Ethylene glycol ethers and acetates are used in paint and coatings, hard-surface cleaners, polishes, solvents, chemical intermediates, surfactants, agricultural chemicals and corrosion inhibitors. They are also used in the electronics market.
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Benefits and Applications
In addition to surface coating applications, glycol ethers are used as dye solvents in the printing ink, textile and leather industries, and as a solvent for agricultural applications. Non-solvent applications for glycol ethers include anti-icing agents in jet fuels, fluids for hydraulic systems, and as chemical intermediate for plasticizers.
Ethylene glycol ethers and glycol ether acetates are clear liquids with mild, pleasant odors. Due to the presence of both an ether and a hydroxyl group in the same molecule, these products are miscible in water, as well as most organic solvents, making this group of products ideal for use as resin solvents for use in the paint and coating industry.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently removed ethylene glycol butyl ether (EGBE) from the Clean Air Act (CAA) list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and thus it is no longer subject to the CAA's Maximum Achievable Control Technology requirements, nor its residual risk and other requirements. Glycol ether BE is an excellent solvent and coalescent for solvent and water-based paint, coating, ink and adhesive formulations. It has excellent solvency for a variety of resins including acrylic, alkyd, phenolic, epoxy, nitrocellulose and urethane resins. Glycol ether BE is an important component in household and industrial cleaners, enhancing wetting and cleaning ability.