Brussels - A webinar on polyurea coatings, their advantages, valuable properties and versatile uses, given by members of the board of the Polyurea Development Association Europe (PDA-Europe), on 27 Feb, was very successful, with a high level of registrations and good feedback.
According to the organisers, about 120 delegates listened in, and showed strong interest in further information, as shown by the many questions following the broadcast, which was hosted on the UTECH Europe 2102 website.
The webinar, given jointly by polyurea experts including Stephan Rindfleisch of machinery supplier Graco, and Werner Bertleff of materials producer BASF, covered raw materials for polyurea coatings, formulated systems, spray equipment, surface pretreatment and application areas.
The speakers demonstrated the wide uses of polyurea in making tough waterproof coatings for civil engineering and construction uses with many case studies, and then devoted considerable time to answering questions from the audience, such as:
Q: What aliphatic isocyanates are preferred in polyureas?
A: IPDI is a more expensive type, and is higher performance, for example in hardness. Hence it is used for more demanding applications, and where thicker films or higher build-up are in demand. HDI is more appropriate for decorative uses, maybe where outstanding properties are not essential.
Q: What is the size of the market and its growth in Europe?
A: PDA-Europe does not have solid statistical data for polyurea use in Europe, but the number of jobs done in Europe is steadily rising and this indicates that use is rising.
Q: What about product regulations and approvals?
A: Europe's many regulations, both national and at European level, are a definite hurdle to be overcome and right now many regulations do not cover polyurea, only more established coatings such as polyurethane, epoxies and acrylates. PDA Europe is working hard on DIN regulations. German regulators are currently working on setting standards for waterproofing, so this is exactly the right time to be working on these and lobbying.
Q: How can you tell how good an applicator is?
A: This is a very serious problem because the use is only as good as the applicator and their training. One reason PDA Europe was set up was to start training programmes, and the association has devised a four-day intensive course to give a good understanding of setting up and using machinery and systems.
Q: Are there issues with odour or emissions for polyurea?
A; One of its most outstanding features is that polyurea is a 100-percent system, consisting only of components A (isocyanate) and B (non-volatile amine-terminated resin). That means they are VOC-free systems for applicators.
PIC: Werner Bertleff of PDA-Europe and BASF