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Technology update: Industrial Woodfinishes

SpecialChem / Sandy Morrison – Mar 23, 2005

Despite the development of high-technology alloys, plastics and composites, wood is all around us. The appearance of wood remains so popular that a great deal of effort is put into producing simulated woodfinishes, using veneers in place of solid wood, and in irony perhaps, embossing exaggerated woodgrain effects into substrates such as MDF which were derived in the first instance from wood. Broadly speaking, the finishing of wood may be divided by technology into in-situ manual application using air-drying finishes for decorative or architectural applications (which will be discussed in later columns) and spraying or machine coating application to pieces or finished articles using any other method of drying. But technological advances, which created the distinction in the first place, are now blurring the boundaries: UV-cure coatings may be applied in refinishing wood flooring and cured (for example) by a mobile wheeled curing station while emulsions crosslinked by exposure to sunlight are seen as a means of producing solventless waterborne coatings with a high final Tg.

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