Resin manufacturers have recently had to withdraw or rationalise some conventional Mannich base curing agents from their product ranges due to REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) compliance. In response a specialist polymer design and development company in the UK, Chemical Process Services (CPS), has researched and developed a series of ‘green’ epoxy curing agents that it claims to be REACH compliant as well as offering enhanced performance for aerospace matrix resins.
The range of polymers, named Furalkamine, is intended to combat the withdrawal of the conventional Mannich base grades prohibited in Europe under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations or due to inclusion of undesirable residual monomers.
The Furalkamines are a new form of Mannich base curing agents, derived from pentosane-rich biomass. According to CPS, subsequent reaction with a variety of amines influences the processing characteristics and offers a new solution to low-temperature cure and cure under adverse conditions, whilst maintaining regulatory compliance.
These attributes make Furalkamines suitable as the principal curing agent or modifiers for other curing agents in the formulation of solvent-free or high solids, low-VOC maintenance specialised flooring adhesives in the aerospace industry.
A patent is pending for this chemistry and CPS is developing the products further. Another UK company, Bitrez, will be manufacturing the Furalkamine grades under licence from CPS.
Paul Jones, managing director of Bitrez and CPS, and the inventor of the Furalkamines said, “These solutions fill the gaps generated by removal of products, like conventional Mannich base curing agents, from the marketplace due to regulatory changes. Our focus on regulatory compliance, sustainability and reduced hazard rating, whilst providing the highest technical performance, is one of the reasons why we are growing so rapidly.”