Categories: Industrial wood

Table of contents

Categories: Industrial wood

Table of contents

trees in the forest for sustainable waterborne uv curable industrial wood coatings

A remediation to the accumulation of greenhouse gases

The vison of allnex is in part to embrace the circularity principle. Plants act as little reactors, producing billions of tons of organic matter a year through photosynthesis.

biomass carbon cycle to introduce biomass balance to industrial wood coatings
Figure 1: The circular benefits of biomass carbon compared to fossil resources

Biobased materials offer a unique opportunity for circularity and reduced carbon footprint. allnex is incorporating biogenic carbon into it’s portfolio including radiation curable waterborne products.


allnex introduces UCECOAT® 7999, a leap forward in biobased coatings.

A significant stride towards a greener future in industrial wood coatings. Download the brochure here.

Waterborne UV technology

allnex has been at the forefront of sustainable coating solutions for decades, with a legacy in waterborne, energy-curable, powder and crosslinker technologies that have significantly shaped the industry. Gradually merging these technologies has resulted in even further advancements.

combining radiation UV curing with waterborne technology for sustainable wood coatings

Novel technologies such as energy-curable polyurethane dispersions (UV PUDs) combine the ecological benefits of waterborne products with the robust performance of energy-curable systems.

allnex UCECOAT® range

A sustainability model for UV PUDs

Bringing both high performance and environmental benefits, UV PUDs constitute a fast growing product range in the industrial wood coatings market today. Let’s illustrate the attributes of UV PUDs, from their creation (Composition) over their application and benefits for the consumer (Performance in use) and ultimately their end of life (Lifetime & disposal).

Life cycle analysis of sustainable industrial wood coatings
Figure 2: The three dimensions from life cycle analysis

1: Composition

UV PUDs largely respond to environmental regulations due to their waterborne nature and low level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Novel developments make use of safe raw materials, gradually banning tin catalyst, volatile organic amines and alkoxylated alkyl phenol emulsifiers. They have the potential to use renewable feedstock, which is where our current focus lies.

2: Performance in use

Waterborne UV products demonstrate low viscosity and are easily sprayable. Their minimum film formation temperature (MFFT) is low and does not require the use of additional coalescent materials, which would increase air emissions. They keep the high productivity of instantaneous energy curing supported by new developments in low-energy UV-LED lamps.

3: Lifetime

Products obtained after curing are characterized by a dense (but still flexible) crosslinking network, resulting in superior long-term substrate protection. They can match outdoor applications, where lightfastness and weatherability become essential for durability. In the future, recycled raw materials and biodegradable end products could further reduce their environmental impact.

Biobased polymers in waterborne UV coatings

Biomass, a renewable organic resource from plants and microorganisms, is being increasingly considered to create biobased polymers for high performance wood coatings as a valuable step in moving away from fossil resources.

sourcing of biopolymers and biobased polymers to create biobased coatings
Figure 3: Sourcing and exploitation of biopolymers and biobased polymers

Building on its commitment to sustainability, allnex has advanced its waterborne polyurethane dispersions (UV PUDs) by adding biocarbon into the mix.

waterborne uv curable resins with biobased content from allnex resins


Bio-based energy-curable polyurethane dispersion

Key Features

  • Balance of properties

  • Chemical resistance

  • Hardness

  • Mechanical resistance


  • Industrial wood

  • Decorative

Eco Advantage

  • Tin free

  • MIT free

  • APEO free

  • 22% biocarbon

  • > 500g CO2 savings per kg

Value proposition

  • Immediate high hardness after cure – No oxidative drying
  • Superior performance in clear and white formulations
  • Low minimum film formation temperature – No cosolvent
  • High mechanical and chemical resistance after cure
  • Good colloidal stability and robust formulation/application

Bridging bio-based polymers with biomass balance

Biobased platforms offer opportunities to directly incorporate renewable resources (eg. glycerol). However, not every fossil-based polymer has a biobased alternative. allnex is exploring alternative strategies to enhance the bio content enabling the value chain to further strengthen their environmental claims. One strategy includes the biomass balance approach. A growing number of fossil resources (eg. pentaerythritol) can be sourced under a 3rd party certified Biomass Balance concept.

biomass balance illustration for use in waterborne uv curable coatings for wood

In a biomass balance approach, renewable raw materials can be mixed with fossil resources at the beginning of the production process. The extra amount of allocated biobased material is documented and tracked, so the use of renewable resources is “credited” through a certification process.

The biomass balance approach is used to get a drop-in product replacement with a claim on better carbon and a reduction of overall carbon footprint. This approach maintains the same production processes and quality of the final product. UCECOAT® 7701 BC is a first in a series of new launches by allnex, incorporating the mass balance approach.


A high performance acrylated polyurethane dispersion with a certified level of circa 53% of biogenic carbon.

Download the UCECOAT® 7701 BC brochure to see the highlights and suggested applications.

Consumers buying products made with this method support the transition to a more renewable-resource-based economy. Over time, allnex’s goal is to increase the percentage of renewable resources, moving towards more direct sustainable production methods. If you would like to join us in this journey, or try a free sample of our products, please feel free to contact our experts today.

The future of sustainable coatings

The ongoing development in allnex’s UCECOAT® range stands as testament to our commitment to sustainable coating technologies. They showcase the potential to significantly reduce carbon footprints and enhance the environmental profile of energy-curable polyurethane dispersions.

As the industry continues to evolve, allnex remains at the forefront, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. By investing in these renewable methods, allnex provides a blueprint for the coatings industry at large, marking a pivotal step in the right direction for ecological stewardship and innovation.


Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about allnex’s UCECOAT® UV PUD range: 

Mass balance is a certified manufacturing protocol where fossil and renewable resources are combined at the beginning of the production process for claiming a fixed amount of allocated biocarbon in the finished product.

In our processes, the exact amount of certified raw materials is meticulously documented through credits traceability and the final product obtained can legitimately claim a “better carbon” content (from biocarbon inside and allocated). This biogenic carbon aims to reduce the material carbon footprint.

This practice supports the gradual transition to an economy decreasing reliance on finite fossil resources and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Mass balance provides a true offset of the parent product but with additional sustainable benefits.

Our allnex Mass Balance offerings are 3rd party certified under ISCC PLUS certification.

Biobased polymers offer several key advantages:

  • Environmental Sustainability: They reduce reliance on fossil resources and contribute to a lower carbon footprint.
  • Renewability: Being derived from biomass, they constantly replenish through photosynthesis in comparison with traditional petroleum-based polymers.
  • Performance: Biobased polymers are derived from new chemical platforms. They can therefore surprise us with high performance, for instance in terms of hardness, chemical and mechanical resistance or adhesion.
  • Regulatory Compliance: They are more likely to comply with increasing environmental regulations concerning the compliant usage of sustainable and non-toxic materials for human health and environment.
  • Resource Availability: Ensuring a steady and sustainable supply of biomass materials.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Today they are often more expensive to produce than fossil-based polymers.
  • Performance Equivalence: Matching the properties and durability of traditional polymers.
  • Technological Advancements: Developing new technologies for efficient and cost effective conversion of biomass to polymers.
  • Regulatory Hurdles: Navigating the evolving local regulations regarding biobased materials.

The manufacture of biobased polymers is dependent on the availability and cost of biobased raw materials potentially used in the polymer. It is thus important to follow market trends and create supplier intimacy. Contacts with universities and emerging chemical companies is thus also relevant.

Combining biobased raw materials with biomass balance, in one single process, will become increasingly important.

Finally, there is future potential to use natural biopolymers and primary derivatives as a source of novel and performant products, with an innovation pipeline focused on integrating ‘better carbon’ sources for an even more sustainable product range.

The use of allnex’s biobased UCECOAT® range is likely to grow beyond the industrial wood coatings market to cover substrates like plastics, metal, glass and paper in all the market segments that we serve.

The native presence of biocarbon in our polymer can be measured by using a standard method like ASTM D6866. The value is provided after C14 / C12 isotopic quantification in the product. This includes distinct testing methodologies and a popular method involves the controlled combustion of the test sample into CO2 and its subsequent catalytic transformation into carbon – that is then introduced in a high-energy accelerated mass spectroscopy (AMS) capable of quantifying the two isotopes.

The biogenic carbon content of an organic material is defined by its weight percentage of the total carbon content in the material. We can then calculate the material carbon footprint reduction as the equivalent CO2 emission savings (g/kg of dry product). On the contrary, the contribution of mass balance biocarbon cannot be measured and relies entirely on the audited certification of the whole ISCC protocol.