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Rennerlab researchers in 2024

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 76 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.

Synthesis
Formulation
Degradation
Process
Properties
Fire-resistance
Reattori sintesi resine acqua e solvente
Determinatore della temperatura minima di filmazione
Reometro
Gascromatografo (GC-FID)
Gascromatografo (GC/MS)
Spettrofotometro (FT-IR)
Microscopio con spettrofotometro
Spettrofotometro (AAS)
Spettrofotometro UV-Visibile
Campo di invecchiamento naturale
2 Q-SUN Test d’invecchiamento accelerato
3 Q-UV Test d’invecchiamento accelerato
3 Ruote di degradazione artificiale
Termocamera digitale a infrarossi
Radiometro
Datarecorder
Misuratore spessore film secco a ultrasuoni
Misuratore di tensione superficiale
Liquidi per la misurazione della tensione superficiale
Microscopio digitale
Taber Test
Abrasimetro
Sclerometro
Fire testing machine

Hi-tech research factory

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

Our analysis and synthesis laboratory produces emulsion and solvent resins using these sophisticated instruments. At Renner Italia, we independently design and manufacture polymers specifically adapted to our customers’ needs. This activity frees us from large manufacturers and, above all, allows us to provide continuity for our customers, even in the case of manufacturers ceasing production.

MFFT is the lowest temperature at which a polymer, polymeric water dispersion or a coating turns into the form of a continuous, homogeneous and transparent polymeric film. This instrument provides important information on the use at extreme temperatures, flexibility and thermoplasticity of the polymer.

The study of the rheology of coating systems is necessary for both product quality control and the development of new formulations. With the rheometer, we are able to obtain important information about the behaviour of a coating in all its phases: stability during storage in the can, flow behaviour during application (brush, roller, spray, airless/airmix), drying, thixotropy. The viscosity curve of a coating obtained with a rheometer is in fact its rheological fingerprint.

These are qualitative and quantitative analysis instruments, able to separate and identify the chemical components of complex liquid mixtures. They are used for the examination of the volatile and semi-volatile component of raw materials and finished products, both water- and solvent-based.

Complex mixtures are analysed with these machines. The detectors allow the identification of unknown components. The two instruments are equipped with an autosampler that is indispensable for different analyses of products in liquid and gas phase, in continuous. Of particular relevance is the study of reaction by-products in the synthesis of new resins.

It is an instrument for the qualitative analysis of raw materials and finished products. It provides an IR spectrum that can give information on the chemical structure of product components.

It allows the study of an applied product or substrate by inspection and characterisation, using both visual and chemical contrasts with an accuracy of 10 µm. It allows us to study application systems of both water- and solvent-based coatings; but above all, through this microscope, we can prevent and avoid imperfections and external pollution problems.

It is an instrument capable of performing both qualitative and quantitative analysis of heavy metals in both liquid and solid products. Among its applications, of particular relevance is the analysis of heavy metals according to UNI EN 71-3 for toys safety. A further step for the safety of our coatings.

The UV-Visible spectrophotometer enables us to evaluate and compare the solar radiation filtering power of transparent coatings. The absorption of electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet and visible range (between 10 and 780 nm) produces an excitation of electronic nature. We set the analysis as a wavelength scan between 440 and 280 nm and, using Lambert Beer’s law, relate the absorbance to the concentration of the solution. This makes it possible to verify the effectiveness of the absorption of UV-visible radiation by the analysed coating film and thus its ability to protect the wood from radiation.

Within the Minerbio (Bologna) site, the natural ageing field is active. A place of research not only available to our researchers, but also to our most demanding partners who, in collaboration with our laboratory, can verify over time the performance of their wood products. This valuable space tests the performances of coating products when subjected to the degradation agents of the outdoors. This exposure completes the results of accelerated ageing tests and allows to visually verify the actual behaviour of weather-stressed coatings. In the natural ageing field, coated wood samples are exposed at angles of 45 and 30 degrees. The visual observation, at regular intervals, makes possible the identification of eventual changes of the coating film. Among the parameters that can be checked: decolouration or change in colour, chalking or whitening, cracking or fissuration, blistering and lost or increase of glossiness.

Q-SUN artificial accelerated ageing tester reproduces the damage caused by sunlight on coatings by using special lamps containing xenon gas. To simulate ageing due to weathering, Q-SUN subjects coated samples, in alternating systems, to xenon lamp radiation and rain, simulating the damage that occurs over months or years of outdoor exposure in a few weeks. With Q-SUN it is also possible to test the lightfastness of colours normally exposed indoors.

Q-UV artificial accelerated ageing tester reproduces the damage caused by the UV fraction of sunlight on coatings by using fluorescent UV lamps. To simulate ageing due to external weathering, Q-UV subjects the coated samples to UV lamp radiation, rain and condensation at high temperatures in alternating systems, simulating in a few weeks the damage that occurs over months or years of outdoor exposure.

The artificial accelerated ageing tester (degradation wheel) reproduces the damage caused by sunlight on coatings by using special lamps. To simulate ageing due to external weathering, the degradation wheel subjects the coated samples, in alternating systems, to lamp radiation and rain, thus simulating in a few weeks the damage that occurs over months or years of outdoor exposure.

The infrared camera is a camera that can detect the infrared energy, or heat, emitted by an object and convert it into a thermal image on a display, allowing not only to monitor thermal trends but also to identify and assess any heat-related damage. An important application is in the study of the temperatures reached by coloured coatings once exposed outdoors or to understand the heat distribution inside coating drying ovens.

This is a device that we use to measure the flux of electromagnetic radiation emitted by a source, in our case UV lamps: these are used for the radical cross-linking of specially designed systems to dry fast thanks to high-energy (250 – 460 nanometres, nm) electromagnetic radiation (300 – 900 mJ/cm<sup>2</sup>).

It is a device that we use to measure three important parameters of the drying process: oven temperature; oven air relative humidity; and line speed. The instrument profiles the customer’s drying line and allows the laboratory to formulate customised products.

The dry film thickness gauge is used to assess the amount of coating that has been applied to a coated sample once dry. It is an instrument that works with ultrasound, so the measuring principles are those of magnetic induction.

This instrument determines the surface properties of liquids and solids and, consequently, wetting. Both static and dynamic contact angle measurements can be made between the liquid (coating) and the substrate (wood, glass, plastic) to measure the wettability of surfaces and optimise the coating. The surface tension of liquids (paints) can be measured using the pendant drop technique. It is also possible to determine the free energy of solid surfaces and thus predict their wettability at any point (near the pore, in the pore, along the grain).

They are used to quickly and easily measure the surface tension value of raw materials, whether treated or coated with coating films, such as metal, glass, plastic, wood, etc. Test ink is applied to the surface. If the brush stroke margins remain stable for 2 seconds, the surface has good wettability. If, on the other hand, the ink strokes contract, forming a series of droplets, the test must be repeated with the next lower grade of ink. The surface tension of the material corresponds to the value of the test ink that managed to wet the surface for at least 2 seconds.

Instrument used at 50 and 100 x zoom to highlight dirt and defects in coating films (foreign particles, blistering, pollution); used in the verification of coating systems to check applied thicknesses (measurable in microns), number of layers and substrate defects.

It is an instrument for assessing, according to Italian and European standards UNI 9115, UNI EN 15185-2011, the wear resistance of coated surfaces and floors. The Taber Test simulates treading by rubbing (by rolling) abrasive wheels that cause coating consumption. An index of surface treatment quality can be derived from the number of rotations required for the first coating consumption.

It simulates the effects of cyclic contact of a material (or object) with the surface of a coated floor. The instrument reproduces the polishing effects that can occur through contact with packaging materials (during transport) or everyday materials (during normal use). The abrasimeter makes it possible to improve the resistance of coated surfaces by comparing several samples at the same time.

Through this test we can assess the surface hardness of the coating film applied to any substrate (glass, wood, plastic, metal). The degree of hardness measured is expressed in Newtons (N).

It is an instrument for testing flame propagation in the presence of radiant heat. It allows us to determine the flame propagation on the surface of coating materials in order to assess the degree of fire resistance of a coating. The machine allows tests to be carried out on the flat (wood floor coatings), vertical and ceiling.