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NEXT1KOAT Report Summary

Project ID: 304998
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Spain

Final Report Summary - NEXT1KOAT (Novel high performance, waterbased “high solids”and bio-based industrial wood coating)

Executive Summary:
The aim of NEXT1KOAT, "Novel high performance, water-borne “high solids” and bio-based industrial wood coating" is to give European woodworking and furniture manufacturers a long-lasting solution by developing the first triple system (exterior uses impregnation; interior uses undercoat and topcoat) of one component (1K) high solid, water based coatings.
The stringent Solvent Emission Directive (1999/13/EC), fully transposed in 2007, imposes limitations of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) due to the use of organic solvents in paints and varnishes. The most economical way of limiting VOC emission is using water-based coating formulas in which water replaces a substantial amount of the organic solvents traditionally used. Unfortunately, water-based formulas have deficient properties in comparison to solvent-based, primarily as a consequence of using water as a solvent: poor wood wetting, high grain raising, longer drying times, foam formation, insufficient glossy aspect, and deficient overall resistance. Coatings (varnishes and paints) are of key importance to the final products of our industries: coatings define the visual aspect and softness of the furniture piece, influencing its effective purchase; also the durability and resistance of a coating is a measure of the quality of the whole piece.

Project Context and Objectives:
The aim of NEXT1KOAT is to give European woodworking and furniture manufacturers a long-lasting solution by developing a first triple system (exterior uses impregnation; interior uses undercoat and topcoat) of one-component (1K) “high solids” water-based coatings. NEXT1KOAT will be produced by European SME coating manufacturers due to its affordable chemistry based on seaweed polymers, and it has been designed for European woodworking and furniture small and medium coating installations. NEXT1KOAT will have the following advanced properties:
• Less water content.
• Reduced drying time and less grain raising.
• Improved wood wetting without the use of surfactants.
• Less foam formation.
• More glossy final aspect.
• Increased hardness

Next1Koat Consortium Associations represent European Furniture and Polymer Industry. MFMO form Malta and WIC from Slovenia and their networks represent Furniture European Industry while BPF from UK and its network represent European Polymer industry. Moreover three European SME´s; the Scottish seaweed processor Marine BioPolymers, the wood varnish formulator Isolack the end user Riomader, both form Spain and the Seaweed Irish Company Oilean Glas Teo take part of the Consortium. Furthermore, Helios a large Slovenian Company manufacturer of polymer dispersions is included in the project Consortium.

Project Results:
At the end of the Next1Koat Project Inspiralia in collaboration with Oilean Glas Teo and MBL has developed a new range of seaweed based monomers compatible with a wide range of polymer synthesis schemes. Selected seaweed species offers costs effective and sustainable bio-stock for the developing of resin monomers. Moreover an integrated bio-refinery approach based on seaweed feedstock value optimization has been developed.
Reaction processes have been researched by FHG-WKI in collaboration with Helios in order to integrate the innovative monomers into polymers backbone so that high performance 1K dispersions are obtained. These compounds have been found to be compatible with polymer and dispersion manufacturing processes. Suitable processes for the manufacturing of polyester, polyurethane, alkyd, acrylic and hybrid dispersions have been specifically developed for seaweed generated monomers. Resulting dispersion exhibit good mechanical and chemical properties.
CETEM and Isolack have developed different formulation for each chemistry defining suitable product to be applied as undercoats and topcoats systems. Resulting formulations showed good film formation, competitive mechanical and chemical resistance. Aesthetics of final products was found solid, clear and glossy.
CETEM in collaboration with Isolack and Riomader have validated the dispersion application, drying and curing processes. Developed resins have been validated in most usual substrates and suitability of resins for proposed system evaluated. The whole range of water borne 1K coatings application include exterior and interior undercoat and finish layers for most extended wood processed in the furniture market.
Benefits associated to the new technology use and its alignment with the Green Public Procurement procedures have been disclosed and included in training procedures to allow the European Wood Working industry to get the maximum revenues from green processes.
Overall Dissemination and Exploitation efforts are being headed by MFMO, WIC and BPF. Among other dissemination and exploitation activities, the three associations are leading a networking activity with relevant stakeholders such as algal research projects and other furniture industry representatives.
After the key stakeholders identification and the definition of a solid Exploitation Strategy the, contacts for route to market has started in last six months of the project

Potential Impact:
Project Exploitation it is expected to benefit European Furniture Industry providing an added value, cost efficient system which implementation involves V.O.C legislation fulfillment and cost and processing reduction. New high performance 1K waterborne reduces waste generation and processing issues associated to 2 K systems, and so increasing water borne coating share in the market. Developed technology will be property of European Furniture Industry ensuring and advantageous position for European SME industries.
Project also includes:
• Project Contribution to Community objectives includes:
o Reduction of Environmental impact of V.O.C. In the presence of other gas pollutants and sunlight, VOCs released to the environment produce ground-level ozone, the most serious regional air pollution and economic problem for agriculture in Europe.
o Socio economic impact: An increase in features and industrial performance of water borne 1K systems has a positive impact of European Furniture Industry, potentially increasing the number of employed people.
o Quality of Life impact: In the presence of other gas pollutants and sunlight, VOCs released to the environment produce ground-level ozone, the most serious regional air pollution and a cause of respiratory problems. 30% of Europe's urban population is exposed to ozone concentrations above the threshold levels set by the EU and cause the premature deaths of up to 20,000 people each year. NEXT1KOAT project can contribute to the objective of reducing respiratory diseases, illnesses and premature deaths as well as making savings in terms of healthcare expenses.
o Direct exposure to VOCs compounds due to the use of solvents is among the major problematic hazard for workers in the furniture and coating manufacturing factories, causing nasal cavity cancer, allergy airway diseases, allergic asthma, rhinitis and even to Chronic Toxic Encephalopathy or “painter syndrome”. Reduction on VOC emissions from using NEXT1KOAT products is estimated of about 95% per litre of solvent-based coating that could be alternatively used.

• Other markets and Industries impact:
Moreover, Next1Koat foreground generates and new market for innovative bio-materials seaweed industry, and generated monomers will be also exploited by the European Polymers industry.

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