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Sustainable products

R & D insights into transformation

Track our transformation

Transparent insight into our processes

We’re in the middle of a transformation process. By 2030 we’re gradually moving away from all solvent -based lacquers and stains towards sustainable, alternative solutions. First and foremost, we see an eco-friendly future with aqueous products, but also with UV coatings, BRC coatings or natural oils . Many of our colleagues in Research & Development, from Product Management, but also from the Sales department are currently putting all their know-how into the development and testing of completely new coating systems. In addition to the pure formulation of a coating, the engineers in the Innovation Centre are shedding light on the entire coating process and looking for optimisation potential, such as in polishing or drying.

New developments are in principle the order of the day in the chemical industry. In the past we too have always brought new products involving optimisations to the market through close exchange with raw material manufacturers and internal development activities. But now everything is completely different. Our internal way of thinking and working has fundamentally changed. We’re exclusively focusing on sustainable and/or renewable raw materials and are forming small creative teams across departmental boundaries that pursue specific issues and develop solutions in a goal-based manner.

Here we’d like to give you a few insights into how and to what extent our laboratory colleagues are actively working on the development of new products.

Internal enthusiasm for Wiping stain

The pores even radiate with water

Wiping stains always lend wood pores a very special radiance. Traditional wiping stains tend sooner to be solvent -based. In the course of our transformation, we’d like to develop a completely new water-based Wiping stain. The aim is an extensive colour spectrum, easy processing and universal finishing. Integration into our Stain mixing system (including use of the Paint Express automatic mixing machine) is just as important here as good removal behaviour and a beautiful effect formation.

The first results were recently presented internally in a large group. The pore accentuation is superb and the video shows its effortless removal behaviour.  Our Sales and Product Management colleagues were very impressed with the new possibilities. Such positive feedback spurs the group on towards perfection. The next step is the development of an extensive colour spectrum. We'll keep you informed.

Is HYDRO Metallic practicable?

Ambition is aroused in the creative team

Will CREATIVE-METALLIC be available as a water-based product in the future? Why shouldn’t this work? Numerous ideas and experiments have reached the practical phase.

In explanation: Metallic lacquers are highly valued by our customers. Real eye-catchers can be produced using their creative surfaces. And solvent -based CREATIVE-METALLIC is the most popular of all. This bulk product is as simple as can be. 112 metallic colour tones that are all mixable with each other and thus offer an unlimited variety of colours.

Our aim is to formulate just such a mass-market, simple water-based metallic lacquer. We do already have good aqueous metallic lacquers in our range, but they lag behind our solvent -based favourite in terms of quantity. We’re currently working on the unlimited HYDRO colour tone diversity. A small project team had interesting discussions at the European Coating Show and is working on the development of an adequate water-based metallic colour chart. The most important thing for us is to find the best metallic particles/pastes for formulation. Shelf life , practicality and variety are crucial. Expertise from the PU domain is very helpful and is used in a mutually profitable manner.

Coating white oak using HYDRO

Can we outsmart the tannic acid?

White stained oak does not necessarily behave harmoniously when coated using water-based lacquer. As a wood expert, you know that the tannic acid likes to migrate out of the wood towards the stain, causing the surface to discolour unattractively towards green/brown. This phenomenon has so far been countered using a solvent -based insulating layer to ensure that a sustainable coating still succeeds.

Our aim is to do without it in the future. Numerous laboratory tests have been conducted with lots of different raw materials over recent weeks. The initial results are very promising and long-term tests in the climate chamber are underway. We’re confident that we can get a grip on tannic acid in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. The pictures only show only a small part of the laboratory surfaces that have been prepared. Every step is documented.


An exciting future

The suspense remains. We’re pursuing many other issues to attain a sustainable future, such as:

  • What belongs to the field of renewable raw materials in the first place? Can recycled raw materials also be used effectively? If so, what does it all involve?
  • Extensive trials are underway into coating on different substrates; currently involving a Hydro-based metal adhesion primer that is showing promising results.
  • Are there other ways to colour wood? Could for instance digital printing be an alternative to stains? 
  • ... and much more besides ...

As you can see, we’re actively working on our transformation. Together with our customers, we’re taking giant steps towards the future. Everyone who wants to be there is cordially invited to join us.

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Changes in the product range
At a glance

Our transformation will introduce a number of changes over the coming years. Discontinued products and suitable alternative recommendations can be found via this link.

Changes in the product range
Now for to­mor­row
More about our Vision 2030

Modern lacquer systems to achieve a sustainable future: Here you can find out more about the background to our decision, about our goals and about the opportunities that arise for industrial and craft companies as a result of the changeover.

Read more

Success stories

How the transition is succeeding in practice

Interview: Willi Pfeffer

The switch required the planners and coating specialists to undertake a complete redesign of their surface processes. Their previous „surface records“ had to be recalculated and adapted for each programme line (such as natural oak or MDF in white). Read more in the Pfeffer profile or watch the video directly

to the video
Innenausbau Biermann GmbH
Sustainability in demand in yacht building

As far as the coating specialists are concerned, it can’t happen fast enough. Once they have slightly adjusted the way they work, HYDRO lacquer provides convincing results. In the video, Daniel Janz reports on his daily coating routine. You can also find details in the Biermann profile.

to the video
LIVO Binnendeuren
Industrial HYDRO-UV coating

LIVO has over 25 years of experience and is therefore one of the leading Belgian players in the production and installation of interior doors – 13,000 doors per year are now produced entirely using water-based coatings. All details here in the LIVO profile or in the video

to the video
Hubert Scharlau GmbH
Conversion step by step

They decided to switch to water-based lacquers, but they made the transition gradually, working handin-glove with manufacturer brands, who insist on their own demanding product specifications. The decision went down well with customers, not least because Scharlau continued to deliver the same high-quality, stylish interiors they always had done. Stefan Droste, project manager at Hubert Scharlau GmbH, reports on this in the video. Background also in the profile Scharlau

to the video
Tischlerei stilfabrik* GmbH
Simplified approval

stilfabrik* has always paid attention to making its production processes as environmentallyfriendly as possible, and those principles led it to make an early switch to sustainable surfaces. Instead of making a gradual transition over a number of years and using water-based and solventbased lacquers in parallel, it switched entirely to water-based lacquer when it moved into its new premises in 2020. Piet Hülsmann, the owner, reports. Details in the video, alternatively here in the profile stilfabrik*

To the video

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Your contact person

Porträt von Waldemar Harnos
Support Technical Hotline
Porträt von Thomas Feldmann
Product Management & Marketing Product Manager