CM, ITALY - The pressure is on manufacturers of wooden frames and shutters to come up with tangible innovations in order to make an impact on a market in which the range of wood alternatives on offer is growing year-by-year. This requirement has led the ICA laboratories to develop an all-new system of water-based colors and effects that have been specifically designed for wooden door frames, window frames and shutters.

In terms of the aesthetic aspect of the finish, in the frames and shutters sector, there is an ever-increasing requirement to stay in step with the latest trends in interior design, above all because windows are now considered to be an integral part of the overall scheme. This challenge provided the stimulus for a typically creative ICA solution: the aim was to maximize the protective action by developing unique colors and proposing attractive combinations for the internal part of the frame or shutter and the external part, which is of course the part exposed to atmospheric agents.

The development by the ICA R&D laboratories of this innovative color system for wooden frames and shutters was carried out on various traditional wood species and on Accoya.

The brand-new “natural” colors of the Arborea Natural Matter water-based impregnating agents and the wide range of pastel shades of the Arborea Pastel water-based impregnating agents, together with the Arborea Metal line of water-based metallic top coats and the classic water-based lacquered top coats, collectively compose the combination system designed by ICA to allow for the creation of two-tone effects on wooden windows. These tone-on-tone or contrasting combinations make it possible for the internal part of the window to be aligned with the nuances of the interior design scheme, while the external part ensures a level of durability of the wood that is comparable, if not indeed superior, to that of other materials.

In the context of the Arborea Sun project (arboreasun.com), ICA analyzed the durability of its coating cycles on various wood species, including Accoya. This type of wood is subject to a chemical process (acetylation), which modifies its structure, thus influencing its physical and mechanical characteristics. This process is not a treatment – rather, it is a cellular modification of the wood, which significantly increases its dimensional stability and durability, without releasing any toxic chemicals into the air or into the ground.

The particular features of Accoya, in terms of the exterior durability of the coating film (as confirmed by the stringent tests carried out by ICA and by specialist external laboratories), make it suitable for the construction of windows and in particular of shutters, which are subject to a great deal of contact with atmospheric agents. In both cases, the use of the ICA color system makes it possible to achieve an infinite number of aesthetic/chromatic combinations.

Cleaning and refreshing operations have also been simplified and reduced to a minimum thanks to specific products such as ICA's Easy Coat, a water-based conditioner for the ordinary cleaning of frames and shutters, which prevents the degradation of the coating film and maintains intact the natural beauty of the wood.

In this way, wooden frames and shutters can regain their prominence in all of those markets where there is a twin focus on both the look and the quality of the product. The use of new, durable wood species such as Accoya, in combination with customized coating cycles, allows manufacturers of frames and shutters to offer even longer guarantees on durability.

ICA North America will be exhibiting its products at IWF 2014 at Booth 2528.

About ICA Group:

ICA Group, based in the central Italian city of Civitanova Marche (in the province of Macerata) is a leading European name in the manufacture and marketing of special coatings for wood. In 2013, through its 3 manufacturing plants – two of which are located in Civitanova Marche, with the third being situated in Romano D’Ezzelino (in the Veneto region) - posted a turnover of €104 million, 40% of which was generated through export markets.

ICA Group's products are sold in more than 40 countries to more than 8,000 clients, and stand out for their quality, level of innovation and profound commitment to reducing environmental impact.

For the three-year period 2011-2013, the company has set aside an investment of €9.5 million for growth, research and product innovation. Currently, 46 professional researchers are based at the central laboratory in Civitanova Marche, with another 14 based at the R&D center in Romano d'Ezzelino, all of whom are working to develop new products that respect the environment and are geared towards enriching and prolonging the life of treated wood.

In 1995, the European Community awarded ICA's range of water-based bicomponent coatings its LIFE mark in official recognition of the group's “sustainable, long-term development”. ICA's bicomponent coatings were the only products in the coating products sector to receive this award.

Source: ICA Group

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