Success Story: CORNET project SurfParquet
Innovative coating makes parquet floors as naturally grown and sophisticated material more resistant and thus more competitive against laminates
If you would like to choose a floor covering today, you are spoiled for choice: parquet made of wood has the advantage of being a naturally grown raw material with a “feel-good effect”. However, competing products, such as laminates, vinyl, and stone flooring, which are often imported from Southeast Asia, have caught up in recent years: due to progress in digital printing and manufacturing technology, laypeople can now hardly distinguish these materials from natural wood.
The predominantly small and medium-sized manufacturers of wood flooring in Germany and Austria, which operate mainly regionally, are preparing for this competition with sophisticated products: parquet surface design with natural haptic and visual properties. Therefore, surface properties such as structuring and slip resistance as well as resistance of wood against humidity, building materials, and cleaning agents have to be considered together with concepts for cleaning and restoration.
Resistant surfaces are necessary
This is the challenge where the CORNET project “SurfParquet” comes in: it makes wooden floors more resistant to wear and tear. The focus was set on parquet floors with distinctive surface features including branches and shakes, as these are becoming increasingly popular and make high demands on the coating. The aim of the Austrian-German collaboration project is to develop structured, non-slip, and chemically resistant surfaces for parquets. Coatings have been developed which protect the attractive natural wood structure and at the same time preserve the natural appearance of the wood.
Focus on innovative coating
The project team first examined the coating process of the parquet, starting with pre-treatment of the wood surface by grinding, sanding, brushing, 3D planing, or design polishing. The actual coating process was analysed with regard to its application parameters. Furthermore, the formulation of various coatings such as oils, waxes or lacquers as well as structural additives such as acrylic resin systems was analysed. Based on the analysis results, optimised models of designing the surface structure of real wood were developed. In addition, innovative coatings have been developed that distribute evenly despite joints and make the natural material more resistant.
Analysis of damage events
Parquet is often discoloured and deformed in the construction phase but also during use and cleaning. The project team has examined the causes for these recurring damage events on parquet.
Under defined climatic conditions in the laboratory, the parquets were brought into contact with relevant cleaners and aggressive materials such as screeds, parquet adhesives, dust, or ammonia. The effects of these substances on parquet were analysed and documented in order to identify causes of damage and weak points. Based on the analysis results, a technical recommendation paper will be prepared, that will help floorers and construction coordinators to avoid damage to parquet flooring.
Wood is becoming more competitive again
The results produced by the project team benefit manufacturers of wooden flooring elements and parquet, because improved properties of parquet floors increase their competitiveness over laminates. Coating companies benefit from extensive process knowledge they will use to streamline their processes, as well as from innovative coatings. Companies that lay parquet flooring can avoid risks in the future and thus work more effectively. Thanks to the CORNET project “SurfParquet” the conditions are being created for more people in future to decide in favour of parquet flooring from the natural raw material wood.
Project duration: 01.11.17 – 31.10.19
Contact person: Dipl.-Math. Mathias Rehm, Trägerverein Institut für Holztechnologie Dresden e.V., e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants from Germany
TIHD – Trägerverein des Instituts für Holztechnologie Dresden e.V. (Coordinating Association)
IHD – Institut für Holztechnologie Dresden gemeinnützige GmbH (Research Performer)
Participants from Austria
FV Holzindustrie/Association of the Austrian Wood Industries (Association)
HFA – Holzforschung Austria (Research Performer)
More information about the project on: https://www.surfparquet.eu/
Pictures: © Holzforschung Austria, Katja Täubert / AiF F·T·K GmbH, CORNET / AiF F·T·K GmbH