Organometallic Titanate, Zirconate & Aluminate

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Coupling agents and adhesion promoters represent a group of specialty bifunctional compounds that can react chemically with both the substrate and the adhesive. The term "coupling agent" refers generally to additives that work on fillers and reinforcements within a resin matrix to improve properties such as dispersion stability, viscosity, etc. In this case, the primary substrate is the filler or reinforcement. The term "adhesive promoter" generally refers to a material that can be incorporated into an adhesive formulation or as a surface primer to enhance adhesion at the joint interface. Very often the same materials can function as both "coupling agents" and "adhesion promoters".


The most well known of these compounds is the organofunctional silanes. These have been used extensively as internal additives and primers for adhesives and sealants to improve adhesion, compounding properties, and as a crosslinking agent. Organofunctional coupling agents (including titanates, zirconates and aluminates) are another group compounds that also perform as coupling agents and / or adhesion promoters. Titanate is much popular than both zirconate and aluminate in organometallic coupling agent family, hereinafter we will always list titanate when we illustrate their chemical theory and application. The major application for organofunctional coupling agents have been as coupling agent additives to improve the dispersion of fillers resulting in enhanced physical, compounding, and application properties. However, they have also been used as adhesion promoters to enhance adhesion to a substrate.






Organometallic titanate compounds have a covalent bond directly between titanium and carbon or indirectly to carbon through another atom, most commonly oxygen. The most common organometallic titanate compounds have 4 oxygen bridged bonds to carbon and are referred to titanate esters.

The primary step in their production is the stepwise reaction of titanium tetrachloride with an alcohol.


TiCl4 + 4ROH ⇋ (RO)4Ti + 4HCl



Based on (RO)4Ti we could get more downstream titanate ester compounds via transesterification reaction, most organometallic titanates are produced in this way.


Organometallic coupling agent and silane coupling agent have different center atom, Ti(Zr, Al) and Si and some interesting difference of their application and performance:



Organometallic Coupling Agent

Silane Coupling Agent


Mostly physical bond like covalent, VDW force, hydrogen

Mostly chemical bond

Suitable Resin

Both thermoplastic and thermoset resin

Thermoset resin highly preferred.

Suitable Filler

Also effective on fillers without hydroxy group like carbon black, graphite, barium sulfate

Silica, siliceous and other fillers which have hydroxy group on their surface

Influence to the final product

Mostly improve the flexibility

Mostly improve the strength and hardness



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