All posts by cationics

Novel polymer composition

The development of a novel polymer composition for use in waterborne primers with excellent anti-knot bleeding properties

When the waterborne primers of today are applied on wood in most cases discoloration of the topcoat occurs. This is caused by organic wood components that are extracted when these primers are applied. These components then migrate to the coating surface and cause discoloration. This is particularly pronounced on the knots where the concentration of resins and tannins are high. In this contribution we describe the development of a waterborne wood primer that exhibits excellent anti-knot bleeding properties. In the approach we have taken, we have eliminated several of the drawbacks of the current state-of-the-art polymers and primers. In particular, we will discuss the role of the polymerization process and the polymer composition on the knot bleeding properties and we will show that these two synergistically act together. By combining the right polymerization process with the optimal polymer composition, aqueous wood primers have been developed that exhibit a significant step-change in anti-knot bleeding performance.

Jurgen Scheerder*, Hinke Malda, Derrick Twene and Ad Overbeek DSM NeoResins+ , Sluisweg 12, 5145 PE, Waalwijk, The Netherlands

Full text at


Prox SBP 604

PROX ® SBP 604, by Synthron, is a new Core-shell based cationic emulsion specially designed for formulation of stain blocking primers. Waterborne primers based on PROX ® SBP 604 present excellent blocking properties against stains such as ink markers, coffee, nicotine, oily stains, etc.

Information obtained from:

Technical characteristics: 

  • Appearance : Low viscous milky emulsion
  • Dry matter : 44 % ± 1
  • Solvent: Water
  • pH : 5,7
  • TMT : 0 °C


Schematic mechanism: Stains could be classified by chemical affinity: Hydrophilic or solvent soluble structure.
Solvent soluble components could be extracted by solvent borne systems, and then migrate into the film, bringing coloration to the paint, such as oil stains, wood resins, smoke component, tars. Using a waterborne primer creates a barrier to those components.
Hydrophilic structure components have mainly alkaline affinity, such as foods stains, coffee, tannins and their alkaline salts, inks; they are incompatible with acidic pH. Using cationic water based binder displaying an acid pH to formulate primers will block the possible extraction and migration on those components into the film.
Because of its specific cationic chemistry and Core-shell design, stain blocker preparations based on PROX ® SBP 604 have excellent blocking properties to shield stains such as waterborne inks and markers, coffee, nicotine or oil.
PROX ® SBP 604 should be used as main resin in order to prepare stain blocker primer paints.
A VOC-free binder, PROX ® SBP 604 is especially recommended for primers for interior decorative applications, such as coatings for bedrooms, kitchens. It displays an excellent water resistance.

Cationic latex coatings

A novel coating composition, exhibiting improved adhesion to anionic substrates and a process for its preparation and use, is disclosed.

Patent: US 5312863 A

The coating contains an aqueous dispersion of a cationic polymeric binder. The polymeric binder is preferably prepared by the polymerization of at least one monoethylenically unsaturated monomer, having amine functionality, in the presence of at least one nonionic or amphoteric surfactant, followed by the subsequent neutralization of the polymer using selected acids. Coatings containing the cationic latex polymeric binder and selected cationic pigment dispersants are provided. In addition, by selecting certain process conditions and reactive pigments, completely cationic aqueous coating compositions, which maintain the advantages of a water-based system while exhibiting excellent stain blocking, corrosion resistance, water sensitivity resistance and adhesion to wood and alkyd surfaces, and which are competitive in their performance with conventional solvent based alkyd primers and paints, are disclosed.State of the prior art

Conventional aqueous latex coatings are anionic. They contain anionic latex polymer binders which are typically prepared by aqueous emulsion polymerization using non-ionic surfactants, anionic surfactants or combinations thereof. These anionic latex polymer binders are combined with pigments and extenders and dispersed with anionic pigment dispersants to form the aqueous latex coating. The anionic polymeric binders typically contain anionic functional groups such as sulfate and carboxylate groups. It is known in the art that further functionalization of these anionic latex polymers with amines, acetoacetate, or amides such as for example ethylene urea derivatives can assist in the adhesion of coatings containing these polymeric binders. A review article Developments in Ureido Functional Monomer for Promoting Wet Adhesion in Latex Paints; R. W. Kreis and A. M. Sherman, Water-Borne and Higher-Solids Coating Symposium Feb. 3-5, 1988, New Orleans, La., discusses the use of these functionalities to obtain adhesion under wet conditions. The following U.S. Patents disclose the use of such functional groups to assist in the adhesion of aqueous latex coatings to substrates: U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,356,627; U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,404,114, 3,637,565; U.S. Pat. No. 4,248,754; U.S. Pat. No. 4,254,003 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,375,440.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,356,627 is directed to aqueous blends of two water insoluble polymers, one of which being formed from 1 to 15 percent of a polar monomer selected from alcoholic hydroxyl, amino, carboxylic and amide and ureido groups, for use as coating and impregnating compositions having improved adhesion to wood. The ‘627 patent teaches formulating pigmented compositions using pigment dispersants and stabilizing auxiliary surfactants of the non-ionic, cationic or anionic type. The rheological characteristics of the paint may be accomplished by reacting the carboxylic substituents on the polymer with ammonium hydroxide to form the ammonium carboxylate of the ester copolymer. The aqueous dispersion paint is ordinarily adjusted to an alkaline state of pH of 7.5 to pH 10 using ammonium hydroxide.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,404,114 is also directed to the preparation of latex polymers which purport to yield adherent films. The polymers are formed from about 1-25 percent of an unsaturated carboxylic acid, 50-98 percent of monovinylidene monomer and 1-25 percent of an alkylamino alkylester of an unsaturated ester. The polymer is formed by emulsion polymerizing the unsaturated carboxylic acid and a portion of the monovinylidene monomer followed by the addition of a liquid nitrogenous neutralizing reagent, such as for example ammonia or ammonium hydroxide to raise the pH of the system to a pH of at least 7 and preferably pH 7.5 to 8.5. After the pH adjustment, a second charge of monomers consisting of the remainder of the monovinylidene component and the alkylamino alkylester of an ethylenically unsaturated carboxylic acid. In order to form stable polymer dispersions the ‘114 patent discloses the use of nonionic or anionic surfactants at a concentration of from about 0.1 to 10 weight percent of the monomer mixture.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,637,565 is directed to latex compositions having improved adhesion to polar substrates. The cationic lattices are prepared by emulsion polymerization at pH below pH 7 of a primary or secondary amino alcohol ester of an alpha-beta ethylenically unsaturated carboxylic acid or a primary or secondary amino alcohol half ester of an alpha, beta ethylenically unsaturated dicarboxylic acid with at least one other polymerizable ethylenically unsaturated substantially water insoluble monomer. Preferably a nonionic surfactant alone or optionally a nonpolymerizable low molecular weight cationic surfactant is used during the polymerization. The cationic latex may be converted into a stable anionic latex by adding a nonionic surfactant, if such surfactant is not added prior to the polymerization of monomers, to stabilize the latex during subsequent pH adjustment to a pH greater than 8, and usually from pH 9 to pH 10, preferably by the addition of ammonium hydroxide. The anionic latex so formed is compatible with conventional formulating ingredients used to produce coating and impregnating compositions and the resofting product so formed is disclosed to contribute wet and dry adhesion to dried film compositions or coatings. The latex is disclosed as being useful for preparing coating and impregnating compositions especially useful for adhesion to polar substrates such as paper coatings, fabric coatings and the like. When preparing an aqueous paint dispersion using the latex the ‘565 patent discloses the use of wetting and dispersing agents such as polyphosphates and pyrophosphates or anionic and nonionic surfactants.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,248,754 is directed to aqueous dispersions of polymer particles for adhesion to a substrate under moist conditions. The polymer comprises polar groups, selected from amine, ureido and thioureido groups; a proportion of monomer units derived from acrylamide and methacrylamide; and a proportion of poly(alkylene oxide).

U.S. Pat. No. 4,254,003 is also directed to an aqueous dispersion of anionic polymer particles useful in paint compositions exhibiting good moisture resistance. The polymers comprise polar groups selected from amine, ureido and thioureido groups and poly(alkylene oxide) chains.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,357,440 is directed to the use of 2 hydroxy 3-t-butylamino-1 -propyl methacrylate as a wet adhesion aid for latex paints to improve adhesion of the latex coating to the substrate.

It is also known that adhesion between anionic substrates and cationically dispersed materials can occur through columbic interactions and the formation of ionic bonds. B. Alince Performance of Cationic Latex as a Wet-end Additive TAPPI, Vol. 60 (12/1977) discloses that the deposition of amino and quaternized latexes on anionic pulp fibers occurs due to columbic interactions which are pH dependent.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,926,890 discloses the preparation and use of quaternary functional latexes to provide adsorption to substrates such as pulp, and paper. These polymers are prepared by the emulsion polymerization of a haloalkyl ester of acrylic or methacrylic acid with other monoethylencially unsaturated compounds and /or a conjugated diene in the presence of nonionic and/or cationic surfactants and then treating the copolymer with a basic nitrogen containing compound to form the quaternary ammonium salt.

Japan Patent Disclosure 56-13174 is directed to binders for anionically charged glass fibers. The binders are quaternary functional latexes.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,399,254 is directed to cationic lattices useful for thermoplastic and thermosetting applications. The invention relates to the use of cationic surfactants wherein the gegenion for the surfactant is derived from methane sulfonic acid. The patent discloses the use of these lattices for the manufacture of paper, textiles, adhesives and the like where adhesion to anionic substrates is required.

Japan Patent Disclosures 59-155413 and 60-32860 disclose cationic, amine functional dispersions made in water-solvent solutions as solution polymers. They are converted into dispersions by neutralization with acids such a formic, acetic or hydrochloric acid. they also contain grafted polyethylene oxides as stearic stabilizers. Pigmented coatings made by dispersing the pigments directly in the polymeric cationic dispersion are disclosed as providing good adhesion to anionic substrates such as for example alkyds, asphalt block, PVC, concrete, ceramic tile and glass.

Other references disclosing polymeric coatings for adhesion to various substrates include U.S. Pat. No. 4,7610,526; Japan Patent Disclosures 52-6748; 58-23969; 57-63366 and 62-187702.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,710,526 is directed to cement admixtures containing an aqueous emulsion of an alkaline-curable polymer which has excellent adhesion flexibility and waterproofing properties. The cement may be used as a paint. The polymer comprises from about 25 to 99.5 percent of a hydrolytically stable acrylate, from 0.5 to 15% of an alkaline-curable cationic quaternary ammonium salt monomer and other optional ingredients. The ‘526 patent discloses the use of all conventional types of surfactants with a preference for nonionic or cationic surfactants.

Japan Patent Disclosure 52-6748 is directed to an aqueous dispersion of an olefin polymer, organic solvent, high molecular weight water soluble compound and a nitrogen containing ring compound, tertiary amine or caprolactan. The dispersion is prepared without the use of an emulsifying surfactant. This is disclosed as being beneficial for the water resistance and bonding of the product.

Japan Patent Disclosure 58-23969 is directed to a soft finishing agent for textiles composed of a cationic emulsion of a polymeric quaternary ammonium salt.

Japan Patent Disclosure 57-63366 is directed to a method of electrodepositing a paint composed of a copolymer formed from dimethyl aminoethyl methacrylate, acrylic acid alkylesters, alpha beta monoethylenically unsaturated N-alkoxy methylated or N- methylolated monomers of carboxylic acid anhydride and optionally with other alpha beta monoethylenic unsaturated monomers. Acid is used as a neutralizing agent and water as a diluent. The dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate is disclosed as being essential to obtain adhesion with an alkyd melamine resin or acryl melamine resin paint which is subsequently applied over the above copolymer. Diethyl amino(meth)acrylate, dibutyl aminoethyl (meth)acrylate or their reaction products with primary or secondary amine type copolymers are disclosed as having inferior bonding properties with the overcoated paint coating as compared with the dimethylamino ethylmethacrylate copolymer of the invention. Any organic acid including formic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid and lactic acid are disclosed as being useful to neutralize the amino group of the dimethylamino ethyl methacrylate in the copolymer.

Japan Patent Disclosure 62-187702 is directed to a cationic emulsion formed by adding a polymerizable quaternary ammonium salt to an emulsion polymerization system containing a vinyl monomer for adhesion to negatively charged objects.

Since most water soluble staining agents are anionic, they can be effectively complexed, in an ion exchange content, with cationic materials to render the staining agents insoluble, such as for example by trapping them in the primer coat when it dries, such that the stains are prevented from migrating into water based topcoats.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,857 discusses this concept in more detail. The patent discloses two types of polymer dispersions which can entrap and insolubilize stains. The less preferred polymer type (Type 11) can be employed as a binder. This material is prepared as a copolymeric dispersion of non-crosslinked to slightly crosslinked, thermoplastic, film forming spherical particles of from 0.1 to 1 micron in diameter formed from a mixture of from 5 to 70 weight percent of one or more monomers containing an amine or quaternary ammonium group in salt from, from 0 to 50 weight percent of one or more polyethylenically unsaturated crosslinking monomers, and 0 to 89 weight percent of one or more monethylenically unsaturated monomers of neutral or nonionic characteristics, the counter ion of the salt being a metal counter ion in water such as those derived from boron, chromium, molybdenum and tungsten.

These polymers may be made by anionic, cationic, or non-ionic type surfactant. The polymerization can be carded out under neutral, acidic or alkaline conditions. After emulsion polymerization, the pH of the dispersion may be adjusted to whatever condition of neutrality, acidity or alkalinity is desired, the pigment may be dispersed using water soluble and swellable colloidal bodying agents and an auxiliary surfactant to stabilize the dispersion. This auxiliary surfactant may be a non-ionic, anionic or cationic surfactant. The ‘857 patent does not suggest that any particular type of surfactant is important; nor does it suggest any importance to the selection of the neutralizing acid type, pH, pigment dispersant type on the adhesion of coating containing the polymers. The coating composition of the present invention is an improvement to the materials of the ‘857 patent.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a stable, aqueous, cationic coating composition which exhibits improved performance over conventional anionic latex coatings, and is competitive in performance with organic solvent based alkyd primers for application to anionic substrates.

It is a further object of the invention to prepare an all cationic aqueous coating composition containing a cationic latex polymeric binder and a cationic pigment dispersant which does not compete with the cationic latex polymer binder for anionic binding sites on the substrate.

Stain blocking mechanisms



Page 10.
Note: It’s just a guess of the author of this blog but the epoxy resin ester developed by Cytec Company seems to be the Allnex product under Duroxyn commercial name

…/…” Experimental Low VOC Stain Blocking Primer

An additional experimental water based primer was included in stain blocking testing. This primer is formulated with an experimental water based cationic epoxy resin ester developed by Cytec Company.

Cationic resins based on epoxy chemistry are known to provide excellent barrier properties without the use of usually expensive reactive pigments, such as zinc oxide (Tsang, 11 2009; Brandt-Rothermel, 2010). These systems are polycationic systems created by protonation of functional amine groups within the polymer chain (Brandt-Rothermel, 2010). The system is then neutralized with volatile acids, such as formic, acetic, or lactic acid, and the polymer particles swell considerably.

Stain blocking can be achieved in two ways using cationic resins (Brandt-Rothermel, 2010):
(i) cationic groups can form ionic interactions with anionic staining molecules.
(ii) alkaline staining molecules can be neutralized and fixed by the acid groups.

Another important factor is the low pH of the primer, which prevents the diffusion of stains through the primer and into the topcoat (Brandt-Rothermel, 2010). As previously mentioned, adhesion is also important for improved stain blocking. The amine groups within the cationic polymer are able to hydrogen bond with the cellulose in wood, resulting in especially good adhesion to wood and a variety of other substrates (Brandt-Rothermel, 2010).

The cationic resin in the experimental primer is still in the testing stages and is not yet available in any paint formulations available for general purchase. It was included in this study because of manufacturer claims about outstanding tannin blocking capabilities and also to assess the potential of water based stain blocking technology. The experimental stain blocking primer was formulated by Cytec company according to Experimental Lab Formula # KS 101-4. This formulation was provided by Cytec, and can be seen below in Table 2.3. This primer will be referred to as the experimental primer for the remainder of this report.”

…/… “

As mentioned earlier in this report, a near neutral pH and a fast drying time are important factors in preventing tannin staining of the topcoat. The experimental primer formulated using the Cytec resin claims a pH of 5.0-6.5 and a set-to-touch time of 15 minutes. Both of these qualities suggest that this primer may have excellent stain blocking capabilities against tannins.

The experimental primer was not used in all testing. The results are reported separately from those of the commercially available primers, and can be found in section 3.3. ”


Brandt-Rothermel, S., “Blocking Around the Clock,” Asia Pacific Coatings Journal, 22-23, August 2010.

Tsang, M., “New Waterborne Cationic Resins for Wood Primers,” Cytec Industries, Presented at: The Waterborne Symposium – Advances in Sustainable Coatings Technology, Feb. 18- 20, 2009.

Stain blocking options

“Final Report on Standard Agreement No. 09-428 For the Period June 23, 2010 through January 31, 2012 Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Stain Blocking Specialty Primer Coating Prepared for California Air Resources Board Raymond H. Fernando, Professor Dane R. Jones, Professor Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry California Polytechnic State University May 21, 2012”


Page 5.


B. Introduction At the time of initiation of this project (June 2010), regulations in California allowed specialty primers, sealers, and undercoaters (SPSU), also referred to as stain blocking primers, to have a VOC content of up to 350 g/L. Several air districts had plans to lower the VOC limit for this category to 100 g/L by January 2012. The best performing stain blocking primers on the market, as accepted within the industry, are shellac-based primers, with a VOC limit of 550 g/L, and several oil based primers with a VOC limit of 350 g/L. However, there have been a number of recent advancements in developing low VOC waterborne stain blocking primers (1-7). A number of recent products with less than 100 g/L VOC also have been introduced to this market by paint and coating companies in recent years. 5 Typical stains that require blocking include tannins, various household markers, and smoke and fire related stains. Tannins are naturally occurring, plant-based polyphenolic compounds that are found in all wood species (8). Knots in the wood usually contain a higher concentration of tannins and other staining agents. These staining agents can leach out of the wood and into the coating, causing significant discoloration in the case of woods like redwood and cedar. Tannins form water-soluble compounds when exposed to the basic conditions typically associated with waterborne paints. A solvent based primer usually is more effective than a water based primer at preventing migration of tannins into the topcoat; however there are ways of preventing migration using a water based primer. Tannins can be made to bind chemically in the primer so they would not migrate. The conventional approach to this method is to use a cationic polymer dispersion with a reactive pigment, such as zinc oxide and other inorganic compounds, which form complexes with tannin compounds (9). Another approach is the use of a chemical pre-treatment to remove staining agents from wood (10). This method is undesirable because it adds another costly step in coating wood and also because it could have negative effects on the physical properties of the wood.

Our discussions with industry experts led to the conclusion that there is currently no industry standard for what classifies a stain blocking primer as having “acceptable” performance. For this project, it was necessary to create a set of guidelines to determine if a stain blocking primer shows “acceptable performance”. To define “acceptable performance” and to select candidate primers for comprehensive testing, an industrial panel made up of companies and organizations having a vested interest in the project were gathered by the ARB. This panel was made up of following companies and organizations:

  • American Coatings Association
  • Akzo Nobel Company
  • Behr Process Company
  • Benjamin Moore Company
  • Byk USA Company
  • California Air Resources Board
  • Dunn-Edwards Company
  • Eliokem Company
  • Kelly Moore Company
  • Rustoleum Company
  • Sherwin Williams Company

This panel recommended fifteen stain-blocking primer coatings for testing, along with five other coatings to be used as standard primers and topcoats when needed during the course of testing. It was agreed that, when a primer coating and a top coating is needed for the purpose of preparing substrates and test panels for performance testing of the 15 stain blocking primers, paints manufactured by Dunn-Edwards Company would be used. No Dunn-Edwards paint is included in the list of 15 stain blocking primers. 6 A series of standard characterization tests such as solids content, VOC content, density, sag, leveling, viscosity, gloss, and contrast ratio, were performed on all paints selected. Following that, stain blocking tests were conducted with household markers according to ASTM D7514-09 and tannin blocking tests were conducted with cedar and redwood substrates. Other substrates such as wood panels from real fire and water damage sites, and wood panels burned under controlled conditions were also tested. Results of these evaluations, previously presented in quarterly progress reports available at an ARB website (11), are combined and presented in this final project report. ”


  1. Sullivan, C., Roberts, A., Shearon, S. Coating compositions and methods of blocking tannin migration. U.S. Patent Application Publication 2010/0047598 A1.
  2. Tarng, M.-R., Minamyer, M., Brownell, S., Pham, A., Alexendar, A., Shah, D., Nguyen, K.L., Pham, M.L., and Maxey, S., US Patent Application 2006/0030656 A1 & 2007/0221097 A1
  3. Deng, H., Deshmukh, K., Sheppard, A. Aqueous stain-blocking coating composition. U.S. Patent Application 6,485,786.
  4. Betrmieux, Isabelle, Duque, Baudouin. Stain Blocking by WB Systems: How Does it Work? Cray Valley. Centre De Recherche De L’Oise, Parc Technologique.
  5. Tsang, Ming, et al., New Waterborne Cationic Resins for Wood Primers. Cytec Industries. Presented at: The Waterborne Symposium – Advances in Sustainable Coatings Technology, Feb. 18-20, 2009.
  6. Kimerling, A.S. and Bhatia, S.R., Block copolymers as low-VOC coatings for wood: characterization and tannin bleed resistance, Progress on Organic Coatings, 51, 15-26 (2004)
  7. Brandt-Rothermel, S., “Blocking Around the Clock,” Asia Pacific Coatings Journal, 22-23, August 2010.
  8. Vernon Donegan, Jeffrey Fantozzi, Charles Jourdain, Keith Kersell, Alex Migdal, Robert Springate and James Tooley, Joint Coatings/Forest Products Committee Report.
  9. Hodges, S., Novelli, W., Thorn, A. Tannin stain inhibitor comprising and aluminate salt complexing agent. U.S. Patent Application Publication 6,533,856
  10.  Owens, E.F., Reducing Tannin Staining in Wood Plastic Composite Materials, US Patent Application 2009/0095694 A1
  11. “Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Stain Blocking Specialty Primer Coating”, R. H. Fernando and D. R. Jones, Quarterly Reports of Project Sponsored by California Air Resources Board (Standard Agreement No. 09-428), available at, (broken link)

ASTM D7514-14

Standard Test Method for Evaluating Ink Stainblocking of Architectural Paint Systems by Visual Assessment 

This standard provides a method for evaluating the ability of an architectural paint system to block ink stains from markers and writing instruments from bleeding through a primer into a topcoat.

The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Cationic with quaternary ammonium

Original text, and also available in other languages:


of 11 March 2015
pursuant to Article 3(3) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds incorporated in paints and coating

(Text with EEA relevance)
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products (1), and in particular Article 3(3) thereof,
Pursuant to Article 3(3) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, on 30 October 2013, the Netherlands submitted a request to the Commission to decide whether a series of products (cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds) placed on the market with a view to be incorporated in paints and coatings (hereafter referred as ‘paints’) and confer to those paints the property to kill harmful and pathogenic microorganisms on the paints dried surface, were biocidal products as defined under Article 3(1)(a) first indent of that Regulation, or not, and whether the paints themselves should be considered as biocidal products or not.
According to the information provided by the company placing the products on the market (hereafter referred as ‘the company’), those products consist of polymers modified with quaternary ammonium groups. The polymer used varies from one product to another depending on the request of paint manufacturers. The products themselves do not have an antimicrobial activity. The company sells those products to paint manufacturers, who then mix them with other polymers used for paint manufacturing and a hardener thereby cross-linking all polymers. The cross-linked polymers form a cationic surface in the dried paint, which exerts the antimicrobial effect.
After a first round of discussions with experts from the Member States, the Commission requested on 2 February 2014 an opinion from the European Chemicals Agency in accordance with Article 75(1)(g) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 as to whether the products of the company contribute to the antimicrobial properties of paints in which it may be incorporated, if those properties result from the action of an active substance, and if so, what is the identity of the active substance.
The opinion of the European Chemicals Agency was formulated on 9 April 2014 by the Biocidal Product Committee.
According to that opinion, the mode of action under consideration involves an active substance as it is based on a substance, within the meaning of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2), which has an action on harmful organisms.
The active substance is formed in the paint in which it is incorporated by a chemical reaction of three constituents: the cationic polymeric binder, with quaternary ammonium groups, of variable chain length and equipped with a functional group; a polymeric dispersion equipped with the same functional group as the cationic polymeric binder and a polymeric hardener for cross-linking the above mentioned polymeric constituents.
Furthermore, according to that opinion, the mode of action of the active substance relies on electrostatic attractions leading to modifications of physiological and biochemical mechanisms (e.g. bacterial signal transduction systems) and to the death of the target organisms. The mode of action can therefore not be considered to be merely physical or mechanical.
In accordance with Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on any harmful organism is a biocidal function.
The cationic polymeric binders are not intended to have a biocidal function in the form in which they are supplied by the company to paint manufacturers and therefore do not comply with the definition of a biocidal product.
Paints incorporating those products are mixtures, which, in the form they are supplied by paint manufacturers to their customers, generate an active substance and are intended to have a biocidal function other than by mere physical or mechanical action, and therefore comply with the definition of a biocidal product.
The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on Biocidal Products,
Article 1
The cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds placed on the market to be incorporated in paints and coatings (hereafter referred as ‘paints’) by paint manufacturers with a view to confer to those paints a biocidal function shall not be considered biocidal products.
The paints, in which the cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds are incorporated by paint manufacturers with a view to confer to those paints a biocidal function, shall be considered biocidal products.
Article 2
This Decision shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Done at Brussels, 11 March 2015.
For the Commission
The President
Jean-Claude JUNCKER

(2)  Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC (OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1).