The world market for semi-transparent stain for wood protection is growing at a faster rate than paint and decorative products in general.
Worldwide demand has risen for high performance wood protection finishes. The Japanese and European communities, who have used wood in their houses for centuries, are discarding their own traditional products for higher technology wood stains.
Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. has invested heavily in the research and development of LIFELINE ULTRA-1 stain, which we believe is necessary to gain world leadership in wood protection. Log home finishes are traditionally semi-transparent stains because the natural look and feel of the logs is of paramount concern to the customer. Opaque paint is unacceptable as it hides the natural beauty of the logs, traditional alkyd (oil based) stains do not hold up under weathering conditions, have a relatively short lifespan, and tend to make the wood look “washed out” and dull.
Newer water borne polymer based stains offer some improvement and afford a better look. The challenge therefore is to maximize both durability and appearance. This is what has led Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. to develop a new technology of semi-transparent wood stains.
WOOD PROTECTION – THE BARE FACT
The unique beauty of natural wood provides a special value in log homes. But once the tree is cut and bark is removed, the logs urgently need a new form of protection. All wood, particularly unprotected wood, is greatly affected by the environment. Protection from moisture and fungi is required, but also wood must be protected from degradation from prolonged exposure to Ultra Violet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Ultraviolet light striking the wood surface provides energy for a reaction with the lignin in wood that decomposes the surface, which leads to the destruction of the cell structure. This greatly increases the absorption of water, which in turn leads to graying of the wood surface, cracking and other damage. High altitudes, low cloud cover, and direct sunlight accelerate the damage to the wood surface.
The result is degradation of the wood under the coating. The combination of the stain itself weathering and the photochemical reaction of the UV and lignin of the wood degrading the wood surface lead to finish failure. When the finish fails, moisture can enter the logs, providing a host for mildew, fungus, etc.
Wood surfaces can be stabilized against degradation using a variety of techniques. With opaque coating such as paint provides maximum protection but is unsuitable for log home applications as it completely hides the natural beauty of the logs. Typical fillers such as carbon black and zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, are widely used for plastics and coatings and can also act as U.V. blockers. Effective use levels, however, result in opaque systems (Paint).
INTRODUCING LIFELINE ULTRA-1.
EFFECT OF PARTICLE SIZE.
What is so special about LIFELINE ULTRA-1 stain? The key to designing a high-performance semi-transparent stain is in film thickness and concentration levels and particle size of the pigment. Typical iron oxide pigments have a particle size of .15 um; new transparent iron oxides have a particle size of .01 um. Transparent iron oxides are unique iron oxide pigments offering greater transparency plus outstanding permanency when compared to regular iron oxides.
As with most pigments, the efficiency of U.V. screening and transparency as related to film clarity, is most dependent on the dispersion of the pigment within the coating system. When these pigment particles are imbedded in a film, the larger sizes cannot effectively block the damaging UV rays. The much smaller particle size available in the transparent iron oxides allow much heavier loading of the pigment in the film and provides many more layers of pigment particles needed to block the UV. The particle size and shape effectively block the damaging UV rays, but allow the visible wavelength to pass through, letting the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.
The polymer technology utilized to support the pigment particles must offer increased film thickness, and still allow the film to “breathe”. (This film thickness is the reason oil based stains are not able to take full advantage of this technology – the oil penetrates into the wood, leaving no film to support the pigment). This combination of thicker film and ultra fine pigment particles provides a true semi-transparent stain that provides maximum UV blocking and gives the wood a beautiful “furniture” grade finish that truly DISTINGUISHES the logs. In addition, the advanced polymer film is water-borne so there is no odor or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and clean up is with ordinary soap and water.
Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. is very proud to announce this new generation, high-performance acrylic log home finish that combines a state-of-the-art polymer film, transparent iron-oxide pigments, and specialized fungus and mold inhibitors for outstanding beauty and protection in one of the most durable semi-transparent wood finishes in the world.