PTFE-Free Wax Additives Deliver PTFE-Like Performance in Wood Coatings

Posted by Performance Coatings Team on 05/07/2024

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) has been widely used for decades in coatings because of its extremely low surface tension, which delivers a variety of desirable properties. In wood coatings, it provides enhanced surface protection; scratch, mar and abrasion resistance; and reduced coefficient of friction (CoF).

PTFE faces mounting pressure from regulators and legislators because of concerns about health hazards of the by-products that can be generated when PTFE is produced – particularly PFAS components like perfluoro octanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro-octane sulfonic acid (PFOS).

Because PTFE is a unique chemical with a unique set of properties, it’s not possible to mimic the exact chemistry when trying to create PTFE-free additives. The goal is to use raw materials that deliver similar properties to PTFE without the potential regulatory issues or possible hazards of PTFE, as well as to develop additives designed for particular applications and their specific needs.

PTFE Replacements

PTFE-free wax additives have proven themselves to be worthy replacements across a variety of applications, including in wood coatings where they address critical surface protection, smoothness and modification requirements.

Lubrizol has been developing PTFE-free alternative wax additives since concerns around PTFE began to surface several years ago. Relying on extensive experience in the coatings industry to develop these alternative additives, Lubrizol now offers a number of PTFE-alternative technologies available in micronized and dispersed forms of surface modifying additives under the Lanco™ Wax Additives brand.

In testing and real-world use, commercially available Lanco™ PTFE-free wax additives for wood coatings have shown that they are viable alternatives when it comes to gloss and slip, scratch resistance and abrasion resistance. A Lanco™ PTFE-free wax additive that is in development also shows promising results. The content of the wax additive in the coating is 1% based on total formulation weight. Reference sample contains PTFE wax (PTFE-based) and used as a benchmark (reference). The control is a coating formulation without a wax. The coating is a water-based acrylic/polyurethane dispersion.

Gloss and Slip

Testing demonstrated that both gloss and the CoF/slip with PTFE-free wax additives is on par with the PTFE-based additive for both commercially available Lanco™ waxes and a new Lanco wax that’s in development.




Scratch Resistance

Scratch resistance was measured using a scale rating of 0 to 10, with 0 being complete scratch (0=very poor) and 10 is no scratch (10=excellent). As expected, the control coating without wax performed poorly. The two formulations with PTFE-free wax additives perform similarly to the formulation with PTFE-based additives, all showing high scratch resistance.


Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion resistance was measured using the Taber Abrasion Test. The formulations containing PTFE-free wax additives demonstrated high abrasion resistance, with PTFE-free and PTFE-based wax additives being comparable.


Lubrizol’s Solutions

Lubrizol has significant experience in developing additives for wood coating applications. The newest options in PTFE-free wax additives under the Lanco™ name deliver highly effective surface protection with excellent slip reduction, scratch resistance and abrasion resistance similar to PTFE-containing additives. More products are currently under development to meet specific customer needs and to provide additives for a wider range of applications that deliver similar properties to PTFE-containing additives.

Contact us to learn more about our PTFE-free wax additives for wood coatings.


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