Along with having the correct equipment, quality and performance coating enhancements start with the development of the formula. Having the correct ingredients in your coatings can allow your product to achieve the expected results. Some of the ingredients and their influence in your coatings are as follows;
- In simple terms, binders are used to hold the coatings together. When used correctly, they provide a suitable bonding matrix, that produces a relatively dust free product with good handling integrity.
- As well as providing strength, the binder needs to be able to easily break down when the coating is exposed to moisture. It is important to understand the suitability of the binder, or how to modify it to achieve the desired effects.
- The binder also needs to be compatible with the various enhancement additions that you wish to use in your coatings. Whether the additions are chemical, nutrient, fertiliser or growth promoting products, it is important that these products mix with the binder(s).
- The binder is often used to bond chemicals onto the seeds, providing a more environmentally friendly product and for safe handling by helping to create a barrier between the chemical and the user.
- It is very important that the binder is compatible and non toxic to biological products that you wish to survive inside your coatings.
- Powders are mostly looked upon as fillers when used in coatings. I believe that this view is unfair, as powders can influence the strength, appearance & performance of the product. When used correctly, they can also add enhancements to the growth of the seeds.
- When the right powder is used correctly, it will help to provide good strength and appearance and can assist with moisture penetration to provide to the seed inside.
- Various powders can be used to help act as barriers between some of the other ingredients, or even a barrier that, along with the correct polymer, can slowly allow moisture into the seed if that is the desired effect.
- Some powders can be used to achieve better physical properties fro flowability, or can be used to enhance the appearance of the coated products with shiny, metallic type appearances.
Nutrients, Fertilisers and Growth Promoters
- Having nutrients, fertilisers and growth promoters in the coatings, allows the seed to take these up right from the initial time of imbibing moisture. This gives the seeds a healthy start and, with the correct ongoing conditions, enhances the growth for the plant to develop and reach its full potential. Just like any living thing, whenever they are subjected to stressful conditions, diseases or illnesses, having the strength to fight these challenges is assisted by having the best plant health.
- There are many beneficial chemicals now available to apply to the seeds or into the coatings. Fungicides & insecticides make up the bulk of the chemicals used in seed coatings and the chemical industry is pursuing further advancements to ensure our seeds are properly protected.
- Having the correct amount of the chemicals, safely applied to each seed is very important to achieve the best from the latest chemical technology. By using the latest seed treatment, or coating technologies, provides a safer product for the users and to the environment.
- Biologicals have always been important for ensuring good seedling growth and plant health and new beneficial products are regularly being discovered & introduced. It is important that the coating formulas are compatible and suitable to protect and support the survival and growth of the biologicals.
- Aesthetics are an important part of modern seed coatings, customers want the products to perform, but they also want them to look good. Colours and other glossy products can be added to achieve aesthetically pleasing coated seeds.
Finding the balance between strength, appearance and performance can sometimes be quite fine. I can help you with guidance about what products to use, or to trial, when developing your new formulas.