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The New Age of Waterborne Soft-Touch Coatings

SpecialChem / Dec 31, 2008

Two-component (2K) polyurethane (PUR) soft-touch coatings have been used to coat plastics in the automotive industry for over a decade. Due to the inherent traits of polyurethanes, the coating formulations exhibit high scratch and abrasion resistance while maintaining low gloss. VOC regulations have guided a shift in chemistry for soft-touch coatings toward waterborne. Soft-touch coatings are now obtainable with low VOC, resulting in minimal fogging of the automobile windshield. In recent years, soft-touch coatings have been plagued by the concept of cream resistance. Research has shown that hand creams and sun tan lotions at elevated temperatures can not only soften the coating but also migrate through the coating and into the plastic, causing adhesion loss at the coating to plastic interface. With ever-changing automotive and general industrial product specifications, a need still exists to improve the adhesion, resistance and haptic (soft feeling) properties of soft-touch coatings for plastics.

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