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Unisil SL 11K as a pH adjuster in waterborne paints

08 November 2022

On average, people in industrialized countries spend up to 22 hours each day indoors. Most of them are unaware that they are inhaling harmful substances: according to the EU Joint Research Center, indoor air is much more polluted with chemicals than outside. One of the reasons is the widespread use of VOCs - volatile organic compounds (this is a group of chemical compounds based on carbon. They can easily evaporate at room temperature) in building coatings such as flooring, wall paints and furniture. Exposure to VOCs can lead to serious health problems such as respiratory and eye irritation, allergies, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.


Traditional pH adjusters based on ammonia or organic amines are categorized as VOCs and often emit highly irritating odors. Organic volatile substances released by coatings when dry adversely affect the health of users and pose a threat to the environment. They are also harmful to workers involved in the production of coatings.


pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid; the lower the number, the more acidic the solution. It is measured on a scale of 1 to 14, with 7 being a neutral solution.

Most water-based paints are slightly alkaline (pH > 7) and it is important that they remain so to maintain product performance. A drop in product pH will result in poor spreading characteristics and may change color and viscosity. In extreme cases, product solids may separate and fall out of solution.

In Europe, the following word combinations are used to refer to «pH adjuster»:

- pH stabilizers

- pH adjusters

- pH regulators

- pH balancers

- pH Buffers


In response to growing health, safety and environmental concerns, manufacturers of coatings are betting on a new generation of pH adjusters to meet their requirements – those based on potassium methyl siliconate.

Their main characteristic is that they are odorless and VOC-free, which allows the development of odorless and low VOC coatings, which is one of the major challenges for manufacturers of coatings. Due to their silicone nature, these products also assist in the coating film formation process.

Compared to traditional pH adjusters, potassium methyl siliconate is a low odor product that has lower levels of organic volatiles and improves water and abrasion resistance of the coating.

Designed for water-based paints and plasters. Solvent-free, which allows the production of odorless paints and plasters.


A product from Hungarian Silicones that is designed to adjust pH in waterborne paints:

Unisil SL 11K – 54% aqueous solution of potassium methyl siliconate.

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