Advanced Micro Polymers Inc.

Natural Polymers to help preserve our environment
How Much Liquid Spray Mask is Needed?
Monday February 16th, 2015

The most common question about AMP66 Liquid Spray Mask is: "How thick does the film need to be to protect the surface or; How much must be applied?" 
 
The answer is dependent on the surface being protected and what it is being protected against. In essence, the Liquid Spray Mask must form a continuous film over the surface. That is a film without any holes and/or gaps. On smooth surfaces such as painted car surfaces a dry film thickness of 0.1 mm (about 4 mil) is good. It is very easy to achieve because the Liquid Spray Mask flows over surface and levels automatically. Usually it is easy to visually see whether or not there are gaps in the film.
 
This means that about 100 g (3 1/2 oz) of Liquid Spray Mask will protect 1 sq m (11 sq ft).
 
While Liquid Spray Mask is formulated to wet most surfaces certain forms of contamination do not wet properly. Gaps are usually caused by oil, wax, dirt, grease or silicone contamination on the surface. If this happens, the best solution is to wash the contamination off from the surface before applying the Liquid Spray Mask.

For surfaces that are not smooth, such as textiles, rubber or other porous materials, more Liquid Spray Mask will be needed. The best is to apply a coat of Liquid Spray Mask and then to inspect the surface to make sure that it is completely covered. Apply a second coat if necessary to make sure that there are no holes or gaps. It is usually more effective to apply 2 light coats in different directions than to apply a single thick coat.
 
AMP100 Performance is Because of its Nano Size
Monday February 2nd, 2015

Starches, gums and other polysaccharides have been used in ink formulations for many decades. The Japanese have been using rice pastes for centuries to make vibrant prints. Today, modified starches, gums & other polysaccharides are commonly used in inkjet formulations. Their primary role is to modify the rheology of the ink. However, the use of unmodified starches is extremely rare because of the water sensitivity of the polymer and because of its high inherent viscosity.
 
The performance of AMP100 in ink formulations is very different from the performance of starches, gums and other polysaccharides. As a result, AMP100 is used, not to modify the rheology, but to change the physical characteristics of the ink and to make inks with unique and useful properties. These properties cannot be obtained by formulating with acrylics or other polymer emulsions. Among the properties that distinguish AMP100 from other polysaccharides are:
 
1. Low viscosity at high solids
2. Viscosity stability over time
3. Shear stability of the viscosity
4. Lower water sensitivity
5. Compatibility with high molecular weight and high styrene content acrylics
 
Among the properties that AMP100 retains and that are common to all polysaccharides are:
 
1. No VOC's
2. Film forming as water evaporates
3. Solvent and oil resistance
4. Glossy film
5. Hard film
6. Relatively high Tg (although this does not have the same importance as it does for acrylics)
 
One of the main reasons for AMP100's unique properties is because of its nano particle size. Here is a brief description as to why and how the nano size affects AMP100's performance. This discussion will undoubtedly help ink chemists formulate with AMP100.
 
Common Problems With Most Starches
Polysaccharides are long chains of sugar that can be fully hydrated. While there is some discussion whether or not these hydrated chains can be understood to be dissolved in water, the best description of their behavior is as colloidal suspensions in water. As these suspensions are subjected to shear the chains disassociate and they are also cut to become shorter. The disassociation is reversible while chain shortening is not. The end result is shear thinning. 
This is a problem when the inks are subjected to shear on the printing press.
 
Long polysaccharide chains also tend to align over time causing the viscosity and the gloss properties of the film to change. Some of the chains can no longer be separated and they form crystals that are in the micron size range and can even grow to a size where they precipitate out of solution. In addition, incomplete hydration gives crystals that are in the micron size range.
 
Having many free OH groups and being hydrated makes the starch based films sensitive to water. Water tends to migrate freely through such films.
 
Finally, high molecular weight linear and branched polymers that are very hydrophilic are not compatible with high molecular weight linear polymers that are very hydrophobic (such as styrene acrylics). They tend to separate from each other.
 
How Nano Size of AMP100 Changes its Properties
In contrast, AMP100's small size is not subject to chain shortening under shear. Even agglomerations do not fall apart easily. Consequently, AMP100 is shear stable and gives good press performance. It can even be used to grind pigments.
 
The particle size distribution results shown in the graph were done using light scattering at the University Of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The main peak is of AMP100 agglomerates and the small peak at the far left is of single particles. The average size of the single particles is about 50 nm and the agglomerates range from 200 to 375 nm. Most AMP100 is in the form of agglomerations of about 20 to 30 particles.
 
It is because of the compact size of AMP100 that it takes longer for the polymers to associate with the resulting viscosity changes. Interestingly, even the AMP100 polymers do associate. However, this is reversible and they can be easily separated returning the product to its original condition. Often times, they can still be used as is giving the same ink properties as the original AMP100 solution.
 
Finally, the small compact size of AMP100 allows it to circulate between the hydrophobic emulsions without the incompatibilities commonly associated with starches.
 
 
Liquid Mulch Helps Conserve Water by as Much as 30%
Thursday January 15th, 2015

Clean water is a precious resource. It is particularly valuable in regions where fresh water is scarce. For example, in a horticulture or agricultural application the grower must ensure that the water will last throughout the entire growing season. Losses through evaporation from the soil is wasted water because it is not available to the plant being cultivated. Another example would include shipping plants. While being transported plants usually have to rely on the moisture in the soil. Keeping that moisture in the soil longer helps ensure the survivablility of the plants.
 
A study recently completed in our Liquid Mulch Research Centre demonstrated that the use of Liquid Mulch reduces the amount of water that evaporates from he soil by 18 to 30% depending on the amount of Liquid Mulch used. This is important, not only for water conservation, but also reduces the number of times plants need to be watered during the growing cycle. The results compliment the findings from a previous study done by the Vineland Research institute. It found that plants treated with Liquid Mulch didn't need to be watered as frequently as plants with bare soil. In the Vineland Study, plants treated with Liquid Mulch survived, without wilting, an extra 3 days without watering as compared to plants that were not treated with Liquid Mulch. The difference in this study was that water evaporation from the soil was measured for different amounts of Liquid Mulch on the soil. The Liquid Mulch that was used was AMP753, Nursery Grade, Natural Colour.
 

 
This study also found that the thicker that the Liquid Mulch film is the less water evaporates. The biggest difference however, was between bare soil and soil with Liquid Mulch film even if the film was at the minimum recommended application rate of 0.5 Kg/m2 (~1 lb/sq yard). This minimum film thickness decreased water loss by 18%.
 
A garden centre top soil mix was used for the experiments and it was found that the soil held slightly more than its own weight in water. About 100 g or soil held about 110 g of water. Also, at 18 oC and 65% RH without sunlight, the bare, not covered soil lost about 2.4 Kg/ m2 of water every day (~13% of the water content of the pots). The chart shows how the water loss decreased with increasing Liquid Mulch film thicknesses.
 
An importance advantage to Liquid Mulch films is that they breathe. This is important to the healthy development of the plants. Also, rain passes through and therefore, rain water is not wasted.
 
Please Contact Us for a copy of the full report.
 
2014 An Amazing Year
Wednesday December 31st, 2014

Thank you to all of our customers, employees and partners for making 2014 an amazing year that saw AMP grow on all levels. From new people, new partners, new customers, larger facilities, new equipment to improved products and exciting R&D projects, the year was an exciting journey. And 2015 promises to be even more exciting. Managing this explosive growth has proven to be a challenge, a challenge that we have gladly met.
 
On the Liquid Mulch front, there were developments in Greenhouse LM technology that necessitated renovations to the LM Research centre. These renovations were done and the new technology is currently being tested. The new technology makes LM an even better method for controlling pests such as Thrips.
 
On the inks front, we saw the development of several AMP100 based pigment dispersions. There are ongoing print trials in Europe and North America with these new products. In addition, AMP has submitted a request to Health Canada for a letter of no objection to use some of these dispersions in direct food contact applications.
 
On the Binder front, a new application was developed. AMP30 is now being used in mining applications around the world.
 
Finally, on the Liquid Spray Mask front, important strides were made towards the use of LSM in new car manufacturing. While much work still remains to be done, the fact that it is being tested by OEM's is an important step forward for this product line.
 
Internally, changes were made to the AMP manufacturing process increasing capacity and product quality. This includes a new packaging station for filling drums. The Liquid Mulch Research centre was relocated and redesigned to better serve the needs of current customers. The R&D lab is being renovated to prepare for new projects.
 
Not to be ignored were the increases in sales volume. Sales increased both in existing customers increasing their orders for AMP's products and in new AMP customers.
 
I would like to thank organizations such as OAFT, GFO and CAAP for their continued support for our efforts in improving our products in the market place.
 
Throughout the year I look forward to sharing more details with you about these exciting developments in AMP.
 
Ruben
President

New Data Added to the Liquid Mulch Effectiveness Webpage
Tuesday September 16th, 2014

The Liquid Mulch Research Center has played an important role in developing application methods and in improving the performance of the different Liquid Mulch grades. Some of that data has now been included on the Liquid Mulch Effectiveness Page. (To visit that page click here.)
 
The purpose of the Liquid Mulch Effectiveness Page is to present performance data that may help growers, greenhouses, landscapers and other users to make better use of Liquid Mulch. For example, data showing the effect of the application rate on weed suppression and data showing the effect of application rate on pest suppression.
 
During the recent plant expansion, the Liquid Mulch Research Center was also modernized. As new data is developed in conjunction with users it will be added to the webpage.
 
Information is also posted on our LinkedIn Company & Liquid Mulch pages. Click here to visit the LinkedIn Company page & click to visit the LinkedIn Liquid Mulch Page.
 
 
AMP Announces Expansion of Its Milton Facility
Wednesday July 9th, 2014

AMP has been growing rapidly over the past two years. As a result a second plant expansion is required in Milton. During this expansion the process equipment will be supported by new material handling equipment. Material will now be transferred automatically from reactor to reactor and to packaging. The process will be smoother and will run faster. It will also increase productivity of the reactors. As a result, AMP will be able to manufacture more product in the same time.
 
During the expansion, we will also be renovating the Liquid Mulch Research Centre.
 
To accomplish this expansion, the manufacturing plant will be shut down during the month of August, 2014. We will put enough inventory on the floor for our customers. Please contact Erika at erika@ampolymers.com with any questions about the expansion.
 
This is only possible because of the continued support from our staff, customers and suppliers. Thank you.
 
AMP's Customers Save the Planet an Equivalent of 500 000 L of Crude Oil
Monday April 21st, 2014

AMP together with our partners (customers, distributors, sales agents and employees) have saved the planet the equivalent of 500 000 L of crude oil. This represents how much crude oil it would have taken if plastics such as acrylic or polyethylene had been used instead of AMP's natural polymers. At the same time, we've helped our customers save money and develop products with enhanced performance properties.
 
AMP was built on a vision of a world that respects the environment and its inhabitants by using all of the earth's resources responsibly. We work towards addressing important environmental aspects such as: preserving petroleum reserves by providing functional, natural polymers made from agricultural sources and reducing the amount of waste that goes into land fills by making compostable products. Thus, this marks an important milestone towards our shared vision.
 
As always, AMP's natural polymers are used to enhance the performance of our customers products. Usually building properties into their products that they would not necessarily be able to obtain through the use of synthetic plastic materials.
 
We are very proud of this achievement and wish to congratulate our partners on their successes.
 
Announcing Improvements to Liquid Spray Mask, AMP66
Saturday March 1st, 2014

AMP has completed a development project for AMP66, Liquid Spray Mask that improves its performance in the winter, preventing it from flaking when used in forced air baking during extremely dry (low humidity) conditions. The improvements are the result of customer feed-back and input. Thus AMP66 can now be used in a larger variety of body shops. The other benefits and performance properties remain the same. I look forward to your feed-back. Feel free to request a sample.