in Vol. 18 - July Issue - Year 2017
Formaldehyde – Road Closed
Urea Formaldehyde is a Thermosetting resin which has been introduced in the eighties, in Italy, as a bonding agent of abrasive media called "Urea Chips", used mainly in the vibratory finishing processes.
A Thermosetting resin is a prepolymer in a soft solid or viscous liquid state that changes irreversibly into an infusible, insoluble polymer network by curing.
For the production of this kind of media, curing is induced by mixing it with a catalyst or crosslinking agent by a controlled temperature between 60° to 90°C.
When compounded with abrasives, those kinds of Thermosetting resins form abrasive polymer composites – or simply Urea Formaldehyde Abrasive media.
Unlike other bonding Thermosetting resins such as the polyester ones, Urea Formaldehyde resin is water-based.
The formulation of the Urea Bonded Abrasives is simply obtained by mixing Urea Formaldehyde Resin, fine abrasives (silicates) for about 40% to 50% of the mix, and a catalyst to induce the polymerization. This kind of abrasive media is widespread mainly in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal – while in Germany, for example, this kind of abrasives was rejected since almost their beginning.
From the 1st January 2016, reclassification was necessary according to the Rule EU 2015/491 that modifies the previous Rule 605/2014.
Formaldehyde is a substance that is extremely soluble in water, with pungent odor, and is highly biodegradable with a low terminal half-life.
Moreover, it also shows threshold value for chronic effects, since the onset of tumorous effects occurs when overpassing certain levels in living and working environments.
According to the CLP rule, Formaldehyde had to modify its classification, as follows:
"Limiti specifici" means "Specific limits".
Following the new classification and the results of toxicological studies, the latter show in rodents the possibility of nasal cancer in rats exposed to inhalations at significant doses of CHOH.
With the reclassification according to the CLP- C&L Compounds, if Formaldehyde is present over 0,1% as ingredient, all the compound or mix must be reclassified as:
Carc. 1B H350
According to REACH (Rule 1907/06) – restrictoin annex XVII, point 28
The classification of formaldehyde as Carc. 1B H350 will determine its inclusion in Annex 2 of Annex XVII and, as a result, from that moment onwards, the prohibition of sale of the substance or mixtures containing it in the same or greater than 0.1%.
In full respect and consideration of all the above, Rollwasch has decided to schedule the stop of the production of its line of UREA FORMALDEHYDE ABRASIVE BONDED MEDIA, in the short term.
This decision is also the result of the green philosophy of Rollwasch, described in the "Road Map 2030".
Consequently, an extremely modern and efficient alternative is offered to all those companies and users that want to shift to a competitive and healthy abrasive media, like the QF media (very long lasting) combined with the "AMMINOGEL" compound, able to simulate the same typical finishing achievable with the Urea Chips, but with much less pollution and mud generation. See on out web site.
The ecologic balance corresponds also to the economic advantages in changing.