The Backbone of Cape Gannet Coating Solutions
Cape Gannet has developed a unique coating system for both interior and exterior surface applications that exceeds international environmental and quality performance requirements. This product is the true long-lasting, non-toxic coating on the market that minimises climate change impacts, and provides a coating solution for substrates that are subject to severe environments.
Cape Gannet’s strongest suit is the fact that it presents industry and the public with a superior product that applies easily, maintains its colour, protects structures and is totally environmentally friendly. This is possible because the basis of the product range is the unique catalyst effect that has been found when combining certain thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) with acrylic materials.
Many people have posed the pertinent question of what exactly these TPE’s are, and this document aims to provide a little more in-depth information.
The Ebonite101 copolymer morphologies are manufactured from a range of TPE’s with acrylic materials as catalysts to form unique thermoset networks. TPE’s are generally low modulus, flexible materials that can be stretched repeatedly to at least twice their original length at room temperature with the ability to return to their approximate original length when stress is released. Most thermoplastic molecular chains can be thought of as independent, intertwined strings resembling spaghetti. When heated, the individual chains slip, causing plastic flow. When cooled, the chains of atoms and molecules are once again held firmly. When subsequently heated, the chains slip again.
TPE’s are derived from environmentally inert materials that are heavy metal, phthalate, biphenyl A, and vinyl free, typically being plant materials (such as natural resins, soybean and palm-oil extract). TPE’s uses no harmful chemicals, such as in PVC’s, latex, chloride, dioxin and phthalate in its production and are fully recyclable in its manufacturing cycles as well. Also, TPE’s carry what can only be described as a reversible cross-link. Normal cross-linked polymers cannot be recycled because they don't melt. They don't melt because the cross-links tie all the polymer chains together, making it impossible for the material to flow.This is where the reversible cross-link comes in. While normal cross-links are covalent, chemically bonding the polymer chains together into one molecule; reversible cross-links use non-covalent or secondary interactions between the polymer chains to bind them together. The beauty of using non-covalent interactions to form cross-links is, that when the material is heated, the cross-links are broken.This allows the material to be processed, and most importantly, recycled.
Benefits of TPE’s include:
- Lower consumption of energy
- Scrap is fully recyclable
- Consistency of product
- Better control of product quality
- More environmentally friendly
Hence, what makes Ebonite101 environmentally friendly is the core fact that no hazardous metals are found in the copolymers and the reaction of small amounts of the thermoses networks with the other polymers that are used in the Ebonite101 product range results in low releases of VOC’s. This claim is confirmed by accredited VOC testing done on the product range in the UK and Australia