The use of water-based lacquer kitchen cabinets represents a new frontier for eco-friendly homes and manufacturing environments. Water-based lacquer varnishes were first mentioned as an option for furnitures in the fifties in Northern European countries. Yet, due to scarce research and a lack of environmental standards, that technology did not spread very rapidly at the time. Decades later, thanks to constantly-evolving innovations, water paints have finally started to become more common.
Snaidero’s water-based lacquer kitchens
Snaidero is one of the few companies on the market with more than 50 years of experience in the development of molded lacquer kitchen cabinets in a large array of colors and finishes (matte, high-gloss, metallic, and mica-based). Unique processing techniques and the use of special machines with exclusively hand-operated processes are indispensable in the development of these lacquer cabinet doors.
All of the varnishes used for Snaidero’s kitchens are non-toxic and don’t contain heavy materials, formaldehyde or any of their bi-products. For many years, the company has been using water-based lacquer paints to help reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the atmosphere and improve factory work conditions. The aromatic diluents used in the process have also been dramatically reduced.
The advantages of water-based lacquer varnish
Water-based paints are not just a better choice for the environment; they are also safer for both workers’ and homeowners’ health. Varnishes and paints are responsible for a large portion of air pollution. During the manufacturing process, and for at least two years afterwards, they disperse many tons of volatile organic compounds into the air. Depending on the type of varnishes, a certain amount dissolves into the environment.
Products with water-based lacquer varnish exploit water’s own solvent capacities and they are capable of replacing organic solvents almost completely.
The benefits in terms of pollution reduction in both the atmosphere and at home, are clear when we look at the emission levels (i.e. the varnish volume that is dispersed in the environment). The emissions from water-based paints are lower than 10% of what is produced by solvent-based paints:
- 1 kg of solvent varnish pollutes air with about 600/700 grams of solvent in the form of gas;
- 1 kg of water-based varnish contaminates air with about 60/70 grams of solvent in the form of gas.
The application of water-based varnishes brings an additional environmental benefit through the elimination of the solvent used to wash the application equipment, as only water can be used.
The manufacturing process
The drying of water-based lacquer kitchen cabinets requires two steps:
- Physical water evaporation;
- Mechanical melting (coalescence) of small drops of resin.
This stage of the varnishing cycle, as well as the application of the varnish itself, must take place in environments with a temperature no lower than 15 F and a relative humidity not higher than 60%. If these specific conditions are not met, the drying process slows down, which results into a poor quality film.
With their functional, performance, and aesthetic characteristics equaling those of the more toxic paints, the eco-friendly water-based lacquer varnishes are a no-brainer choice for manufacturers and homeowners alike.