Styrene butadiene latex – a material used in paints and other coatings – played a major role at Dow shortly after World War II. A young man named Charles “Ben” Branch was put in charge of Dow’s coating sales, and ultimately helped grow latex into a successful business worldwide. As shown in this ad featuring an archetypal 1950s family (complete with glass bottles of Coca-Cola), latex paints apply smoothly and easily, dry quickly and are easily cleaned up. It was a perfect product for the mid-century, do-it-yourself spirit. Meanwhile, Ben Branch ascended at Dow, and became CEO in the 1970s.
More than ever, Dow plays a vital role in developing innovative coating materials, many of which are breakthroughs in safety and eco-friendliness. Some solutions continue to improve the indoor paints used in homes. ACRYSOL™ Rheology Modifiers, for example, give paints the feel and performance consumers prefer, while helping producers reach targets of near-zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for a safer product. Dow also develops ingredients for commercial and industrial coatings and paints.