Isocyanate-Free Solvent-Free Hybrid Resin SystemEPA Contract Number: EPD06076
Title: Isocyanate-Free Solvent-Free Hybrid Resin System
Investigators: Curatolo, Ben
Small Business: Dr. Ben Curatolo, Inc. d.b.a. Light Curable Coatings
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: April 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007
Project Amount: $224,967
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2006) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
The objective of this Phase II research project is to develop and optimize the prototype environmentally friendly, isocyanate-free, solvent-free, ultraviolet (UV) curable hybrid resin system demonstrated in Phase I. In Phase II, Light Curable Coatings will develop a system with properties suitable for commercial industrial applications, such as automobile refinishing, floor coatings, and aircraft coatings. Properties of the proprietary hybrid resin system are significantly improved over those of conventional UV systems. UV cure provides an immediate tack-free surface and significant property development, allowing materials to be handled for secondary operations. The hybrid cure is designed to continue at ambient conditions following UV exposure for reduced molecular stress and an unusual combination of improved adhesion, flexibility, and hardness. This dual cure system is user-friendly and allows for the convenient sanding of primer coatings before surface hardness increases to an extent that makes sanding operations unmanageable.
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. Phase II research will optimize fully formulated isocyanate-free solvent-free UV curable hybrid resin systems by incorporating pigments and chrome-free corrosion inhibitors. Testing will be conducted according to military aerospace primer and topcoat specifications MIL-PRF-23377 and MIL-PRF-85285.
This hybrid technology is more efficient and less costly for end-users while significantly reducing exposure of workers and communities to isocyanates, volatile organic compounds, and hazardous air pollutant materials. Benefits of this approach include dramatically improved environmental friendliness and productivity capabilities. Because hybrid resins do not contain isocyanates or solvents, application in confined spaces and occupied spaces should be possible without the hazards found in conventional materials. The application of coatings during business hours (rather than weekends or overtime shifts) can be a tremendous cost-saving advantage. The fast-curing nature of these products allows coated parts to be put back into service or produced quickly without the need for painting at a location remote from a manufacturing line. There is no need to allow room for drying ovens and excessive ventilation. Environmental savings apply not only in production, but also throughout and beyond the operational lifecycle of vehicles by reducing environmental risks associated with maintenance, storage, and disposal. This research offers a significant positive societal impact in terms of a better quality of life for workers in the automotive and aircraft industries and for all citizens through safer workplaces and a cleaner environment.