Brilliant White

 
 

How titanium dioxide coatings make your furniture look great

As the world tries to reduce the amount of resources we consume, increasingly we are reusing old materials that would otherwise be disposed of and wasted. With global deforestation becoming a more and more significant issue, one tool we’re using to protect the planet is the recycling of wood and paper.

Why recycle?

By recycling, we can limit the amount of new wood we need from freshly logged trees. Deforestation, as a result of the growth of farm land and the need for wood in commercial uses, can have very significant global environmental effects. Cutting down trees can lead to soil erosion and desert creep, harming ecosystems. One challenge of using more sustainable wood sources, however, is that it can be very difficult achieve the quality we want our in furniture. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) can help.

The wood we use

Sustainable, recycled wood can have uneven colouring and texture that makes furniture that’s good for the environment look out of place in a living room. Luckily, titanium dioxide has some amazing properties which can be used to give wood the consistency needed for high quality furniture, making the fixtures in your house look great.

The right look

Titanium dioxide’s bright white colour means that, when applied to wood or wood-containing substrates (MDF or chipboard) in a coating, any and all colour-unevenness of the wood substrate is much less visible. This means wood and recycled wood from different sources and even different species of tree can be blended together. The coating can be done by painting, plastic foil or by laminate application on the wooden substrates, all containing TiO2. The plastic and laminate applications also allow for printing (e.g.  wood grains or other graphics) onto white décor paper or white plastic foil and hence gives more creative décor choices to designers. All these make the furniture look more aesthetically appealing and perfect for your living room.

As we move to a more sustainable society we need to better consider the materials we use. Meeting the standards we expect while using recycled materials can be a challenge, but with the right surface treatment, being sustainable does not mean sacrificing quality nor creative and appealing looks.


How city planners are tackling climate change every day with amazing materials

In December 2015, the world made a commitment to take strong and immediate action to tackle climate change. This means a step change in how we produce and consume energy, and will require a plan that encompasses everything from the cars we use to the colour of our houses.

Global issue, global action

At the COP21 summit in Paris, the nations of the world agreed to take action to limit global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The burden of doing this was shared proportionally between the rich and poor nations of the world. For Europe this means a roughly 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a huge ambition. If we are to reach this target it is not enough just to change the sources of our energy, we must also reduce how much energy we use. One way we can do this, is using super coatings to reduce energy usage.

No business as usual

One thing urban planners consider is the heat island effect, where cities of closely clustered buildings radiate heat to each other, raising the temperature above the level of the surrounding countryside. This can lead to increased air conditioning use as people try to cool their homes and offices, meaning increased energy consumption. However, titanium dioxide can help prevent that build-up of heat in the first place so urban planners can limit the effects.

Planning for success

To avoid the heat island effect, decision makers are increasingly incentivising the use of materials such as cool roofs. Cool roofs radiate the sun’s heat away from buildings and back into the sky, stopping a build-up of heat. Titanium dioxide is one of the amazing pigments that allows them to do this, because of its unparalleled ability to reflect the sun’s rays. Cool roofs are a low cost way to save energy, and through that, the planet.

Tackling climate change requires action from all of us if we are to reach the targets we set at the COP21 conference. In November 2016 the follow up COP22 conference in Marrakech will take the next steps in climate action, changing not only how we produce energy but how we use it too.  Isn’t it time you painted your house?


Save money and the environment with Cool Roofs!

When you picture Greece you probably think of stunning coastlines, blue seas and white houses. Perched on the sides of hills which roll straight down to the ocean, these buildings come in all shapes and sizes but share the same brilliant façade, all to reflect the sun’s heat. For hundreds of years, we have understood that the way we design and coat the places we live can have a huge impact on our quality of life. For these Greek towns, painting their houses white was the easiest way to keep from overheating, but today cool roofs offer an even more effective and efficient way of keeping our houses comfortable.

What is a ‘Cool Roof’?

A cool roof is one that has been coated in a special substance so as to protect it from the sun’s heat. They come in a range of materials, from ceramic tiles to metal panels. These substances may seem similar to paint at first glance, but they are thicker and more durable, and can manage heat in a special way.  Titanium dioxide is one compound that helps them do this, both by giving the roofs their colour and also by preventing the build-up of dirt. They don’t only have to be white though, they can be a range of colours. Cool roofs have the dual effect of better reflecting the sun’s rays away, and retaining less heat than their regular counterparts.

What are the benefits?

Cool roofed houses stay more comfortable without the need for energy draining appliances. The difference in temperature between cool roofed houses and their normal counterparts can be a staggering 38°C! By using less energy you reduce your carbon footprint, meaning your house is better for the planet. It can also save you big money as your energy bill sheds the cost of keeping the air conditioning on all summer. Finally, because they retain less heat, cool roofs reduce the ‘heat island effect’ that can happen in cities. This is where closely packed buildings radiate heat and cause temperatures to rise above that of the surrounding countryside.

Can I get one?

The diversity of options for cool roofs means there is a solution for just about everyone out there. What is more, as governments focus more on reducing how much energy we use, there is an increasing amount of financial support which can make choosing a cool roof an easy decision. Cool roofs are just one amazing way that new uses for materials can make a huge change in the way we live our lives, and titanium dioxide is part of that solution.  


How a coating from the future makes your house and car look awesome

It can enhance any colour. It reflects light better than diamond. Its opacity and brilliance can be optimized at particle level to deliver hiding power, tone and brilliance. It helps bridges, oil rigs, cars, planes and space shuttles withstand the most extreme elements and environments.  It is, it is…

Titanium dioxide.

The name itself sounds futuristic, and in a way it is: in an age where it is still difficult to have one's nail polish to withstand a full week of typing on a computer keyboard,one cannot help but be amazed that plane decoration like this one can withstand going back and forth around the world at extreme temperatures and speed. Well, to this we can say: thank you titanium dioxide coatings.

White is the colour of the rainbow

Fact: the most widely used pigment in paints is the white pigment. This would almost seem counterintuitive, but there is a good reason for it: white helps scattering the light better than any other colour, and for this reason it means high clarity and brightness of colours. So it does not only make it white, it also makes all the colours of the rainbow more vibrant. And even some more.

The go-to pigment for this is titanium dioxide, because it reflects light even better than diamond and it is able at the same time to make colours more opaque. This is why it is widely used for a wide variety of paints and coatings for pretty much any sort of use: from bridges to automotive and aerospace, to the paint you use in your living room.

Achilles without the heel

Do you know the story about how Achilles got his strength? Legend has it that when he was a child his mother immersed him in the river Styx and in doing so gave him immortality. However, she forgot to cover his left heel and in doing so left him with a weak spot. The rest, as they say, is history.

We think that coating things with titanium dioxide offers the same qualities which the river Styx gave to Achilles all those years ago: incredible protection and durability. Cars, planes and even the walls of your home can be coated with the substance and be transformed from zero to hero. Dirt, fingerprints, rain, sun and more are all no match for titanium dioxide and its incredible properties.


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