Isocyanate-Free Solvent-Free Hybrid Resin SystemEPA Contract Number: EPD05017
Title: Isocyanate-Free Solvent-Free Hybrid Resin System
Investigators: Curatolo, Ben
Small Business: Light Curable Coatings
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: March 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005
Project Amount: $69,671
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2005) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste
This research project is designed to determine the feasibility of preparing an environmentally friendly isocyanate-free solvent-free hybrid resin system suitable for industrial applications such as automobile refinishing and floor coatings. In particular, the overall objective of this project is to determine the most appropriate ratios of reactive groups for ultraviolet (UV) curable resins to provide an immediate cure when exposed to UV light. The hybrid resins will be characterized with respect to UV cure rate, secondary cure rate, adhesion to cold rolled steel and aluminum, impact strength, and surface hardness. An important aspect of this technology is significantly reducing exposure of workers and communities to isocyanates, volatile organic compounds, and hazardous air pollutant materials. Phase I research is designed to provide sufficient groundwork for Phase II development of the technology. Phase II will involve the preparation and characterization of fully formulated hybrid resin systems, incorporating pigments, corrosion inhibitors, and other important components. Light Curable Coatings is a technology leader for solvent-free environmentally compliant coating systems, with proprietary technology to rapidly cure heavily pigmented coatings with UV light, including low-gloss camouflage color UV coating systems. The described isocyanate-free solvent-free hybrid resin system is proprietary to Light Curable Coatings. In addition to industrial applications that include automotive refinishing and floor coatings, this technology also has applicability to the aerospace industry.
Anticipated benefits of the proposed approach include dramatically improved environmental friendliness and productivity capabilities. The advantageous combination of UV-reactive functional groups along with additional functional groups allows for an immediate UV cure along with secondary cure for shadow areas, in a hybrid system with appropriate adhesion, impact strength, and surface hardness for high-performance industrial applications. Because these hybrid resins do not contain isocyanates or solvents, application in confined and occupied spaces should be possible without the hazards presented by conventional materials. Opportunity costs, for example the application of coatings during regular shifts instead of weekends or overtime shifts, can be a tremendous advantage. The fast curing nature of these products also allows for coated parts to be put back into service or production quickly without the need for painting at a location remote from a manufacturing line because there is no need to allow room for drying ovens and excessive ventilation.