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DMF Solvents for Polymeric Coatings and Inks

Dimethylformamide (DMF) is a methylamine solvent that offers high solvency and low volatility for use in various manufacturing processes and industrial applications. ChemPoint offers DMF from Belle Chemical Company, the only domestically produced dimethylformamide in North America.

DMF for vinyl polymer applications

Dimethylformamide (DMF) is an effective solvent for vinyl-based polymers and has been used for the manufacture of films, fibers, and coatings. It provides excellent solvency to a wide range of vinyl polymers, including:
  • Vinylidene cyanide polymers
  • Vinylisothicyancate polymers
  • Polyvinyl formal and polyvinyl butyral copolymers
  • Polyvinylchlorides
  • Polyvinyl acetates
  • Vinylidene fluoride and hexafluoropropylene copolymer (Viton™ A)
  • N-vinyloxyalkyl acylamidoguanamines

DMF is also commonly used as a cosolvent or solvency booster for high molecular–weight polyvinyl chlorides and vinyl chloride-acetate copolymers. When DMF is used in a solution, it often provides formulations with higher solid content, lower costs, and faster dissolution of resins and polymers.

DMF is readily dilutable with common aromatic solvents with minimal viscosity change and improved solvency overall. For example, toluene containing 10% DMF has been shown to have equivalent solvency to 100% DMF for Viton™ A (VYHH). DMF has shown superior solvency than cyclodexanone and methyl isobutyl ketone when these solvents are diluted to 30% with toluene.

DMF key applications

Protective coatings

DMF's high solvency allows for higher resin content in solution and relatively thick coatings. DMF is often used in baked-on coatings due to its medium boiling point temperature.

DMF is an excellent choice for film casting of polyvinyl chloride films. It can be combined with other solvents, providing more control over casting and clear, grainy, or orange-peel finish.
Polymeric membranes

DMF and its relative dimethylacetamide (DMAC) are used in the manufacturing of a wide range of membrane materials due to their organic nature, superior solvency, and efficacy when combined with other solvents.
Printing inks

When used as a booster solvent, DMF’s high solvent power allows the use of hard-to-dissolve materials coupled with increased adherence of the inks to PVC films.

Other DMF applications include:

PVC homopolymers: High–molecular weight PVCs are often difficult to dissolve in common solvents that are typically effective with low-weight PVCs. DMF is still a great choice for high–molecular weight polyvinylchloride, providing the same powerful solvency as other organic solvents showing less effect and slower dissolution of the resins.

Urethanes: DMF, or N,N-Dimethylformamide, is used as a solvent for making polyurethane lacquer for clothing and accessories made of simulated (synthetic) leather. DMF also dissolves preformed solid polyurethane to form lacquers for specialty coating applications.

Polyacrylonitrile: DMF is commonly regarded as the most effective solvent for polyacrylonitrile homopolymer and its copolymers. As such, DMF is widely used in the production of polyacrylonitrile fibers and films based on polyacrylonitrile. DMF in aqueous solutions can be used as both the polymerization medium and the spinning or casting medium, eliminating the polymer isolation steps needed in a non-DMF aqueous solution.

If you are considering DMF, or dimethylformamide, as a solvent for a different type of polymer or resin, review this table showing the qualitative solubility of polymers and resins in DMF:
Material Solubility in DMF
Acetal (Delrin) Insoluble
Cyanoacrylate Polymer Soluble
Methylmethacrylates Polymer Soluble
n-Butyl Methacrylate Polymer Soluble
Polyacrylonitrile Soluble
Cellulose Acetate Soluble
Cellulose Acetate Butyrate Soluble
Cellulose Acetate Propionate Soluble
Cellulose Nitrate Soluble
Cellulose Triacetate Partially Soluble
Cyanoethylated Cellulose Soluble
Ethyl Cellulose Soluble
Chlorinate Polyether
'Penton' - Hercules Insoluble
Butyl Rubber Insoluble
Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene Soluble
EPDM Insoluble
Ethylacrylate/Choloroethyl Vinyl Ether Soluble to 40%
Fluoroelastomer (Viton™) Soluble
Neoprene Insoluble, Swollen
Polysulfide Rubbers Soluble
SBR Insoluble
Silicone Rubber Insoluble, Swollen
Epoxy (Cured) Insoluble
Damar Insoluble
Ester Gum Soluble
Esterified Congo Copal Insoluble
Garnet Shellac Soluble
Kauri Gum Soluble
Manila Copal Soluble
Orange Shellac Partially Soluble
Soft Albino Asphalt Partially Soluble
Wood Resin Soluble
Nylon (polyamides)
Types 6, 6/6, 6/10 Insoluble
Type 8 Soluble
Coumarone-Indene Soluble
Ester Gum Modified Phenol-Formaldehyde Soluble
Phenol-Formaldehyde Pure Resin Soluble
Thiourea Formaldehyde Soluble
Urea-Formaldehyde Insoluble
'Lexan' Partially Soluble
Alkyd Soluble
Saturated 'Mylar' Insoluble
Polyethylene Insoluble
Polypropylene Insoluble
Polyurethanes Soluble
Polystyrene Soluble
Styrene-Acrylonitrile Copolymer Soluble
Vinyl Polymers and Copolymers
Polyvinyl Acetate Soluble
Polyvinyl Alcohol Soluble
Polyvinyl Butyral Soluble
Polyvinyl Chloride Soluble
Polyvinyl Chloride-Acetate Soluble
Polyvinyl Fluoride Soluble
Polyvinyl Formal Soluble
Vinylidene Chloride/Vinyl Chloride Copolymer Soluble

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