Title of Project

Formulation and Testing of a Low VOC Tile Adhesive

Researcher Information

Alex Munoz

Project Type

Event

Location

Alvin Sherman Library 2053

Start Date

4-4-2003 12:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2003 12:00 AM

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Apr 4th, 12:00 AM Apr 4th, 12:00 AM

Formulation and Testing of a Low VOC Tile Adhesive

Alvin Sherman Library 2053

Ceramic tile sales in the United States have experienced a period of eight years of uninterrupted growth. Sales have increased from 85.1 million square meters in 1991 to 206.9 million square meters in 1999. This is an increase of 143.1% in eight years. Mastic is a pasty cement used as an adhesive that provides a highly flexible, fast-setting, adhesive for setting floor and wall tile in indoor applications.

In November 1986, California voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to address growing concerns about exposures to toxic chemicals. That initiative became The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name, Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish a list of chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Agents that cause cancer are called carcinogens; those that cause birth defects or other reproductive harm are called reproductive toxicants. Much current commercial mastic contains solvents that fall under this provision. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage (sometimes referred to as Solvent or Painters’ Syndrome). In order to Prop 65 compliant it is necessary to re-formulate tile adhesives in such a way as to decrease or eliminate the use of solvents while still maintaining the properties of the material from a construction point of view. This report describes a new formulation using newly available polymer systems that allow low VOC mastics to be manufactured without a loss in performance.