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pH-sociated care coating for elastic floorings

IGF 20734 N

Elastic floorings are treated with floorcare products to increase lifetime and maintain optical properties. Floorcare coatings improve soiling, cleaning and wearing behavior of elastic floorings and provide protection against scratches, abrasion and walking imprints.

However, floorcare coatings have a limited service life as they are worn down by mechanical stress during use. As a result, protection of elastic floorings against mechanical wear and/or against migration of permeating soil components (barrier effect) is reduced or eliminated.

Especially for areas of heavy use, basic cleaning is necessary on a regular basis, where an old coating has to be removed completely and new coating is applied. Renewal of a floorcare coating is very time-, personnel- and cost-intensive and leads to considerable delays in operation of building operator.

In the research project pH-sociated floorcare coatings, which have high wear resistance and high barrier effect against soil components during use (associated state) and which can be quickly removed during basic cleaning (dissociated state) were therefore developed.

For the development of pH-sociated floorcare coatings, functional principles of biological systems (reversible association to stable hierarchical structures through cooperativity of hydrogen bonds and dissociation by hydrolytic cleavage of the primary structure) were taken up and transferred to bioinspired polyacrylates.

Bioinspired polyacrylates have pH-switchable cross-linking functions in their side chains and pH-cleavable functions in their main chain. pH-switchable cross-linking functions of the bioinspired polyacrylates can form binding interactions (cooperative hydrogen bonds) with each other as well as with urethane groups on the elastic flooring.

As a result, the pH-sociated floorcare coatings have a high mechanical stability as well as a high adhesion to elastic flooring under conditions of use. High degree of cross-linking also leads to a high barrier effect of pH-sociated floorcare coatings against soil components.

The network of bioinspired polyacrylates is broken during basic cleaning by elimination of bonds formed by the pH-switchable crosslinking functions and hydrolysis of the pH-switchable functions to form charged, water-soluble, short-chain polymers.

Due to conversion into water-soluble polymers, pH-sociated floorcare coatings can be removed quickly under common conditions, consequently, allowing a reduced effort to renew the floorcare coatings.

The research report is available on request from FRT.

The IGF-pro­ject 20734 N of the re­search as­so­ci­a­tion Europäische Forschungs­ge­mein­schaft Reini­gungs- und Hy­gien­etech­nolo­gie e.V., Cam­pus Ficht­en­hain 11, 47807 Krefeld, was sup­port­ed via the AiF with­in the fund­ing pro­gram „In­dus­trielle Gemein­schafts­forschung und -en­twick­lung (IGF)“ by the Fed­er­al Min­istry of Eco­nom­ic Af­fairs and Cli­mate Ac­tion (BMWi) due to a de­ci­sion of the Ger­man Par­lia­ment.