Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 22

SPONSORED CONTENT

Ask the

EXPERT

Planes, Stains,
and Automobiles
How OEMs are conquering
stain protection with lacquers
on vinyl upholstery

S
John Russell
VICE PRESIDENT AND
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR,
APV ENGINEERED
COATINGS

John Russell has
25 years of expertise
in the chemical and
coatings industry.
He is highly specialized
in the formulation of
advanced chemistries
for flexible vinyl,
films and textiles.
Throughout his career,
John has successfully
commercialized newto-market formulations
with properties such as
anti-graffiti, hydrophobic
and hydrophilic
functionality and
superior weathering
characteristics.

0320RV_p1-23.indd 22

tain resistance on flexible vinyl substrates
is a daily topic in the laboratory at APV
Engineered Coatings. The type of stain
resistance required varies by market and
end use. APV takes a customized approach
to develop primer and topcoat lacquer
systems that provide our customers with the
performance properties they desire. Airplane
upholstery, automotive seating and masstransit fabrics are challenged with many
unforgiving stains (think foods like coffee,
mustard and ketchup to chemicals like
cleaners, permanent marker and blue jean
dye), challenging the longevity of the fabric
in everyday use.

The substrate-to-lacquer relationship
Whether cast or calendered, all flexible
vinyl products are not the same. They will
vary in plasticizer type and concentration,
pigmentation, fire retardants and heat
stabilizers used in the make-up. The most
important of these differences with regard
to stain resistance is the type(s) and amount
of plasticizer used in the manufacturing
process. Plasticizers will migrate slowly out
of the vinyl, which will become less flexible,
changing the haptic (feel) of the fabric and,
most importantly, providing a pathway for
stains to penetrate back into the topcoat and
cause permanent stains in the fabric. Materials
research and engineering are critical for
achieving the equilibrium between substrate
and lacquer performance.

Close-up of denim dye stain on PVC automotive
upholstery. Photo: APVĀ® Engineered Coatings.

Testing stain performance
How do you know how well a lacquer chemistry
on flexible PVC performs against stains? Stain
resistance can be tested in a variety of industrystandard and rudimentary ways to identify
effectiveness of the finish. It's important to
understand its initial effectiveness as well as
lifecycle performance prior to commercializing
a lacquer chemistry. It's also important to test
the key stains the upholstery will undergo
when in use.
The automotive OEMs have created their
own test methods to evaluate a lacquer system's
effectiveness in preventing the ingress of denim
stains to the fabric. Some tests use dry denim
and some use wet (water) denim, and then
evaluate the color change on the fabric. ASTM
D4966-98 Martindale Abrasion Test is just one
example of this type of stain test.

Driven by performance
The industrial fabrics industry has consistently
evolved into a performance-driven market
where the lifecycle of commodity vinyl is being
challenged and functional ingredients are
coming under increased regulatory scrutiny.
A laboratory meeting about planes, trains
and automobiles isn't just a movie reference
at APV Engineered Coatings' Akron, Ohio,
manufacturing facility. The technical team is
always developing new approaches for novel
and complex lacquer chemistries that work
with the vinyl to protect against some of the
harshest stains in the environment.

2/12/20 2:46 PM



Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 10
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 11
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 14
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2020 - 27
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