New chemistry: polymer delivers significantly enhanced cure performance for epoxy resins
Chemical Processing Services Ltd, is a new specialist polymer design and development company and has researched and developed a new series of ‘green’ epoxy curing agents.
The Furalkamine range of polymers combat the withdrawal of conventional Mannich base grades prohibited in Europe under REACH regulations or due to inclusion of undesirable residual monomers.
The Furalkamines are a new form of Mannich base curing agents, derived from pentosane-rich biomass. Subsequent reaction with a variety of amines influences the processing characteristics and offers a new solution to low temperature cure and cure under adverse conditions, whilst maintaining regulatory compliance.
These attributes make them ideal as the principal curing agent or modifiers for other curing agents in the formulation of solvent free or high solids, low VOC maintenance specialised marine coatings, flooring and adhesives.
A patent is pending for this new chemistry and CPS are developing the products further. Bitrez will be manufacturing the Furalkamine grades under licence from CPS.
Paul Jones, managing director for Bitrez and CPS, and the inventor of the Furalkamines, said: “Our new Furalkamine grades are a great example of how we lead the way in continually pushing the boundaries of chemistry to provide our customers with innovative bespoke solutions. These solutions fill the gaps generated by removal of products, like conventional Mannich base curing agents, from the marketplace due to regulatory changes.
“Our focus on regulatory compliance, sustainability and reduced hazard rating whilst providing the highest technical performance is one of the reasons why we are growing so rapidly.”
Resin manufacturers were recently forced to withdraw or rationalise some conventional Mannich base curing agents from their product range because of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) compliance.
The new series of Furalkamines have been designed to be compliant allowing continuity of supply in Europe. The difference in chemistry can be seen clearly from the formulae below:
- Figure 1 is of a conventional mannich base, which is low molecular weight, is not REACH compliant, has free amine and free phenol (highly toxic and a carcinogen);
- Figure 2 is of Furalkamine mannich base, which is REACH compliant and has free amine but no free monomer – phenol or otherwise.
These epoxy hardeners are especially useful for formulating systems for protective coatings and civil engineering applications.