UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Search for Durable Exterior Clear Coatings for Wood Evans, Philip D.; Haase, Jonathan G.; Seman, A. Shakri B.M.; Kiguchi, Makoto


The goal of a durable exterior clear coating has eluded generations of coatings technologists, despite long-standing desire amongst the public for such a coating. The journey towards this goal initially focused on modifications to coating formulation, but took a completely different direction when it was found that a UV-transparent silicone clear coating on wood modified with chromic acid met consumer expectations of coating durability. This finding sparked world-wide interest in wood pre-treatments as a way of enhancing the durability of clear coatings. This interest initially focused on transition metal compounds, but has now shifted in the direction of organic and inorganic photostabilizers or even more drastic pre-treatments. Pre-treatments that dimensionally stabilize wood, protect it from microbial degradation and photostabilize lignin, when combined with flexible, photostable, coatings provide the next way-stop on the journey towards achieving the goal of durable exterior clear coatings for wood. This paper reviews this journey, drawing upon our research and that of other groups who have focused on this elusive goal.

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