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New Protective Film Pairs Acrylic with PVDF

Article-New Protective Film Pairs Acrylic with PVDF

New Protective Film Pairs Acrylic with PVDF

A new coextruded film provides ultraviolet and other protection to vertical laminates used on exterior structures.

"The film brings optimal UV protection," says Michael Golder, worldwide manager of high pressure laminate films for Evonik Industries. "It absorbs more than 98 percent of the UV rays."

The base layer of the film, designated Europlex(R) HC 99716 Film, is 45 microns of pure polymethyl methacrylate, a transparent thermoplastic also known as acrylic. The top layer is polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a non-reactive and pure thermoplastic fluoropolymer. The PVDF was added by Evonik to provide an additional layer of protection. "Anti-graffitti properties come from the very low surface tension of PVDF," says Golder. "Nothing sticks to it."

One of the key features of the film is its ability to chemically adhere to melamine, a substrate that gives the laminate structural strength. Special reactive components were added to the base resin so that it would adhere to melamine. No adhesives are required.

Use of high-pressure laminates as a building facade has been rapidly growing in Europe and Asia. Total worldwide use is estimated at 2 million sq ft. One use is to protect a wooden surface, or to simulate a wooden surface through use of a melaminic resin-impregnated decoration paper. Golder says than an effort to market the material in North America will be launched in early 2010.

So far the focus is architectural faces. But Golder says other applications may be coming. For example, horizontal coverings are possible if scratch resistance of the panels can be improved. Price of the film is approximately 34 cents per square foot ( euro 3.50 per square meter).

A new coextruded film provides a new level of protection for vertical exterior surfaces, such as building facades. Photo:  Evonik
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