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New, emission-reduced foil adhesive for floorings and doors

The demand for environmentally compatible and harmless furnishings has constantly grown over the past years. Architects and interior fitters now have to answer more critical questions from future home owners. Reports about the negative effects of formaldehyde are still in everybody’s mind. Floorings and doors account for a significant amount of the total surface and, therefore, their potential emissions have to be considered when designing a home.

Being aware of this critical situation, flooring manufacturers are already qualifying alternative materials, which are free of plasticiser, for instance polyethylene terephthalate (PET), thermoplastic elastomers (TPU), polypropylene (PP) and other plastics. To manufacture floorings that are completely free of plasticiser, it is important that not only the foil, but also the adhesives are free of plasticiser. Jowacoll® ER 147.00, the new, emission-reduced foil adhesive meets this requirement.

Certified laminating adhesive
Governments are under pressure to create the regulatory framework for manufactures regarding the emissions of furniture and construction materials. Due to the lack of European and international classifications, there are currently a number of different national rating systems to be observed, for instance the German “AgBB” (Committee for Health-related Evaluation of Building Products) or the French rating system “Émissions dans l’air interieur”, which is considered one of the strictest rating systems presently. The limits of the emission classes A+ to C of the system “Émissions dans l’air interieur” refer to the total VOC emission (TVOC) plus limits for 10 individual substances, of which formaldehyde is one.
Industry and research also have joined the effort and developed products with significantly reduced emissions of the total volatile organic compounds (TVOC). Especially the results regarding plasticiser-free products and formaldehyde emissions are remarkable.
The new foil adhesive of the Jowacoll® ER (emission-reduced) product group has shown best results in tests and has therefore been labelled A+.
The new foil adhesive is a vinyl acetate copolymer dispersion developed specifically for laminating wood-based materials with thermoplastic foils and decor papers. General applications are floorings, doors and furniture or furniture parts.
“Dispersion adhesives for foil lamination have to be considered individually, taking into account the different materials, processes and requirements”, says Christoph Funke, R&D department for dispersion adhesives at Jowat SE. “For many years, the general rule in foil lamination was that especially thermoplastic foils can only be bonded with classic vinyl acetate copolymer adhesives. Recently, however, the downside of this type of adhesive due to the high content of plasticiser has become evident. In general, the plasticiser for the formulation of that type of adhesive were from the group of harmful phthalate esters. Innovative adhesives are completely free of substances from that chemical group and are generally characterised by very low emissions of TVOC. Jowat adhesives with reduced emissions are already free of plasticiser. Therefore, they facilitate the manufacture of compound materials with significantly reduced emissions of VOC.”

Adhesive with superior characteristics
The total emission value of this product is not the only outstanding property. The adhesive provides a wide range of adhesion to difficult substrates, for instance thermoplastic foils, that matches the high diversity of materials in modern floorings. This dispersion also excels in a number of other characteristics:

Free of plasticiser and solvents
Jowacoll® ER 147.00 is free of plasticiser and solvents. From a health perspective, this product is to be preferred to other adhesives for interior applications due to the dramatically reduced emissions.

High initial strength
Laminating materials used for the manufacture of floorings and doors have to be relatively strong to provide the necessary scratch and wear resistance. To ensure a reliable and durable bond, the adhesive has to absorb and compensate for the tension of these materials. Adhesives with a high initial strength are very efficient, facilitating fast production cycles.

Good heat resistance
Good heat resistance increases the durability of the final product. Optionally, the dispersion may be mixed with a suitable crosslinking agent to improve the water resistance for all applications, for instance to meet the recommended values for door panels.

pH value
The adhesive is pH neutral. Undesired discolouring due to reactions with the laminating materials – as it may occur when classic, acidic dispersions (pH value < 7) are used – can be virtually ruled out.

High solids content
Jowacoll® ER 147.00 is formulated with a very little amount of water and has a solids content of 76 %, which significantly reduces the swelling of hygroscopic substrate surfaces.


Adhesives – raw materials with potential for success
Low-emission products are more than just a trend, they are essential to protect the environment, the health of employees and the consumer. There has been a thorough change in thinking regarding the daily use of these materials. The manufacture of “healthy” floorings and doors is directly dependent on the development of certified adhesives with reduced emissions that do not make any concessions when it comes to their processing characteristics.
Developing innovative adhesives with reduced emissions is a top priority at Jowat. Successful developments are guaranteed by close cooperation with suppliers of raw materials and substrates, as well as with processors. The technical applications service of Jowat assists clients during the selection of the most suitable adhesive, trials at the customer’s site and taking the processors’ lamination units into operation. Working closely together with all partners involved in the manufacture of floorings and doors is essential to a successful result and healthy living conditions.

The professional article is published in the magazine 'Laminate 2016' (Supplement Holz-Zentralblatt and HK, DRW-Verlag, Stuttgart). You can download the article down below.