Often wetting agents are used as compatibilizers in tinted waterborne coatings to increase the wetting of the substrate and to improve the compatibility with pigments and other components as well as to reduce rub-out effects. Compatibilizers are normally added during the grinding phase or the let-down phase in the paint production .

Certain wetting agents are also used as process aids to optimize processing time. Wetting agents can help to minimize the interactions between the electrolytes of the water (especially Ca2+ and Mg 2+) and the paint components, thus helping to avoid agglomeration; this is especially important in areas where hard tap water is utilized in the manufacturing process. Such wetting agents are added in the production process during the pre-mixing phase with the aim of reducing grinding time in the downstream phase.

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