Development of luminescent floorcare coatings with integrated functionalization for the rapid determination of the coating quality
IGF 17096 N
Polymeric floorcare coatings have a limited lifespan, so that depending on the degree of wear of the flooring a stripping and recoating with polymer dispersions performed by the building cleaning company is inevitable after a certain time. These two procedures are very labor-intensive and costly and are performed by the building cleaning companies based on their own experience generally long before a complete wear of polymeric coatings has occurred.
Currently the point in time is chosen by the building cleaners by considering the most worn down areas of the floorings, which often represent a relatively small share of the total area. A current trend shows that for such cleaning services the payment isn’t done according to the actual effort required, but as a flatrate per area worked regularly. Therefore from an economic point of view it is desirable for the building cleaners to lower the frequency of stripping and coating procedures.
In order to improve their efficiency the cleaning enterprises need a rapid method for assessing the coating quality of elastic floorings. Such a method would reveal the degree of wear of polymeric floorcare coatings and allow the wear to be quantified. This would ensure that stripping and coating are not performed more frequently than necessary, but instead until a critical minimum film thickness of the floorcare coating is reached. However, simple and inexpensive methods for evaluating the coating quality of elastic floorings are at the present time not available.
As the results show, an approach to solve this problem relies on the integration of nanoscale luminescent pigments to common floorcare products. The chosen pigments do not alter the appearance of the modified polymer coating under normal lighting conditions. When exposed to UV-A-light, however, these pigments exhibit a strong fluorescence in the visible range.
From the luminance of the emitted light the actual degree of wear resulting in a reduced film thickness after a certain time of use can be determined. By measuring the current film thickness it may be decided on a day by day basis when and to what extent a new stripping and coating procedure is necessary.
The IGF-project 17096 N of the research association Europäische Forschungsgemeinschaft Reinigungs- und Hygienetechnologie e.V., Campus Fichtenhain 11, D-47807 Krefeld, was supported via the AiF within the funding programme „Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung und –entwicklung (IGF)“ by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi) due to a decision of the German Parliament.
The research report is available on request from FRT.