West Riding Blog

New Cobalt Free Driers – High Tech for Healthy Colors

Bernhard Hirschmann, Business Development Manager, Allnex


The presentation will cover fundamentals of the drying process of air drying alkyd systems and contain relevant information about today’s driers and active substances.

During the drying process of alkyd paints, several physical and chemical processes take place. The two most important stages in alkyd paint drying are the peroxide formation in the presence of oxygen from the air and the peroxide decomposition into free radicals to initiate the polymerization process. So far the most important and widely used catalyst for these reactions is Cobalt.

Since Cobalt is being challenged by regulations, a lot of companies have been active in developing alternatives to replace cobalt based driers. As a technology leader for environmentally friendly resins and additives, ALLNEX™ is developing Cobalt free driers having outstanding drying and hardness performance for solvent based and water based paints. The project further covers aspects like “low skinning tendency”, “improved paint storage stability” and “non-yellowing”.



HirschmannBernhard Hirschmann joined HOECHST VIANOVA in 1988 where he started his career in the polymer research department. After studying chemistry and engineering in Graz and Zurich he worked as chemical engineer and held several positions in different functions like R&D for acrylic polymers, analytics and up scaling processes in different production plants.

In 2001 Bernhard moved to the company’s ADDITIVES business unit where he started to build up a worldwide troubleshooting force – later he took over the technical leader position for CYTEC Coating Additives.

In 2008 he was announced as the company’s first “business development manager” responsible to drive global innovation and trend setting for new Additive solutions.

Recently, Bernhard was appointed as “Global Segment Lead” for ALLNEX’s Additives business.

He currently finishes his master thesis in business management & marketing at the International Business School ZfU in Zurich.

Bernhard has over 28 years’ experience in the paint and coatings industry.


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