High-end wood applications, such as cabinets, furniture and flooring, all require high-quality coatings that go above and beyond their protective capabilities. They should also enhance the wood grain and provide warmth to the wood to convey quality and durability over time.
To deliver these properties, polymers designed for use in wood topcoats and sealers are used to improve durability and provide excellent wood grain enhancement through their fine particle size.
As the coatings industry continues to move from solvent-borne offerings to waterborne solutions, dispersions like JONCRYL 9530-A are helping formulators transition while maintaining the effectiveness and the aesthetic enhancements demanded from cabinet manufacturers.
Small particles and protection
Woodgrain enhancement and protection are two key attributes of an effective wood coating.
Chemical resistance and high scratch resistance are particularly important in these coating formulations, as wood provides natural beauty for cabinets, furniture and flooring. Protecting this beauty is vitally important.
There are third-party accreditations that certify a coating’s abilities to protect a substrate, such as the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer Association (KCMA) requirements.
“It’s a deal-breaker for formulators if those requirements and others are not met,” says Bob Ratcliff, Technical Account Manager at BASF. “JONCRYL 9530-A provides the capability to pass those requirements.”
A fine particle size allows JONCRYL 9530-A to better give end-users the same look and feel they previously have known with solvent-borne coatings.
In benchmark tests, JONCRYL 9530-A demonstrated significantly better chemical resistance than competitive resins. It also protected as well or better than competitor resins when exposed to common liquids and chemicals, including coffee, ethanol (alcohol) and vinegar.
Clear is confident
In addition to providing chemical and scratch resistance, a coating’s appearance upon initial application can make a big difference for some formulators who may be used to working with solvent-borne solutions.
“One of the key advantages of JONCRYL 9530-A is its wet film clarity,” says Liz Blankenhorn, Commercial Marketing Manager at BASF. “This is particularly important to support the industry’s transition from solvent-borne systems to waterborne systems because waterborne dispersions tend to have a milky appearance when wet, while solvent generally starts clear and cures clear. That initial milky appearance can make some applicators uneasy about switching to waterborne systems.”
Side-by-side, there’s a visible difference in in-can clarity between JONCRYL 9530-A and competitor resins that appear slightly milky.
The combination of excellent wet-film and in-can clarity makes JONCRYL 9530-A versatile for use in a wide variety of both clear and pigmented coatings. It can also be blended with a PUD for additional resistance attributes.
“You'll almost always see an acrylic like JONCRYL 9530-A blended with a PUD in flooring applications, so that compatibility is very important,” says Ratcliff. “JONCRYL 9530-A provides the primary properties, like scratch resistance and chemical resistance, while the PUD gives you enhanced abrasion resistance.”
Waterborne coating formulations are gaining traction around the world as consumer demand for sustainable offerings increases and more stringent regulations are put in place.
“In Europe and in Asia, regulations are pushing coating manufacturers into more sustainable practices and lower VOCs, which can only be achieved by going to waterborne solutions,” says Blankenhorn. “Regulations aren’t as strong in the U.S, but several coating manufacturers have made commitments in the sustainability space regardless.”
Waterborne coating solutions have advanced a lot in recent years, with self-crosslinking technology boosting their performance to be almost equal or equal to solvent-borne solutions.
“When you apply a coating to a substrate and as it dries, some latent cross-linking occurs,” says Ratcliff. “Excellent chemical resistance is a result of that self-crosslinking property of the resin.”
In the coming years we will see more formulators transition to waterborne coatings as a result of changing consumer preferences for sustainable products and more regulations.
Ready to go
After its success in Europe, JONCRYL 9530-A is now being produced in both Europe and North America, providing supply chain benefits and a simplified order process.
“This is a product that was developed in Europe, which nicely filled a need in the U.S. as well,” says Blankenhorn. “We now have both European and U.S. production of the materials, which is a big benefit given the current supply chain situation.”
With excellent resistance capabilities, sustainability benefits, enhanced clarity, and a faster time-to-market, it’s never been easier to formulate effective wood coatings with waterborne dispersions.
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