Eastman cellulose esters offer furniture lacquer suppliers and furniture manufacturers increased productivity and clear, uniform films. They can be formulated into coatings that possess good durability, stain resistance, plasticizer migration resistance, depth of finish, color, color stability, excellent sprayability and flow out, yellowing resistance, and good film clarity. Cellulose esters enable early hardness development, which allows products to be sanded earlier and packaged sooner without fear of blocking. Eastman CAB 553-0.4 and 551-0.2 are widely used in these applications. One of the most valued properties of Eastman CAB is its resistance to yellowing, even when exposed to ultraviolet light. The property is very important when producing wood coatings that will be exposed to sunlight, applied to light-colored wood, or used in white pigmented systems. Cellulose esters are used in various industrial wood coating technologies, including:
| Type of wood finish||
Typical use level, solids, wt%||
Suggested Eastman cellulose|
ester for initial screening
High- solids cross-linked coatings||
The Eastman CAB 381 series is recommended for high-quality 2K polyurethane furniture finishes that exhibit outstanding toughness and chemical resistance. An exceptional feature of these CAB-containing systems in combination with an aliphatic isocyanate system is their resistance to yellowing.
The Eastman CAB 551 series is recommended for improved adhesion and appearance. Eastman CAB-551-0.01 reduces or eliminates common surface defects observed in wood coatings, leading to the higher gloss levels the market demands. It also ensures that the coating remains smooth over the substrate after application and during curing. Eastman CAB-551-0.01 can remedy defects such as orange peel, fish eyes, craters, flooding, floating, crawling, and reticulation.
The Eastman CAB 551 series and Solus 2100 are recommended for UV-cured finishes. They improve the flow, leveling, and drying rates of UV-cured finishes. Incorporating 1%-5% Eastman CAB may improve drying rate, adhesion, and flow out. It has been observed that Eastman CAB in small amounts of <1% reduces penetration into porous substrates. Eastman CAB can also help formulators reduce film shrinkage that has been hypothesized to cause adhesion failures. The Eastman CAB 551 series is soluble in styrene and many acrylate oligomers commonly used in UV-cured coatings. Besides Eastman CAB, Solus 2100 has also shown excellent solubility.
Nitrocellulose can be used as a raw material to produce several types of coatings and inks, but it is a difficult material to handle and store. It is a considerable fire hazard because it ignites easily and burns fiercely, emitting large quantities of heat and fumes. Improper storage of nitrocellulose increases the risk of explosion.
In recent years, articles made purely from nitrocellulose, such as ping-pong balls and eyeglass frames, have come under the spotlight due to the ease with which they burn when they come into contact with an ignition source. More recently, coated articles that contain nitrocellulose paints and varnishes have received attention. Legislation such as the Canadian Toys Regulation (SOR/2011-17) bans the use of nitrocellulose for some coatings. The regulation states: “A toy, other than a ping-pong ball, must not be made of or impregnated with celluloid or cellulose nitrate.” According to the regulation, a toy refers to a product that is intended for use by a child in learning or play. In applications where formulators and manufacturers want to avoid nitrocellulose due to safety or regulatory concerns, cellulose esters may be an appropriate alternative.