WiSys Technologies

Linear Stimuli-Responsive Block Copolymers as Dispersants and Rheological Modifiers in Architectural Coatings

WiSys is currently seeking strategic partners in the coatings industry that are interested in co-development opportunities that would ultimately provide a route to market for commercialization of these novel copolymers. 

WiSys Technology Number: T200004
Patent Number: US-2022-0282095
Patent Filed: July 22, 2020 (PDF)
Patent Pending
Stage of Development:

New methods of synthesis to allow for the scaled-up production of these polymer additives are complete and new purification methods are in progress. Further development will also focus on maintaining additional properties like coverage and opacity and testing additional polymer compositions and particle surface coatings.


The present invention, developed by a professor of materials science and biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is a series of linear stimuli-responsive block copolymers optimized for use in architectural coating applications. These stimuli-responsive polymers undergo a dramatic switch in properties in response to a small change in an external stimulus, such as pH and temperature. Data shows that these polymer additives can decrease settling rate, control viscosity, and control interfacial activity, all switchable properties that are important for long-term shelf stability and stability once applied.

Architectural coatings use titanium dioxide (TiO2) to provide opacity and base pigment to coatings like paint, primers, and stains. These polymers have demonstrated the ability to interface with pigment particles, such as TiO2, resulting in improved dispersion of the pigment. Testing shows reduced TiO2 concentration while maintaining zero shear viscosity and shear thinning properties, which prolongs shelf-life and prevents drips in the coatings. These properties are tunable and may be altered to tailor the product for a desired use or environment, or to readjust the properties of an aged existing product.

Applications and Benefits

  • Improve dispersion of TiO2 in architectural coatings, therefore decreasing TiO2 concentration
    • decrease cost to manufacture
    • decrease environmental impact
  • Improve the viscosity profile of architectural coatings
  • Decreased settling during long-term storage
  • Decreased dripping after application
UW-Eau Claire UW-Eau Claire
Elizabeth Glogowski
Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering