Industry News

Waterborne binders for the trade coating of wood floors

Published on 2007-02-22. Author : SpecialChem

Leverkusen -- Waterborne polyurethane coatings are increasingly gaining acceptance in the market, in particular for the trade coating of parquet floors. They emit only very small amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC), are nearly odorless and have since achieved a property level nearly identical to that of their solventborne counterparts. However, there are almost no polyurethane dispersions available that do not contain N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP). The responsible working group of the European Union has decided that formulations containing more than five percent of this substance must be classified as toxic in the future. The coating raw materials experts at Bayer MaterialScience went looking for alternatives, and they were successful: Thanks to the waterborne binders of the latest generation, Bayhydrol® XP 2557, XP 2558 and XP 2593/1 it is now possible to formulate NMP-free wood coatings having properties that equal or surpass those of conventional systems.

 By means of the shoe sole resistance test the abrasion resistance of parquet coatings is tested under realistic conditions
By means of the shoe sole resistance test the abrasion resistance of parquet coatings is tested under realistic conditions.

"Particularly noteworthy is that the new polyurethane dispersions require less cosolvent to form excellent coatings than do the products containing NMP," said Dr. Christoph Irle, a wood coatings expert at Bayer MaterialScience. The resultant coatings are characterized by excellent resistance to abrasion and high mechanical resistance. The Bayer developers created the new polyurethane dispersions by replacing the usual prepolymer mixing process, in which NMP serves as a solvent, with the acetone process. This required adjusting the recipes for the dispersions to account for the lower solvent power of the acetone, which is distilled off following formation of the prepolymer to yield a solvent-free product.

Another innovation for parquet applications is the new NMP-free, low-molecular-weight polyacrylate dispersion Bayhydrol® XP 2651. Waterborne two-component systems formulated with it offer outstanding chemical resistance and high gloss. The product can be used alone or in combination with new NMP-free polyurethane dispersions as the A component in two-component systems. The mechanical resistance and appearance of the coating can be adjusted as desired by varying the mixing ratio of these components.

The new polyacrylate is a secondary dispersion created by dispersing a resin that is produced by polymerization in an organic phase. Because its molecular weight is similar to that of solventborne acrylic resins, two-component systems formulated with it offer the same advantages as the corresponding solventborne coatings: outstanding chemical resistance, good transparency and high gloss. "It can be used to create the 'wet look' - you get the impression that you are looking at shiny wet parquet," said Irle.

With 2005 sales of 10.7 billion euros, Bayer MaterialScience AG is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Bayer MaterialScience employs approximately 18,800 people (2005) at 40 production sites around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience

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