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Acrylic coatings are one of the major generic classes of organic coatings and are prevalent in both architectural and industrial applications. This article provides information on the chemistry of acrylic polymers, the methods used in their manufacture, the relationship between structure and properties when they are formulated into coatings, and how they are being used in coatings. The main discussion points are the differences between solventborne and waterborne technologies and some of the challenges in formulating and applying waterborne acrylic coatings. The article describes the mechanism of film formation of acrylic latex polymers and its effect on final coating properties. It discusses the types of waterborne acrylic latex coatings based on chemical properties and based on applications such as primers, intermediate coats, topcoats, stains, and direct-to-substrate finishes. The article concludes with a description of the advances in the development of waterborne acrylic coatings for maintenance and protective applications.

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