Leading the way on waterborne interior wood coatings
In China, AkzoNobel is a major supplier of decorative paints, including interior wood products for doors, wood trim, and custom-made furniture. Traditionally, the interior wood coatings market has been dominated by two-component solvent borne products that deliver very high performance at a good price, but with a large environmental footprint due to high solvent content. However, AkzoNobel has been working for several years on more environmentally friendly water-based products, and the result is a new waterborne interior wood coating called Dulux Charm. The launch of Dulux Charm coincides with tighter regulations on solvent-borne products in China, including a tax on “VOCs” – volatile organic compounds. This levy is intended to encourage innovation and development of low-VOC coatings like Dulux Charm, which has 90% less VOC content than traditional wood care products.
Dulux Charm uses advanced polymer technology to achieve high performance in an affordable waterborne woodcare product. The project, initiated in 2011, has led to a breakthrough on cost-performance balance, with low odor, excellent appearance, and a lower price point than previous waterborne interior wood paints. The product delivers the combination of impact resistance, hardness, and resistance to household chemicals that is of such importance for interior wood paints.
Dulux Charm is an example of how AkzoNobel is able to share knowledge and resources from around the world to deliver the right products for the right places. Research teams in China, the Netherlands, and the UK worked together to develop and test the basic technologies for the new coating. Our Packaging Coatings production facility in China upgraded one of its reactors to produce one of the essential components in the new formulation, and our local R&D team in China took the technology further and developed a wood paint that meets the specific requirements of the Chinese paint market under a variety of application conditions: low temperature, high humidity, and on various types of wooden substrates. At the end of 2015, production was ramped up, storage stability was checked, and then Dulux Charm was ready to enter the market. We believe that the product is well-positioned to lead a new generation of affordable interior waterborne paints that deliver high performance but leave a much smaller environmental footprint.