Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisc., have explored and refined the novel stabilizing capability of celluslose nanocrystals (CNCs) that result in a controlled delay in the onset of curing reactions in waterborne epoxy formulations, thus facilitating a stable one-part epoxy coating with a much longer shelf life. When the epoxy emulsion and CNCs are combined and stirred for some time, before the addition of the amine curing agent, the CNCs arrange themselves around the epoxy drops, enhancing the stability of the emulsion and promoting a homogeneous distribution the CNCs. This removes the need for anti-gelation agents, such as sulfuric acid, which are commonly used. When compared to a single-step mixing process, dispersion of the composite produced by the two-step mixing process is more homogeneous. This improved emulsion stability and homogeneity reduces the potential for heterogeneous film morphology to develop upon application, resulting in more consistent product performance, ease of use by the end user, and increased productivity for the manufacturer. A further benefit of the presence of CNCs is enhanced stiffness of the resulting epoxy below the glass temperature at which these formulations are commonly used. At 5 percent CNC loading the storage modulus is approximately 50 percent greater in the composite produced by the two-step mixing process than that of the composite produced by the one-step mixing method.