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Development of a wearable, functional, regulation-compliant Water-borne Wood Coating

Final Report Summary - ECOVARN (Development of a wearable, functional, regulation-compliant Water-borne Wood Coating)

Executive Summary:

Water borne coatings have exhibited poor mechanical properties comparing to solvent borne coating technologies. Water borne coatings traditional drawbacks are:

-Low gloss.
-Longer drying times.
-Lower mechanical and chemical properties.
-Poor aesthetics
-Grain raising.

Long drying times and poor mechanical properties hinder the industrial application of current water borne coatings. However stringent V.O.C legislation is forcing the market to move from solvent based coatings to water based coatings due to environmental costs related to solvent borne use.

R&D efforts aiming for improving current water borne performance are reducing the existing gap between water borne and solvent borne technologies. Moreover due restrictions in the use of solvent and the implementation of V.O.C Directive there is a market trend for many furniture manufacturers to move form solvent borne technologies to water borne technologies.

In a medium term it is expected that stringent environmental legislations and the cost increase related to the use of solvent technologies will reduce solvent borne technologies use to a reduced market with high performance needs.

1.2 Project Objectives.

The object of the project it is to provide European SME Furniture Market a differential value to become competitive against other markets with less stringent environmental regulations. High performance water borne renewable varnish is the target of Ecovarn project.

The whole Ecovarn Consortium is SME based from the raw material supplier to the end users.

Main Features of this new water borne renewable wood coating are:

- Cost effective.
- Selling point added value.
- Environmentally friendly (bio-based and water-borne).
- European and innovative.
- Enhanced Aesthetic and mechanical/chemical Properties.
- SME supply chain.
- High Industrial Performance.

Project Context and Objectives:

In order to achieve the goals proposed in Ecovarn it is necessary to face the project from different standpoints, so four different researching lines are defined inside the project:

a) Development of a new bio-based polyol chemistry that will be the starting point for pre-polymer synthesis.
b) Development of new water dispersible polymers and pre-polymers.
c) Enhancement through nano-technology.
d) Industrial application optimization.

The above mentioned researching lines will be integrated in an industrial development that includes:

- An innovative bio-biobased resin
- The definition of most efficient coating systems.
- Use of advanced drying and curing systems.
- Development of innovative nano enhancers.

Project Results:

Project objectives and Ecovarn Consortium is confident of accessing to market in the next 3 years. Reporting period has resulted in the next achievements:

- Development of novel biobased monomer structures has included new monomer synthesis for the development of more examples of the new developed chemistry.

- Alternative synthesis routes have been researched in order to optimize yields and scale up processes.

- Three different chemistries 2 K urethane alkyds, UV curing technologies and 2K linear PUD have been scaled up.

- Improved formulations including nano advanced additives have been optimized by Desing of Experiments, upscaling best performing formulas.

- Acrylates, fluoro-polymers and other advantageous structures have been successfully grafted to the backbone of biobased polymers. This process has been scaled up to semi-industrial scale.

- Ecovarn Consortium has validated the advances at industrial scale, remarking competitive mechanical and chemical properties, good wetting, gloss, coverage and performance of developed industrial samples.

- Ecovarn Consortium has designed and implemented training actions on water borne technologies. These actions include supporting materials, courses and training management for improvement.

- An strategy in order to reach the market has been defined including the necessary cost for the final manufacturing if industrial batches and alternatives for funding these actions.

- Economic viability of Ecovarn foreground has been positively evaluated.

- Ecovarn has attended to European Coatings Conference, Coating Science International and Wood Coating Congress.

- Ecovarn foreground is on patenting process.

Potential Impact:

At the end of the third period and so, at the end of Ecovarn Project, objectives have been considered to be fully achieved.

Ecovarn foreground combines industrial availability, environmental value, and SME focused manufacturing processed at reduced costs for unique selling point.

The three different targeted chemistries have been successfully synthetized and also up scaling of the proposed synthesis routes are planned has been accomplished.

Up scaled batches have been validated at industrial environment on wood and after evaluation of the samples the Consortium Members agreed in the potential of developed foreground.

Ecovarn expected foreground is has demonstrated competitive features compared to current water born coatings State of Art.

This new development and its advantageous industrial application it is expected to provided selling point values to furniture industry to make a difference from their competitors.

Next steps in Ecovarn project address route to market through an industrial scale up process..Forecast revenues are quantified in 46.6 million € with a total European community benefit of 12.6 million €. Moreover it is expected to reinforce European SME Furniture Manufacturers inside European markets, these European SME furniture manufacturers sum up 150.000 enterprises in Europe.

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