Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Renewable Furniture Finish Made From Sugars and Vegetable Oils

April 13, 2009
How do you make a scratch-resistant varnish using sugars and vegetable oils? Researchers can show how it’s done: They have developed a furniture varnish containing roughly 50% renewable raw materials that offers the same hard-wearing quality as conventional varnishes.

When the petroleum runs out, renewable sources of raw materials will have to be found to replace petrochemical feedstocks. In the case of furniture varnishes, Fraunhofer researchers at the Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI in Braunschweig have already developed an alternative product in which the majority of petrochemical components have been substituted.

Their water-soluble furniture varnish is based on vegetable oils and sugars and has identical properties to the conventional varnishes on sale today. It is hard-wearing, scratch-proof and resistant to chemical attack.

“This varnish offers the coatings industry an attractive alternative to petrochemical products that is economical to produce and performs well in all tests,” reports Dr. Claudia Philipp of the Fraunhofer WKI. The new varnish is based on the chemical compound 1,3-propandiol, which is derived from glycerin. Glycerin in turn is the basic substance found in all vegetable oils, and is readily available as a byproduct of manufacturing processes for fatty acids and biodiesel, for example. In the laboratory synthesis, the researchers transform 1,3-propandiol into polyurethane, which serves as a binder in hard, transparent, scratch-resistant varnishes. “The aim is to use the relatively cheap 1,3-propandiol as a substitute for one of the more expensive petrochemical synthesis components, without altering the coating properties of the varnish,” explains Dr. Guido Hora, department head at the Fraunhofer WKI.

1,3-propandiol has not been considered a valuable raw material in the past, and rarely enters into the composition of varnishes. “Our first step was to conduct a detailed analysis of the relationship between the starting material and the properties of the final product,” Dr. Claudia Philipp relates. The outcome was that: “As the chemical structure of 1,3-propandiol led us to surmise, the new varnish is not only hard but also resilient.”

In other words, it doesn’t chip when a cup or other object is dropped onto a varnished table. A good varnish needs to be hard, but also capable of amortizing shocks to a certain extent, so as to prevent damage to the item of furniture beneath the coating. Another advantage of the new varnish is that it contains no N-methyl-2-pyrrolidon (NMP), a solvent once widely used in polyurethane coatings. This substance is meanwhile known to have a toxic effect on the growing embryo and is classed throughout the EU as a hazardous chemical requiring a warning symbol on all products containing a concentration higher than five percent.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Renewable Furniture Finish Made From Sugars and Vegetable Oils." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408074357.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, April 13). Renewable Furniture Finish Made From Sugars and Vegetable Oils. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408074357.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Renewable Furniture Finish Made From Sugars and Vegetable Oils." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408074357.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This

More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins