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Rennerlab researchers in 2017

One out of five is a chemical researcher

Renner Italia’s Research and Development department is the place of scientific research and technological ambition.

Along with the Italian academic world and the most important International research institutes (Cnr-Ismar, Atlas, Catas), our 46 chemists develop everyday many projects with the aim to formulate coatings that go beyond market expectations.

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Renner Italia’s average turnover invested in research programs every year

Renner Italia’s chemists work along with customers from furniture and door and window industries, as well as with the most qualified producers of professional wood coating machinery.

Renner Italia’s researchers analyse and test innovative products together with the main actors of wood production chain, especially in the complex field of water-based and UV drying coatings.

Polymer

A polymer (from Greek “many parts”) is a large molecule, or macromolecule, composed of many repeated subunits. In the field of coatings, resin is synonym for polymer. Simplifying the question: the polymer is for the coating what the skeleton is for the human body.

Our coatings, our polymers,
“tailored chemistry”

Inside Rennerlab, our polymeric materials’ research Laboratory ensures high quality and reliability for our customers.

Into this “laboratory in the laboratory”, we formulate resins (or chemical binders) which are owned and licenced to Renner Italia.

The company makes these research activities for every customer demanding customised coatings, therefore, based on special polymers.

Hi-tech research factory

Our chemists can dispose of the most modern analytical instruments for resins formulation and coating products.

Hi-tech research factory

Our chemists can dispose of the most modern analytical instruments for resins formulation and coating products.

Synthesis reactors for water and solvent-based formulations

Our analysis and synthesis laboratory, thanks to these technologically advanced instruments, realises solvent and emulsion resins. In fact, inside Renner Italia we project and realise polymers which fit our customers’ needs. This activity makes us independent from big producers and allows us to guarantee continuity to our clients, even if those producers cease their productions.

Minimum film forming temperature (MFFT)

MFFT is the lowest temperature at which a polymer, a watery polymeric dispersion or a coating can coalesce in the form of a continuous, homogeneous and transparent polymeric film. This instrument provides important information about the usage at extreme temperatures and the polymer flexibility and thermoelasticity.

Rheometer

Rheology studies on coating systems is essential both for the quality check of products and the development of new formulations. With this rheometer, we can obtain important information about coatings behaviour during every phase: storage in cans, application (with brush, paint roller, spray, airless/airmix guns), drying, thixotropy. The curve of viscosity measured with the rheometer represents the rheological index of that coating.

Gas chromatograph with Flame Ionization detector (GC-FID) and gas chromatograph with thermal conductivity detector (GC-TCD)

These are qualitative and quantitative analysis instruments, able to separate and identifying chemical components inside complex liquid mixtures. They are useful in the analysis of VOC and SVOC raw materials and finished products, both water-based and solvent-based.

Gas chromatograph with mass spectrometer detector (GC-MS) and gas chromatograph with Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (GC-FTIR)

With this machinery we can analyse complex mixtures. Detectors allow the identification of unknown elements. Both instruments are equipped with an autosampler essential for the continuous analysis of different liquid and solid products. Particularly relevant is the analysis of reaction by-products derived from new resins synthesis.

Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR)

It is an instrument for the qualitative analysis of raw materials and finished products. It provides an IR spectrum with information about the chemical structure of a product.

Fourier transform infrared microscope (FT-IR)

With this device it is possible to analyse an applied product or a support throughout inspection and characterisation, using visual and chemical contrast with 1 µm precision. It makes possible to study the application system of water-based and solvent-based coatings. Above all, with this microscope it is possible to prevent and avoid imperfections and external contamination too.

Atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS)

This is a qualitative and quantitative analysis instrument that makes possible the measurement of heavy metals in liquid and solid products. Among its application, it is particularly relevant the analysis of heavy metals in toys, according to UNI EN 71-3 regulation about toys safety. A further step for our coatings safety.

Ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer

The ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer is used to evaluate and compare the filtering power to the sun radiations of clear coatings. The absorption of the electro-magnetic radiations inside the ultraviolet field and in the visible light spectrum (between 10 and 780 nm) produces an electron excitation. The wavelength scan is set between 440 and 280 nm and, according to Lambert Beer’s law, putting in relation the absorbance to the solution concentration. In this way, it is possible to verify the efficacy of the ultraviolet-visible radiation absorbed by the coating surface analysed and its ability to protect wood from radiation.

Natural weathering field

Inside Renner Italia’s plant in Minerbio (Bologna) we have a natural weathering field. It is a research place at our researchers’ disposal, where our partners can verify, over the time, the performances of their wood manufactures in collaboration with our laboratory.
In this precious space, the performances of coatings stressed by outdoor degradation agents are measured.
This exposition completes the results of the accelerated weathering tests and makes it possible the visual check of the behaviour of the coatings stressed by weather agents.
In the natural weathering field, coated wood samples are exposed at angles of 45 and 30 degrees. The simple observation, at regular intervals, makes possible the identification of eventual changes of the coating film.
Among the parameters that can be checked:

decolouration or colour turning
chalking or fading
cracking or fissuration
blistering and brilliance losing or increase

2 Q-SUN Accelerated weathering tester with xenon lamps

The accelerated weathering test Q-SUN, thanks to special xenon lamps, reproduces on the coating film the classic sun damages.
In order to simulate the weathering, Q-SUN tests the coated samples with xenon lamp radiations and with rain (throughout alternate cycles), simulating, in a few weeks, damages that occur in months or years of outdoor exposition. With Q-SUN, it is possible to test the resistance to light of any tint normally exposed indoor.

3 Q-UV Accelerated weathering tester with fluorescent lamps

The accelerated weathering tester, thanks to special fluorescent UV lamps, reproduces on the coating film the classic damages caused by UV refraction.
In order to simulate the weathering, Q-UV tests the coated samples with UV lamp radiations, with rain and to high temperature condensation (throughout alternate cycles), simulating, in a few weeks, damages that occur in months or years of outdoor exposition.

3 Degradation wheels Accelerated weathering tester

The accelerated weathering tester DEGRADATION WHEEL thanks to special lamps, reproduces on the coating film the classic damages caused by sunlight.
In order to simulate the weathering, the degradation wheel tests the coated samples with lamp radiations and with rain (throughout alternate cycles), simulating, in a few weeks, damages that occur in months or years of outdoor exposition.

Thermographic infrared digital camera

The infrared thermographic camera is an instrument able to reveal the infrared or heat energy emanated by an object and to convert it in a thermal image on a display. In this way, it is possible to monitor the thermal trend and also to identify and evaluate the contingent damages linked to heat.

Radiometer

It is an instrument used to measure the electromagnetic flux emanated by a source, in our case UV lamps. These ones are used in radical photo-cross-linking
of coating systems studied with the aim to rapidly dry with under an electromagnetic radiation (250-460 nm) at a high energy (300-900 mJ/cm2).

Datarecorder

È un dispositivo che impieghiamo per misurare tre importanti parametri del processo di essiccazione: temperatura dei forni; umidità relativa dell’aria dei forni; velocità della linea. Lo strumento traccia un profilo della linea di essicazione del cliente e consente al laboratorio di formulare articoli su misura.

Ultrasonic gauge for the measurement of dry film thickness

The ultrasonic gauge for the measurement of dry film thickness measures the quantity of coating applied on a sample once dried. It is an ultrasonic instrument: its operating principles are based on magnetic induction.

Gauge for the measurement of surface tension, contact angle and free energy

This instrument defines the surface characteristics in liquid and solid elements and, consequently, its wettability properties. In order to establish the wettability of each surface and improve the coatings, it is possible to measure an equilibrium contact angle or a dynamic contact angle between the liquid element (coating) and the solid element (wood, glass, plastic). Through hanging-drop technology, it is possible to determine the surface tension of the liquid elements (coatings). It is possible to measure the solid surface free energy, envisaging their wettability in every position (around the pore, inside the pore, with the grain).

Surface tension measurement liquids

Their used to measure in a fast and easy way the surface tension of raw, treated or coated materials, such as metal, glass, plastic, wood, etc…The ink for the test is put on the surface. If the edges of the brush strokes are in equilibrium for 2 seconds, the surface has a good wettability. If the brush strokes transform in drops, it is necessary to try this test with an ink in a lower shade. The surface tension of the material corresponds to the value of the ink that has wetted the surface for at list 2 seconds.

Digital microscope

This instrument can enlarge by 50 and 100 a coating surface in order to highlight impurities or blemishes (alien particles, blisters, contaminations). It is used during coating systems checks in order to control the film thickness (measurable in micron), the number of layers and the defectiveness of the surface.

Taber Test

Taber test is a device used by international institutions for certifications in order to classify the resistance to abrasions according to Italian and European regulation UNI 9115 and UNI EN 15185-2011 (resistance of coated surfaces and floors to wear and tear).
Taber test simulates the foot traffic throughout abrasion wheels that induce coating degradation. The number of rotations necessary to damage the coating film reveals an index of superficial treatment quality.

Abrasion tester

It simulates the effects of a continuous contact of a material (or an object) with the surface of a coated floor. The device reproduces the polishing effects caused by packaging materials (during the transportation) or by materials used everyday (during their normal usage). With the Abrasion tester it is possible to improve coated surfaces resistance, comparing different samples at the same time.

Sclerometer: an adjustable instrument to measure the scratch hardness of materials

Thanks to this test we can evaluate the superficial hardness of the coating film applied on any surface (glass, wood, plastic, metal). The hardness level measured is expressed in Newton units (N).

Fire testing for fire-resistant coatings

It is an instrument used to measure the flames propagation in a radiant heat system. It is possible to establish the flame propagation on the surface of coating materials, in order to evaluate the level of resistance to fire of a coating. With this instrument, we can make tests on a horizontal level (wood floor coatings), on a vertical one and on the ceiling.