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Topcoat guards wood tables from household hazards.

Daystrom of South Boston, Va., was looking for a finish that not only would not crack or yellow, but that would provide protection against water, mustard, household cleansers and other household hazards that can leave spots, rings and other marks on wood dining tables.

The company's search led them to Southern Coatings Inc., a division of Pratt & Lambert, which specially developed a "water-clear" two-component polyurethane clearcoat to meet Daystrom's quality and performance goals. The finish is based on Desmodur aliphatic polyisocyanates and Desmophen polyester polyols supplied by Miles Inc., formerly Mobay Corp.

Daystrom, a division of Ladd Furniture Inc., had offered laminated, tiled, glass and metal casual dining products for many years when it entered the solid wood casual dining market in 1989. According to Jerry Baker, Daystrom's president, "At that time, all the butcher-block tables on the market were topcoated with either oil-based or lacquer finishes." He added that his company decided to look for an alternative finish because oil-based finishes "dry out and crack" and lacquer coatings "are too easily marred and scratched."

"The polyurethane clearcoat is a higher-quality finish. It is one of the strong selling points for our solid wood tables," Baker said.

The two-component polyurethane topcoat is used on all Daystrom solid wood dining tables, including the company's antique oak, California oak, natural oak and washed oak products. The finish is formulated as a "water clear" coating. "It imparts no color so that the pleasing warmth and other effects of the heavy-grained wood are conveyed," Baker said.

Daystrom conducted numerous tests on panels for resistance to a wide variety of household items. For example, Daystrom placed water-filled glasses on sample panels for 24- and 48-hour periods. When the glasses were removed, the water rings "were easily wiped off with a damp cloth," said Ronnie Crabtree, Daystrom's vice president of manufacturing.

"Water is one of the worst enemies of wood furniture," Crabtree said. "If a glass of water is placed on a table finished with lacquer, the water will spot the table within 30 minutes and it is nearly impossible to remove the mark."

The finished test panels also held up to kitchen cleansers, mustard, catsup, vinegar, lemon juice, fingernail polish, sodium hydroxide, ethylene oxide and other acid and solvent-based products commonly found in a home, Crabtree said. Panels subjected to sunlight for several-week periods experienced no yellowing of the clearcoat, he added.

Daystrom applies the clearcoat to the entire solid wood table, including top and base, to a dry film thickness of 4 to 5 mils using conventional low-pressure spray equipment. Air monitoring tests conducted by Daystrom concluded that through ventilation, airborne solvent and isocyanate levels were controlled sufficiently so that an air respirator provided adequate inhalation protection for spray booth personnel. The finished tables air dry in five to six hours.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Vance Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Ladd Furniture Inc.; use of polyurethane clearcoat supplied by Southern Coatings Inc.
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:May 1, 1992
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