.

Lecithin is used by paint manufacturers as a stabilizer in their paint formulations since it can reduce the number of solids in the final product, making it easier to handle the liquid for application. Lecithin also adds a certain amount of stickiness to the paint so that it adheres to the surface when applied.

How much Lecithin Should be Added to the Paint?

The correct amount of lecithin to be added to the paint is determined by the type of pigment, the type of vehicle—the liquid that binds the ingredients of paint in a suspension—and the size of the job.

In most cases, 1% of the pigment weight is adequate enough. However, in formulae including pigments with a high surface area, like carbon black or iron blue, up to 4% of the pigment weight may be necessary. 

The lecithin should be distributed in the vehicle and employed in the grinding and dispersion of the pigment, which is ground at 20-30% of the vehicle. This grinding slurry is milled for a set amount of time—typically 30-60 minutes—after which the remaining of grinding vehicle is added and milling continues until the job is finished.

Lecithin Application in the Paint industry

Lecithin is utilized in the paint industry to manufacture

  • Protective surface coatings.
  • Water-based paints
  • Printing Inks 
  • Latex paints 

Owing to its commendable emulsifying, dispersing, and stabilizing properties in the food industry, lecithin was introduced into the paint industry to achieve a uniform emulsion formation in paints as well.  

Lecithin enables paint manufacturers to add a bunch of different pigments without worrying about the homogeneity of the end product. Here are a few of the many benefits that keep paint manufacturers keep using lecithin in their production:

  • It is an antioxidant, which helps in rust prevention
  • It enhances colour sharpness and intensity 
  • Also inhibits the hard setting of pigments
  • Forbids foaming in water-based emulsions
  • Lecithin in Latex paints promotes rapid dispersion

Why Do Paint Manufacturers Prefer Soy Lecithin?

Soy lecithin is a natural substance that’s extracted from plants and is, mostly, environmentally friendly making it safe for use. Simultaneously, the addition of lecithin also positively impacts the quality of the paint guaranteeing that it properly mixes, emulsifies, stabilises, and suspends.

Here’s an in-depth look at the reasons paint manufacturers prefer soy lecithin:

It’s Emulsification Properties

Soy lecithin is a special molecule with a hydrophobic end that binds with the oil and a hydrophilic part that binds with water. This peculiar structure enables it to form tiny droplets and a stable emulsion. This property helps the lipophilic and hydrophilic compounds present in paint to be dispersed evenly in the liquid.

It Acts as a Stabilising Agent

Apart from being a great emulsifier, soy lecithin is also a great stabiliser. Soy lecithin assists in avoiding the formation of air bubbles and other reactive chemicals in the paint mixture, helping it maintain its quality and keeping it from degrading.

It’s a Great Substitute for a Wetting Agent

Because of the hydrophilic nature of soy lecithin, it’s capable of retaining water and keeping the surface wet. But the technical part is understanding the size of the paint particles when adding phospholipids to paint. Smaller particles, for instance, require more phospholipids to provide a wetting effect.

Soy lecithin does not interact with other ingredients in paint; it simply acts as a binder to hold them together.

It has Antioxidant Properties

An antioxidant is a substance that protects a surface against oxidation, hence avoiding rusting. Soy lecithin is regarded as an antioxidant in polyunsaturated fatty acids, mineral oils, and even gasoline. So, when added to paint, soy lecithin can also operate as an antioxidant. Although, this is dependent on the ratio at which lecithin is added to the paint.

Lecithin is also known to inhibit the corrosion of metals exposed to moisture and solvent/moisture systems.

It can Modify its Viscosity

Another, known property of soy lecithin is that it can control the viscosity of a liquid. It does so by creating surface tension in the oil by forming a coat over the particles. Once that happens, they flow more easily improving the mixing process. This method allows the paint to be readily blended during production, resulting in a high-quality product.

Final Thoughts

Commercial paint brands that use soy lecithin and soybean oil in their raw formulations have a significant environmental advantage over other brands that use petroleum-based binders. Soy lecithin is not only affordable, but it’s also easier to procure.

If you are facing trouble in procuring a sustainable supply of soy lecithin in liquid, powdered, or granulated form, partner up with LECITEIN. We are UK-based lecithin suppliers with branch offices in the United States. Our quick order processing capabilities and fast deliveries make us unique. The secret is our locally located warehouses. Contact us for more details.


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