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    Tape joint compounds are one of the most challenging building materials to preserve and protect from microbial contamination.

Formulators used formaldehyde-releasing chemistries (FAR) for ages to provide the required level of protection and prevent viscosity drops over time. The drastic viscosity drops occur as a result of microbial contamination and degradation of organic compounds over time.

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The good news, formaldehyde-releasing biocides are no longer the only effective option for your tape joints and sealant formulations.

Evaluations of BIOBAN™ BTCM, the new dual active preservative from IFF, formerly manufactured by DuPont, demonstrated excellent antimicrobial efficacy and provided advanced in-can protection to tape joint formulations against bacteria and fungi while retaining the desired viscosity over time.

BIOBAN™ BTCM is a dual-active in-can preservative that is based on a combination of two active ingredients, Benzisothiazolinone (BIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone / Methylisothiazolinone (CMIT/MIT). It provides both short and long-term preservation for ultimate protection and enhanced formulation flexibility.

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A 12-week study was conducted, tracking viscosity changes in tape joint compound samples treated with four different formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. In addition, BIOBAN™ BTCM preservative and an unpreserved control sample were evaluated at multiple concentrations.

Testing Results:

Samples preserved with formaldehyde-releasing preservatives showed significant drops in viscosity ranging from 9.6% to 45.4%. In contrast, the tape joint compound treated with BIOBAN™ BTCM or the BIT/CMIT/MIT blend at various concentrations did not experience any decreases in viscosity.

Conclusion: Samples treated with BIOBAN™ BTCM did not exhibit viscosity changes

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BIOBAN™ BTCM concentrations evaluated were 2,000, 3,000, and 4,000 ppm of the product as supplied.

Percentages of viscosity decreases (Brabender Unit) were  observed over 12 weeks in a tape joint compound formulation treated with various preservative products.

Each preservative was evaluated at multiple concentrations across the EPA-approved use range. Percentages of viscosity decrease are averages of the data collected for each sample by comparing time zero- and 12-week data. Time zero occurred within 24 hours of the preservative addition, so any immediate changes in viscosity changes that occurred in less than 24 hours were not recorded.

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It's time to change the preservative in your tape joints and challenging building material formulations

The antimicrobial efficacy of BIOBAN™ BTCM was evaluated in two commercially available joint compounds, an all-purpose formulation (pH 9.7) and a light-weight formulation (pH 9.3).

Unpreserved samples of each tape joint compound formulation were also tested along with samples dosed with BIOBAN™ BTCM. Samples were challenged four times over 35 days with industrially relevant strains of bacteria. The second set of samples was challenged with customer-specific fungal contaminants three times over 21 days.

BIOBAN™ BTCM delivers equivalent performance to combinations of FAR + fungicide against industry-relevant bacterial strains

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Growth is scored from 0 to 4, with scores of 0 to 1 as passing scores. A score of 1 is indicative of 1 x 101 to 9 x 101 colony forming units (CFU/mL).


Industrially relevant bacteria evaluated included: Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC# 15442, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC# 10145, Enterobacter aerogenes ATCC# 13048, Alcaligenes faecalis ATCC# 8750, Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC# 17397, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC# 6538. 


TJC samples were inoculated four times over 35 days. The surviving bacterial population (colonies) was enumerated 24 hours and seven days post-inoculation. 

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BIOBAN™ BTCM outperformed a combination of FAR + fungicide blend when challenge tested against customer-specific fungal isolates

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Customer-specific isolates from contaminated TJC products included yeast. TJC samples were inoculated three times over 21 days. The surviving fungal population (colonies) was enumerated 24 hours and 7 days post-inoculation. Scores of 0 to 1 are passing scores. A score of 1 is indicative of 1 x 101 to 9 x 101 CFU/mL.


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