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Thursday, 9 March 2006

Plastic Surfacing


Here's one invention that I feel would be a wonderful thing to market in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the flooring market is booming, with the likes of Lumber Mart and Floor Depot conquering the market.

A DIY system for home owners would be most welcome indeed, what more when it can create a surface that is burn proof, UV proof, etc....

Liquid Surface Creations

by Perry and Heidi Eckert

* Inspiration
* How does it work?

Liquid Surface Creations is a decorative coating, like a paint or varnish, that is applied in a single application. It looks like liquid glass, without the expense of glass or risk of cracking.
CONTACT DETAILS:
www.liquidsurfacecreations.com.au

Watch the 'Liquid Surface Creations ' (Requires RealPlayer):

* Watch broadband video
* Watch dialup video

Inspiration

The Eckerts own a paint company and were exhibiting their products at the Housing Industry exhibition. They painted their exhibition floor with existing products and realised that compared with the snazzy walls it just wasn’t the effect they were looking for.

They spent the weekend at home playing around with different composites of polymers and pigments, and came up with the finished solution. Ideas were inspired from a trip to Europe when they saw the swirling of solid colours into epoxy for achieving stone or marble looks. They realised this came down to the skill of the applicator. Whilst they liked the idea of the floor not being a solid colour, they wanted a uniformity in the application results that were not reliant on specialised skill.
How does it work?

Liquid Surface Creations is a single application decorative polymer, chemical composite, coating (like a paint or varnish) that looks like liquid glass. It doesn't have the expense or risk of cracking.

It can include special effects such as a pearl finish, sparkles, or luminescence within its composition, and is heat resistant, UV resistant, chemical resistant, and hard.

The coating is a combination of parts that are mixed then hardened.
1) Special effect pigment, such as pearlescence (different particle sizes leads to different effects such as sparkles or metallic)
2) It's mixed with a colouring agent (if you’re after a colour)
3) It's then mixed with an epoxy and/or polyurethane and/or polyester (sticky chemical resisting) resin. These form the part A of a chemical reaction between 2 liquid chemicals. The resins will differ according to what use the coating is being put to.
4. This is mixed with a hardener component, Part B of the chemical reaction to form a solid polymer

Once mixed, it needs to be applied no longer than an hour later, before it hardens to a smooth glossy coating with texture (the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to apply). The use of the thick and transparent resins with special effect pigments allows thick coatings to be formed. These suspend the effect pigments within the mixture in a non-uniform way.

This is due to the high viscosity (stickiness/resistance to flow) of the coating. The special effect pigments are basically hanging suspended in the mixture. The textured look comes about according to how the coating has been applied (eg. paintbrush, spatula, trowel, blade, roller, spray etc..) either during application or after application before it hardens.

No solvents are required which enable it to be thick for the desired textured effect. What emerges is a unique decorative pattern with variations in shade and a glassy 3 dimensional effect. The coating surface then settles before hardening to suspend the pattern in the coating with a smooth or textured surface.

If you don’t want a smooth glossy finish but want to feel the texture as a finish, they add a suspension aid to the hardener. This ensures the mixture is thick and sticky enough to maintain its shape with the special effect pigment within. Ideally the coating will harden in temperatures of 15 degrees celcius or more, over a minimum period of 24 hours.

The coatings are waterproof (non-porous), and therefore do not harbour bacteria. Consequently, the coatings provide very hygienic surfaces for food preparation areas, including commercial kitchen benches, floors, walls and splashbacks.

It can be used to incorporate different effects such as covering flat objects on the floor, eg, broken up sheets of paint. Instead of the many coats of polyurethane varnishes (on top of paint) this normally takes, you just paint the floor with a solid polyurethane colour paint, lay the objects down and apply the coating (this time with no colour) over them once. The choice of resin and hardener will determine the performance characteristics of the coating.

It’s durable, hard wearing, easy to clean, and can withstand heat to over 100 degrees. Its lifespan is similar to a timber floor finish, 5 to 10 years.

Source: The New Inventors, ABC Australia
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