The strategic partnership between BASF – The Chemical Company – and Glunz AG, the German subsidiary of Portuguese wood based panels manufacturer Sonae Indústria, is bearing fruit: the process for producing colored MDF, which BASF and Glunz have developed and brought to market in tandem, has been nominated as a finalist competing for the Innovation Award of the German Economy. Under the patronage of Germany's Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, the annual award recognizes the country's most significant innovations. The awards will be presented at a gala event to be held on January 20 in Frankfurt's Old Opera House.
BASF's special colorants and processing materials enable the production of a broad palette of through-colored medium density fiberboards (MDF), ranging from deep black and vibrant colors to light gray and, more recently, also to light-colored MDF. "This nomination for the Innovation Award of the German Economy illustrates that the strategic partnership between BASF and Glunz, and the joint development work that has taken place over several years, has paid off for both parties," stated Juliane Krüsemann, BASF's project manager. While BASF was optimizing the coloring process as well as developing suitable colors and process chemicals, Glunz was scaling up the process for production.
The material can be bought via Glunz AG under the TOPAN® colour brand. "As a result of the joint marketing activities undertaken by Glunz and BASF, TOPAN® colour is now being sold successfully throughout Europe. BASF and Glunz are continuing to work very hard to bring further innovations to market. The innovation pipeline includes pale MDF, which is to be achieved by adding another stage to the production procedure. This will be another milestone," explained Mike Richter, Glunz's MDF Product Manager.
The chemistry is right – and brightly colored MDF is the result
The manufacture of vivid shades of lightfast MDF is based on specially formulated colorants and process expertise. If the surface of the board is subsequently sanded, the pale fiber tips (fiber cores) will reappear and give the board its characteristic, bright effect, which can be intensified using clear varnish or wax.
The product's properties make the material particularly useful for shops and trade fairs, interior design and furniture design. Varnishing is limited to the surface finish, edges do not need to be raised and there is no need for extra pickling of deep millings. Rounded shapes, too, can be mitered. TOPAN® colour is also particularly well-suited to toy manufacturing, as it complies with European standards.
The material is so far being offered in seven lightfast colors - red, yellow, green, blue, orange, brown and black. Just like grown wood, TOPAN® colour ages in style – because the colorant runs through the material, surface damage remains almost invisible.