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Low solvent lacquers based on new binder combinations (New LS Lacquers)
Date du début: 1 déc. 2000, Date de fin: 30 nov. 2003 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Background Lacquers are used to protect and aesthetically improve surfaces of wood, concrete, plastics and metals. Basically, lacquers comprise a mixture of a binder (which makes up the surface), a colour, and a solvent. The lacquers are put onto the surface that is to be treated. After some time, the solvent evaporates from the surface and the binder and colour remain as a thin layer on the surface providing both protection and colour. The solvent is traditionally an organic solvent. (Solvents are often poisonous and can form by-photochemical reactions, with for example, NOx (Nitrogen oxides), ground level ozone, which is harmful to living organisms.) However, it is possible to use water as a solvent instead of organic solvents. This technique is not new. However, the project sought to develop and apply the technique for a broader market. A disadvantage with the use of water as a solvent is the need to use more preservatives in the lacquer. Objectives Prior to the project, the beneficiary had already developed a new type of binder that provided a good lacquer system. The project aimed to demonstrate this technology using low solvent lacquers for distributors, industrial users and consumers. The demonstration would include a series of different technical applications. This would enable the project to establish networks with suppliers, distributors and consumers throughout the EU. The project also aimed to create a more complete range of applications for water-based lacquer systems. Pilot production of lacquers was also planned. The idea was that this should lead to a broader use of water-based lacquer systems even on surfaces where traditionally, organic solvents had been used. To summarise, by using a water-based lacquer system the emissions of organic solvents will be reduced. Today a large amount of the market is for organic solvent based lacquers, containing some 75% organic solvent. This figure is reduced to 2-5% with the water-based technology used by the beneficiary. Results In general, the project met all the objectives, as defined in the project application. It successfully demonstrated the feasibility of producing lacquers with a lower organic solvent content than those currently produced. At the same time, the quality of the applied lacquers was maintained. The project activities included an extensive test programme that included the application of the lacquers over approximately 40,000 square metres of treated surface. The treated areas were included in a test programme, which involved the collection of data on lacquer quality in relation to application, as well as quality of the applied products. The project was particularly successful regarding the development and demonstration of products for wooden and concrete floors. Key environmental benefits are as follows: • Lower solvent content - saving raw material costs and also lowering the negative environmental impact of lacquers; • Lower content of organic binders - lowers production costs. Moreover the inorganic solvents that replace the organic binders are a natural material; • Improved product durability - leading to lower consumption of lacquers that also reduces effluent chemicals; • Storage stability of products - thus lowering waste due to product ageing.


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