Research Opportunities

Water Reducible Nano-Scale Technology
Michael R. Van De Mark, Director
Missouri S&T Coatings Institute

This project involves the synthesis and development of high molecular weight, low VOC polymer technology.  This polymer system allows high pigmentation and potential cross-linking with less solvents than conventional water reducible technology.  We have synthesized polymers with potential as amine hardeners for epoxy, acrylic lacquers, anionic, cationic and non-ionic systems.  Molecular weights as high as 120,000 have been synthesized and water reduced with generally less than 0.5 lb/gal VOC. (VOC is Tg dependent.)  This technology has many applications from coatings to drug delivery systems to basic research.  Shear stable 4-8 nanometer particles are readily prepared without the use of surfactants.  This technology has many obvious advantages over the 100 nanometer latex particles.

Pigment to Resin Interface Integrity
Michael R. Van De Mark, Director
Missouri S&T Coatings Institute

This project involves the use of ultrasonic technology to investigate the interfacial boundary between the resin and the pigment.   The degree of dispersion and the interfacial adhesion will be investigated through the use of ultrasonic pulses of 1 to 100 MHz.  This technology will be applied to the dry film in the case of coatings and plastics.  Conventional paint as well as powder coatings can, in theory, be studied by this methodology.  Sound is scattered similar to light and the interface can absorb, reflect or transmit sound.  Through studying model systems, it should be possible to utilize ultrasonic transmission or reflection to evaluate the dispersion and resin bonding of a system.

The Missouri S&T Coatings Institute carries out many research, development and testing projects sponsored by industry and the government. A partial listing of research and testing equipment available includes:

100 MHz Ultrasonic Microscope, Taber Abrasion
UV curing system with types D, H, and V lamps, Milling Equipment
Plasma Emission Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatograph
Minimum Film Formation Temperature, Mass Spectrometers
Weathering and Corrosion cabinets, X-Ray Fluorescence
Differential Scanning Calorimeter, SEM and TEM
Auger Spectroscopy/ESCA, AC Impedance
Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, FTIR Near, Mid and Far
Gradient High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph, Instron Model 1122
Thermal Gravimetric Analysis, Force Microscopy
High Pressure Water Jet, Powder X-Ray
Micromeritics Accupyc 1330, Color Measurement
Helium displacement for solid/powder densities
Color Tinting


Projects frequently involve formulation and testing of paints, development or modification of raw materials (especially resins), and investigation of the properties raw materials have or add to coatings. Our undergraduates as well as graduate students are involved in these projects which offer them practical experience with testing methods including failure analysis. Projects range in duration from a few weeks to over three years depending upon the scope and complexity.

Very small testing projects can be done through cost reimbursement, while larger scale projects are generally handled as a contract. Contact us and we can discuss your needs and prepare a proposal with cost estimates.

If you would like to discuss your needs in person or wish to visit our facility please call to schedule a visit. To view some of our capabilities, please visit our Testing page or contact Dr. Michael R. Van De Mark at (573) 341-4882 or