The global construction market is heating up, and it’s not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. Analysts project the market to reach $16.6 trillion in 2025 at a CAGR of 7%, with the Asia-Pacific and North American regions leading the charge.
Green construction is playing an important role in that growth. Green construction refers to the practice of using sustainable building materials and construction processes to create energy-efficient buildings with minimal environmental impact.
More construction professionals are investing in green building technologies in every aspect of building design and construction, including flooring. In addition to innovative and sustainable flooring materials, the adhesives used to adhere them to the underlayment are also becoming more eco-conscious.
As an innovator in sustainable chemistry, BASF has developed new binders for flooring adhesives under their ACRONAL line that offer exceptional performance while minimizing environmental impact.
Under the surface
Today’s builders have a wide variety of flooring options for their client’s projects. Whether it’s hardwood, cork, ceramic, stone, carpet, or linoleum and vinyl, each option has its own pros and cons.
One thing they all have in common is the need to properly adhere to the subfloor substrate beneath. Different adhesive formulations are used in different projects based on the specific needs of the flooring and location where they will be applied.
“The choice of adhesive is dependent on not only the substrate that you're adhering to, but also the floor covering that you're bonding to that substrate,” says Randall Petrie, Senior Technical Specialist at BASF. “With vinyl-backed carpet tile, for example, you're looking for a high-tack/peel adhesive that is also releasable, while with luxury vinyl tile, you're looking for a different profile. Formulators typically target a permanent bond with high shear performance.”
It’s important to remember that flooring materials will move. This can be driven by changes in temperature and/or relative humidity so an adhesive with strong shear strength is important.
Moisture represents another challenge for floors and their adhesives. Certain subfloor materials, like fresh concrete, may have both higher pH and moisture levels.
“In the case of green (fresh) concrete, your adhesive has to withstand a significant alkaline moisture push from the concrete into your adhesive without failure,” says Petrie. “An adhesive that can withstand a high moisture, high-pH environment allows builders to install these floor coverings without having to wait for the concrete to fully cure, increasing the speed of construction.”
The new ACRONAL line
To meet the demands of today’s construction and flooring industries, BASF has introduced a new line of effective flooring adhesive binders.
ACRONAL A 280 NA is an acrylic pressure-sensitive flooring adhesive binder with a high solids content and strong adhesion and tack. It’s ideal in formulations where tack & peel are a priority.
“This resin brings high tack and peel when used in an adhesive, so it works well in situations where you need a lot of upfront peel and tack value for the initial installation. ACRONAL A 280 NA also has the ability to adhere to low energy substrates,” says Petrie.
Plasticizers are used in floor coverings to impart flexibility. These plasticizers migrate out of the floor coverings into the surrounding materials. When absorbed by an adhesive, this can cause it to weaken and reduce bond strength, potentially leading to bond failure. This process happens naturally over time, but can be accelerated by heat or pressure.
ACRONAL 4810 delivers high plasticizer migration and high shear, a requirement in certain adhesions used in more demanding applications such as hospitals or high-foot-traffic areas.
“ACRONAL 4810 is a specialty product in this space, as it has characteristics that give excellent plasticizer migration resistance to the end floor adhesive formulation,” says Christopher Hummel, Marketing Manager at BASF.
ACRONAL V 278 NA is another acrylic binder for the adhesives space. It offers high cohesive strength, good plasticizer resistance and good filler acceptance.
“ACRONAL V 278 NA is a balanced product, so it has good plasticizer migration resistance, but it also has good peel and shear strength,” says Petrie.
The sustainable future
As the flooring and construction industries move towards more sustainable products and solutions, the ACRONAL line is there to add a variety of strength and resistance properties with sustainable solutions.
“All these products are both non-APEO as well as non-ammonia containing,” says Hummel. “Some of the chemistries in the past used APEO-containing surfactants, but the flooring industry is a very strongly self-regulated industry, so there's a lot of drive to introduce sustainable products.”
Although flooring adhesives themselves play a small yet important role in the overall building, they can still contribute to green construction initiatives, an increasingly important aspect of green building, which requires materials that are ethical and sustainable and considers the environment in design, construction and operation.
“BASF has recognized the need to move away from some of that older chemistry because of environmental impacts,” says Hummel. “We're offering a more robust product line to formulate high-performing adhesives that are sustainable and more environmentally friendly.”
ACRONAL 4810 and ACRONAL V 278 NA are both commercially available now, with ACRONAL A 280 NA set to become available later this year.
See ACRONAL 4810
See ACRONAL A 280 NA
See ACRONAL V 278 NA
More flooring adhesives by BASF