Improvement of the Care Properties of Non-Polar Floorings Consisting of Polyolefines
AiF 11753 N
Chlorine-free floor materials attain more and more attraction. The market-introduction of polyolefine-floorings was in the early 90th. While using these floors some disadvantages appeared. Especially the high abrasion of this systems result in non acceptable optical appearance of these surfaces.
To solve the problems some manufacturers equipped the polyolefine-surfaces with polyurethane-coatings. These show a higher mechanical stability and cleanability. But they do not reach the typical lifetime of a floor covering by far. Furthermore the restoration of such coatings is not possible. A renovation of the surface by burnishing and spray buffing is not suitable because polyurethane is a non-thermoplastic material. Re-coating was not possible till now due to the hydrophobic character of the non-polar polyolefine.
The maintenance expenditure increases, therefore the costs for attractive cleaning results are extensively higher than for conventional floorings.
The improvements of the care properties of non-polar floorings did start with a modification of the polyolefine surface for the increase of the surface energy of the non-coated floor material. Chemical reactions of polyolefine-surfaces in the presence of various ozone gas concentrations were studied.
The exposure of the polymer surface was carried out in a laboratory-scale reactor in which the following parameters could be varied: ozone concentration, temperature and water vapour concentration. Advancing contact angle measurements with various liquids were used to monitor surface energy changes imparted by the treatment. Differences of 30% in the surface energies between the original non-coated and the modified polyofefine surface was detected.
Thus surface modification leads to improvements in the adhesion of the coatings. The grip between the coatings and the modified surface is extensively higher than that of the polyurethane-coated floorings.
We would like to thank the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen “Otto von Guericke” e.V. (AiF) (Association of Industrial Research Organisations) for the financial support of the reasearch project (AiF 11753 N) funded by the budget of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The research report is available on request from FRT.