vanchem performance chemicals

Detackification Fundamentals

Vanchem offers a range of detackification products that meet your needs and your budget.


Detackification is a specialized chemical process derived from charge-neutralizing tacky paint overspray. Tacky paint overspray is rendered non-tacky in this reaction and explains the evolution of the term, detackification. The word detackification has come to mean more than mere charge-neutralization. In fact, it now means the entire process, which includes both detackification and flocculation. Flocculation is the next step where pin-flocs formed in the detack step combine to produce a floating mat of paint sludge. The paint sludge is removed and dewatered. The details of this process are outlined below.

Water circulation systems consist of the following equipment: sludge pit, paint booth, water return pumps, under booth, sluiceway, autoweir, and sludge removal equipment. Commonly used sludge removal equipment is a Palin, Hydropac, centrifuge, indexing filter bed, and indexing sludge drier.

Detack is a low molecular weight cationic polymer. Typically, detack is used at full strength. Detack is injected into the booth water return line. Paint overspray in the paint booth is charge-neutralized (detackified) when it encounters the chemically active water. The flowing water returns to the sludge pit by the sluiceway. The chemical reaction requires several minutes. The residence time in the sludge pit allows for complete reaction. Detackified paint solids become suspended in the water and float to the surface. Sludge pit hydrodynamics direct the water with suspended paint solids to the pit autoweir. The autoweir transfers the water with suspended paint solids to a sludge consolidator. It is here where the flocculant is added.

A flocculant is a high molecular weight high charge density cationic polymer. It is made down to a 1-2% solution. It is fed at this concentration just before the sludge consolidator.

Water and suspended solids are separated in the consolidator. Water is returned to the sludge pit and removed solids are sent to a dewatering process. A good description of how paint overspray is managed by chemically treating water is explained in our article Removing Paint Overspray.

Detackification technologies are available in two varieties, either waterborne or solvent-borne. Vanchem Performance Chemicals offers diversity in both waterborne and solvent-borne products to meet your detackification needs.

Vanchem Performance Chemicals’ VANTAK WB SYSTEM is a polymeric waterborne coagulant-flocculent system that is formulated specifically for waterborne detackification solutions. This system includes four key components: a coagulant, a flocculent, an innovative defoamer and a biocide. These components work together to remove solids from recirculated water and create a dry and cohesive sludge that is free of any unpleasant odors that usually accompany waterborne paint detackification.

Vanchem’s waterborne detackification process also has several other benefits. It is much cheaper than traditional paint detackification technologies and uses considerably less defoamer. It is also much better for the environment. While most detack technologies usually leave a wet sludge that is expensive to dry and dispose of, the VANTAK WB SYSTEM creates a sludge that is easily dewatered and can be used as an ingredient for other processes.

Vanchem also manufactures a line of solvent-borne detackification products. These include VANTAK 1400 and VANTAK 1208, both of which control high solids paint for primer and topcoats. These products react with the paint overspray to produce a dry and floating sludge blanket that can be easily removed and disposed of.

Make sure to consider Vanchem Performance Chemicals for your detackification needs. For more information on Vanchem Performance Chemicals’ detackification products, contact us at our corporate headquarter in Burlington Ontario.