An innovative wood finishing system which mirrors the appearance of natural wood has won Akzo Nobel Coatings’ Most Profitable Technical Innovation Award for 2002.
The honor was given to the company’s Industrial Finishes business unit to recognize the development of an environmentally friendly system of coatings which, when applied over chipboard, rivals the appearance of a piece of solid wood furniture.
“Akzo Nobel Coatings is strongly focused on creating innovative products with an improved environmental performance and this product is a prime example of what we are striving to deliver in all our markets,” said Rudy van der Meer, Member of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management responsible for Coatings.
Developed by Industrial Finishes Wood Europe in cooperation with their American colleagues from High Point, North Carolina, USA, the project team faced two daunting challenges in attempting to achieve high customer productivity and cost efficiency with their product.
Their task was to develop a finishing system which could not only be applied to a porous substrate, with the minimum number of coatings, but which would also meet future environmental emission standards.
These challenges were met by first applying a novel thermoset waterborne coating to the substrate, followed by a series of UV photocurable 100 percent non-volatile coatings in combination with waterborne inks that both aesthetically and physically simulated the subtle color variations and grain patterns of natural woods.
The cost-effective system also offers added advantages to the customer, such as lower energy consumption, high productivity and excellent resistance properties to household cleaning products, foods and physical wear-and-tear.
(Released: June 12, 2003)