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case study

Enhancing the
performance of 1K PU
flooring & balcony
systems using
oxazolidine latent
hardeners

Enhancing the
performance of
1K PU flooring &
balcony systems
using oxazolidine
latent hardeners
case study

Introduction
Polyurethane coatings are highly versatile and have a
wide range of properties such as toughness and
impact resistance whilst still exhibiting good flexibility
and crack bridging characteristics.
Using aliphatic isocyanates as the curing mechanisms
for polyurethanes not only contributes to these
properties, but produces coatings with outstanding
appearance, durability and protection.
Polyurethane coatings based on aliphatic isocyanates
are well known for their non-yellowing properties
upon ageing thanks to;
1. The lack of a phenyl group this makes
polyurethane coatings prepared from aliphatic
isocyanates less prone to oxidation than those
prepared with an aromatic hardener.
2. The resistance of the urethane bond when
exposed to UV light.

The main disadvantage of such systems is the


isocyanate cure mechanism. The traditional method
of curing PU floor coatings is via the reaction of the
terminal isocyanate groups of the polyurethane binder
with moisture. This requires a high level of isocyanate
content to afford an effective cure which leads to
toxicity issues with residual isocyanate monomer.
Another problem is the side product, carbon dioxide,
produced with this reaction which results in pinholing
defects that can then compromise the integrity and
aesthetics of the finished coating.
An effective way to eliminate gassing and improve the
cure performance of the coating is to introduce an
oxazolidine latent hardener. Using such a hardener
type allows the formulator to combine the benefits of
the oxazolidine hardener with a prepolymer of much
reduced isocyanate content. Typically, the isocyanate
level can be reduced by as much as 10-15%.

These characteristics also ensure that polyurethane


coatings exhibit excellent gloss retention and
maintain their outstanding appearance over time.

Formulating 1K PU flooring & balcony systems


with oxazolidine latent hardeners offers the
following benefits:

The use of 1K PU systems in flooring and balcony


applications does have its advantages over 2K
alternatives. The reasons for choosing 1K systems are
two fold. Firstly, there is only one can with the product
already mixed (PU prepolymer + oxazolidine). Having
two components (PU prepolymer + polyol) on site that
requiring mixing, could lead to problems in achieving
the correct mix ratio. In addition, suitable equipment
is required on site to ensure that the two components
are properly mixed to prevent potential application
problems. Secondly, with 1K moisture triggered
systems, the curing reaction only takes place once
the film is applied and comes into contact with
atmospheric moisture. Because of this, the issues
associated with potlife that affect 2K systems are not
applicable.

Suitable for use in high/low solids (VOC)


formulations
Suitable for use in hard/soft systems without
compromising performance
Gassing reduction
Crosslinking/through cure benefit
better mechanical strength
Improves chemical resistance
Faster through cure with moisture cured systems
No detrimental effects on weathering

Enhancing the performance of 1K PU flooring & balcony


systems using oxazolidine latent hardeners
case study

Study 1 Use of an oxazolidine latent hardener in a floor coating system


Introduction
Oxazolidine latent hardeners offer flooring formulators the opportunity to develop resilient flooring systems with
characteristics such as:
-

Good wear resistance


Good impact resistance
Crack bridging
Seamless surface

In addition, incorporating the oxazolidine helps provide the applicators with systems that reduce the return-toservice time through the promotion of faster through cure.
This study investigated the impact on the cure and film properties of blending an oxazolidine latent hardener,
Incozol 4, with an aliphatic polycarbonate prepolymer, Incorez 705. The latent hardener (Incozol 4) was
combined with the control prepolymer (Incorez 705) at approximately 4% (w/w).
Dealing with moisture ingress
It is vitally important when handling PU prepolymer mixes with oxazolidine latent hardeners that moisture
ingress is minimised. Good practice recommends nitrogen purging of all mixing reactors and minimum
exposure to atmospheric moisture during handling.

A. Oxazolidines eliminate gassing


The addition of the oxazolidine latent hardener Incozol 4 to the prepolymer Incorez 705, not only eliminates
coating defects created by gassing, but also promotes faster through cure than by moisture alone. This reflects
the ability of the oxazolidine latent hardener to hydrolyse quickly and crosslink the PU prepolymer in preference
to the water and isocyanate reaction.

Control Incorez 705

Incorez 705 + Incozol 4

B. Faster through cure = Early walk on time


One of the key benefits of using an oxazolidine latent hardener is the ability to accelerate the through cure of the
1K PU floor coating. The latent hardener is able, through hydrolysis, to speed up the crosslinking of the PU floor
paint to provide a reduced touch-dry and walk-on time.
25

Control
Inc 4

Time/Hours

20

15

15

10

Touch-Dry Time

Walk-On Time

C. Improved durability through crosslinking


Formulating with a latent hardener, such as Incozol 4, significantly boosts the ultimate hardness and tensile
strength of the system.
100

Control

Shore D Hardness

90

Inc 4

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

Ultimate Tensile Strength (MPa)

Clear

12

Paint

Control
Inc 4

10
8
6

4
2

Enhancing the performance of 1K PU flooring & balcony


systems using oxazolidine latent hardeners
case study

D. Chemical Resistance
Incorporating Incozol 4 into the system improves the resistance to many chemicals including dilute acids,
alkalis and hydrocarbon based reagents.
Chemical Resistance

Stain Resistance

HCI
5

Coffee
5

3
H2O

NaOH

Inc 4

Control

Shoe
Polish

Inc 4
Control
Ketchup

Acetone

IPA

Red
Wine

Mustard

EtOH

Key: 5 = Film Untouched, 0 = Film Completely Destroyed

Key: 5 = Film Untouched, 0 = Film Completely Destroyed

E. Stability
The change in viscosity was measured for unopened containers of PU prepolymer (Incorez 705) and with the
addition of Incozol 4 at approximately 4% (w/w).
Stability at elevated temp. (40C)
12000

Control
Inc 4

Viscosity (cps)

10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
10

20

30

40

50

60

Days

Stability at ambient temp (23C)


12000

Control
Inc 4

Viscosity (cps)

10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
10

20

30

Days

40

50

60

Guide Formulations
Durable clear topcoat based on Incorez 705 prepolymer and Incozol 4 latent hardener
Materials

Parts by weight (g)

Supplier

Incorez 705

380.00

Incorez

Incozol 4

15.66

Incorez

Bannersolve C573

45.84

Samuel Banner

BAS 125

68.60

Samuel Banner

DBTDL

0.15

Akcros

Tinuvin 292

0.50

Ciba

Tinuvin 1130

0.50

Ciba

Total

500.19

Properties

Recommended Application Details

% Solids

77.12

Application

Brush/Roller/Float

Viscosity @ 20C (cps)

420

Walk-on time (hours)

13

Specific Gravity

0.998

Surface-dry time (hours)

VOC (g/l)

222

Durable floor paint based on Incorez 705 prepolymer and Incozol 4 latent hardener
Materials

Parts by weight (g)

Supplier

Incorez 705

161.20

Incorez

Incozol 4

5.80

Incorez

Filler TiO2

62.49

Tioxide

Barytes B10

223.44

Deutsche Baryt - Industrie

DBTDL

0.59

Akcros

BAS 125

40.05

Samuel Banner

Tinuvin 292

0.81

Ciba

Tinuvin 1130

0.81

Ciba

Black colour paste

10.02

Clariant

Total

505.81

Properties

Recommended Application Details

% Solids

84.18

Application

Brush/Roller/Float

Viscosity @ 20C (cps)

4800

Walk-on time (hours)

8.5

Specific Gravity

2.92

Surface-dry time (hours)

VOC (g/l)

158

Typical Properties for Incorez 705 prepolymer


NCO Content (%)

4.0

Viscosity @ 20C (cps)

6,000

Density (g/cm)

1.05

Colour (Gardner)

% Solids

80

Enhancing the performance of 1K PU flooring & balcony


systems using oxazolidine latent hardeners
case study

Study 2 Use of an oxazolidine latent hardener in a balcony coating system


Introduction
A significant weakness in balcony and walkway coatings is the penetration of water into the concrete substrate
which can weaken the structural integrity. 1K PU coatings are often used in these applications to protect the
concrete substrate.
Incorporation of an oxazolidine latent hardener enables the polyurethane system to cure through the reaction
of the hardener with moisture, leading to the early development of waterproofing in the coating.
In addition, crosslinking of the latent hardener enhances the performance of the 1K PU coating, in particular
the wear resistance.
This study investigated the impact on the cure and film properties of blending an oxazolidine latent hardener,
Incozol 4, with an aliphatic polyether prepolymer, Incorez 718. The latent hardener (Incozol 4) was combined
with the control prepolymer (Incorez 718) at approximately 3.5% (w/w).

A. Oxazolidines eliminate gassing


The use of a latent hardener allows a film to fully cure without the generation of carbon dioxide which would
result in defects. Such defects would detract from the appearance and performance of the final cured film. The
images below demonstrate the benefits of adding an oxazolidine latent hardener, Incozol 4, to a typical
aliphatic prepolymer, Incorez 718.

Control Incorez 718

Incorez 718 + Incozol 4

B. Faster through cure = Early walk on time


One of the key benefits of using an oxazolidine latent hardener is the ability to accelerate the through cure of
the 1K PU floor coating. The latent hardener is able, through hydrolysis, to speed up the crosslinking of the PU
floor paint to provide reduced touch-dry and walk-on times.

14

Control
Inc 4

12

Time/Hours

10
8
6
4
2
0

Touch-Dry Time

Walk-On Time

C. Improved durability through crosslinking


The use of a latent hardener brings the benefit of crosslinking without the need to reformulate the system.
Through the choice of oxazolidine, it is possible to modify the hardness of a coating. This allows the
performance of the coating to be easily tailored to meet different application requirements.

120

Control
Inc 4

Shore D Hardness

100
80
60
40
20
0

The aliphatic prepolymer, Incorez 718 (control), was cured by moisture alone and with the addition of an
oxazolidine latent hardener, Incozol 4. Addition of the oxazolidine into the system significantly increased the
hardness.

Enhancing the performance of 1K PU flooring & balcony


systems using oxazolidine latent hardeners
case study

D. Stability
The change in viscosity was measured for unopened containers of PU prepolymer (Incorez 718) and with the
addition of Incozol 4 at approximately 3.5% (w/w).

Stability at elevated temp. (40C)


800

Control
Inc 4

700

Viscosity (cps)

600
500
400
300
200
100
0
10

20

30

40

50

60

Days

Stability at ambient temp. (23C)


Control
Inc 4

500
450
400

Viscosity (cps)

350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
10

20

30

Days

10

40

50

60

Guide Formulation
Clear balcony coating based on Incorez 718 prepolymer and Incozol 4 latent hardener
Materials

Parts by weight (g)

Supplier

Incorez 718

379.86

Incorez

Incozol 4

15.95

Incorez

Bannersolve C573

45.82

Samuel Banner

BAS 125

68.57

Samuel Banner

DBTDL

0.75

Akcros

Tinuvin 292

2.50

Ciba

Tinuvin 1130

2.50

Ciba

Total

515.95

Properties

Recommended Application Details

% Solids

77.12

Application

Brush/Roller/Float

Viscosity @ 20C (cps)

280

Walk-on time (hours)

Specific Gravity

0.981

Surface-dry time (hours)

VOC (g/l)

222

Typical Properties for Incorez 718 prepolymer


NCO Content (%)

8.5

Viscosity @ 20C (cps)

4500

Density (g/cm)

1.04

Colour (Gardner)

% Solids

70

Conclusion
The data generated from the study demonstrates the advantages of introducing oxazolidine latent hardeners
into 1K PU flooring & balcony systems.
Firstly, the ability of Incozol latent hardeners to act as moisture scavengers ensures that the reaction between
any moisture present and the isocyanate is prevented, thereby preventing the generation of carbon dioxide gas
which would result in coating defects.
Secondly, the addition of an oxazolidine latent hardener into the formulation will promote faster through cure
than that achieved by moisture alone. This is due to the ability of the latent hardener to hydrolyse quickly and
crosslink the PU prepolymer in preference to the water and isocyanate reaction.
Thirdly, introducing an oxazolidine latent hardener allows the formulator to use a prepolymer with reduced
isocyanate content. Typically, the isocyanate level can be reduced by as much as 10-15%.
Oxazolidine latent hardeners, such as Incozol 4, are therefore ideal for use in 1K PU flooring & balcony systems
where they help produce flexible, hard wearing coatings.

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Manufacturers of specialist resins & polymers:

Oxazolidines

Waterborne epoxy curing agents

Polyurethane dispersions

Polyurethane/acrylic hybrid dispersions

Polyurethane prepolymers

Incorez Limited

Incorez Corporation

Iotech House Miller Street

79 Bradley Street

Preston Lancashire

Middleton Connecticut

PR1 1EA England

06457 USA

t: +44 (0)1772 201964

t: +1 (860) 613 1613

f: +44 (0)1772 255194

f: +1 (860) 613 1637

e: info@incorez.com

e: info@incorez.com

w: www.incorez.com

w: www.incorez.com

ISSUE 1 - 03/11