Watching paint dry; more exciting than it seems
With an ever-increasing demand for sustainable alternatives to solvent-borne coatings and paints, the pressure to develop aqueous alternatives that match or exceed the performance of their traditional counterparts rises. A crucial step in this sustainability challenge for the years to come is to arrive at a deep, and complete, understanding of how aqueous paints dry and form their final protective films. As it turns out, this is no minor challenge. Yet, understanding drying and film formation is a prototypical soft matter problem at heart, displaying a rich variety of complex non-equilibrium phenomena that are waiting to be understood. Watching paint dry is far from the boring activity the saying suggests.