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Rhodia Offers Innovative Zero-Voc Water Repellent At Competitive Cost.

CRANBURY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 11, 1999--

Coatings manufacturers now can meet federal VOC requirements

at a price comparable to traditional solvent-borne products

As federal VOC-emission standards for water proofing sealers and treatments tighten, Rhodia announces it now is offering formulators an innovative water-repellent system that is volatile organic compound (VOC)-free, and doesn't sacrifice performance or boost costs.

Designed specifically for water-based systems, Manalox(R)WB offers superior performance features over solvent-borne products, including outstanding surface beading and reduced water absorption without the VOCs that come with traditional solvent-borne systems. Applications include water-repellent treatments for wood and masonry products typically found in hardware and building material stores.

Most water-based products are more costly and use surfactants as an emulsifying agent. When applied to a wooden deck, the surfactant is soaked into the wood and attracts water.

This absorption of water causes the wood to swell, resulting in warping and cracks over time. Manalox WB uses a proprietary metal crosslinking agent that destroys the surfactant's ability to attract water, preventing the wood from swelling.

Rhodia's innovative product is timely since federal VOC emission standards for water proofing sealants and treatments now are a maximum of 600 grams/liter nationwide. Previously, there were no national regulations for VOC emissions. Some states, such as California, go beyond the federal mandate, requiring VOC content not exceed 400 grams/liter.

"We are very excited about the benefits this innovation brings to the water repellent market," says Vince Carabin, North American business director. "Now, with government VOC-restrictions increasingly tightening, customers no longer have to choose between an environmentally-responsible process and product performance. They can have both, and at a price comparative to traditional solvent-based products."

According to Carabin, Manalox WB previously was available at developmental pricing, but through commercialization, Rhodia has identified costs savings and is passing the savings on to customers.

Rhodia produces Manalox WB water repellents in Bethlehem, Pa., where it manufactures aluminum organics used as thickeners in greases, viscosity control agents in inks and cosmetics, and cross-linking agents for paints.

Rhodia, one of the world's leading specialty chemicals companies, seeks to improve the quality of daily life by developing value-added products, services and solutions in the areas of cosmetics, clothing, food, health, the environment and industry. Rhodia employs 23,500 people worldwide and recorded sales of $6.4 billion in 1998. Rhodia (NYSE:RHA) is listed on the New York and Paris stock exchanges.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 11, 1999
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