A villa project painted with Eco Last ... durable protection.

UNIVERSAL Paint and Chemical Industries (Chemipaint), UAE, claims to have made a major breakthrough in eco-friendly systems with its latest product, the Eco-Last 705, which is designed to ensure the durability of concrete buildings and the coating itself.

This latest addition – developed by its research and development (R&D) department and described as one of the best developed technologies in the coating field – was launched earlier this year in response to the UAE’s moves towards sustainability. It has been approved and utilised in the UAE, as well as other Gulf states and the wider Middle East region.

The product, manufactured to international standards, addresses one of the major challenges facing paint specialists – to extend the life of concrete buildings. “Concrete, which in the past was regarded to be a virtually everlasting material, is now proving to be vulnerable to atmospheric and environmental conditions,” the operations manager Khaled Abou Ghoneim says.

Many chemicals and physical and thermal mechanisms can affect the durability of concrete. In particular, acids, hot alkaline solutions, carbonation and chlorides ingress into concrete and lead to the corrosion of the embedded reinforcing steel – probably the major cause of deterioration of reinforced structures worldwide.

To address these issues, Abou Ghoneim says it exerted extensive efforts and concluded research to select a special modified acrylic APEO (alkylphenolethoxylate)-free polymer, which gives optimum results in restoring damaged concrete and the best performance in terms of water vapour permeability, overall adhesion, and providing a barrier effect against chloride and carbon dioxide ingress.

“Acrylics have excellent durability properties – a fact proven over years of their exposure history,” Abou Ghoneim says. “This technology has been used to create a specially-modified version, where the inherent properties of acrylics are enhanced through physical and chemical modifications.

“The modified acrylic system is an excellent solution that exhibits the correct balance between water vapour permeability and resistance to chloride ions and carbon dioxide diffusion. In addition, crack bridging or flexibility properties can be achieved using an appropriate elastomeric binder.”

Although concrete protection and restoration is a cost-intensive operation, the use of Eco-Last 705 modified acrylic-based system, makes it easier, more effective and, therefore, more durable and sustainable, while offering a solution which has a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content and is APEO and ammonia free, he says.

The modified acrylic system is waterborne and meets sustainability requirements.

This apart, Eco-Last offers high durability (over 10 years), excellent adhesion to any surface and water and chemical resistance, while having anti-carbonation properties and the flexibility to bridge cracks:

High adhesion to ASTM D3359-92b standards: The special modified acrylic resin used in the system allows the paint to interlock with the substrate (similar to a key and its holder). As such, Eco-last 705 penetrates into the substrate, ensuring maximum and permanent adhesion even on chalky surfaces, he points out.

Water and chemical resistance, conforming to ASTM D1308-87 standards: “The paint system proves an optimum barrier to weather and salt-water attack, particularly in coastal areas. It is resistant to pollutants and acids, and does not react with alkaline surfaces. The built-in sheen provides a surface that always looks fresh, and is easy to clean. In addition, while Eco-Last 705 prevents water penetration to the inside, it allows moisture to pass through as vapour,” the spokesman says.

Durability: The system has been tested under accelerated weathering – ASTM G53 – conditions for 2,000 hours. According to Abou Ghoneim, it provides exceptional durability due to its high adhesion and resistance to the climatic extremes, atmospheric pollutants, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

“The Eco-Last family sets a new benchmark for durability due to the excellent colour retention of top coats, high film build, their anti-carbonation and chemical resistant properties, outstanding adhesion on most substrates including other paint systems (due to penetration of the binder), and ease of application and drying in difficult climatic conditions.

Flexibility as per ASTM D522-88 at 3 mm Mendrel: Eco-Last 705 can cope with normal building movement, and also bridge cracks of up to 2.4 mm at 250 microns. It has excellent elongation of 258 per cent.

Anti-carbonation properties: It also minimises the passage of harmful carbon dioxide through the concrete, preventing corrosion of reinforcing bars and degradation of the concrete. In order to minimise defects in the film, two coats are generally applied to give a DFT (dry film thickness) of approximately 200 to 300 microns.

Eco-Last also offers a range of other benefits: It has good resistance to mould growth in the dry film and provides a smooth finish ensuring minimum dirt pick-up. The paint’s thixotropic nature prevents dripping and sagging, and it also has self-priming and self-cleaning properties. The good breathability of the film is linked to the PVC-cPVC (polyvinyl chloride-chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) balance.

Eco-Last can be easily applied with brush, sponge roller or spray even on renovation projects. The high temperatures experienced in the Middle East do not adversely affect the product application, according to him. It is non-yellowing (compared to other systems) and it is a single pack system.

“With Eco-Last, Chemipaint continues on its roadmap towards sustainable and eco-friendly systems. It is a new chapter in the company’s history, which exceeds 30 successful years in the paint industry from a good start in Lebanon in the late 70s,” Abou Ghoneim says.

With Eco-Last 705, applicators can meet three main objectives: superb finish, long lasting protection, and on time and within the budget application.

“This apart, Eco-Last 705 is cheaper than other comparable products in the market, if you consider the 10-plus years of performance without the need for repair. Cost savings are achieved thanks to the fact that it requires minimum surface preparation, no priming of surfaces, can be applied in all weather conditions, and offers long repainting cycles, long shelf life and ease of renovation,” concludes the spokesman.