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  7. Fujitsu Pioneers Industry's First Use of Water-Based Paint for Plastic Chassis ICT Equipment

Fujitsu Pioneers Industry's First Use of Water-Based Paint for Plastic Chassis ICT Equipment

Cuts use of petroleum resources by 54% and volatile organic compounds by 80% compared to solvent-based paints

Fujitsu Limited,Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Tokyo, March 04, 2013

Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced the industry's first in development of a water-based paint for use on the plastic chassis of servers, personal computers, and other ICT equipment. The new water-based paint is used on the front panels of the SPARC M10-4 and SPARC M10-4S in the SPARC M10 series of UNIX servers available in 2013.

This newly developed water-based paint uses two kinds of resin in a core shell structure(1), and tuning the volatility makes it possible to create adhesion between resin particles and enable painting at low temperatures. Compared to solvent-based paints, this cuts the use of petroleum resources by 54% and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)(2) by 80%.

Fujitsu plans to expand the use of this kind of paint in its own products, such as servers and notebook computers, as a way to use natural resources more efficiently and reduce its environmental footprint.

Background

Volatile organic compounds react in the air with light, and are one of the components leading to photochemical smog. VOCs are included in paints, printing inks, adhesives, detergents, gasoline, and thinner. About 40% of all VOC emissions are accounted for by paints(3), so reducing the amount of VOCs used in paint is an important issue in global environment conservation.

Paints are comprised of several materials: resins, which form a coating with pigments that produce color and luster as the components in the coating; and solvents auxiliary agents, which, as volatile components that do not form part of the coating, are included to thin the materials and help them cover more smoothly. Most of the VOCs in paint are in solvents, so an effective way to reduce use of VOCs would be to switch from a paint that uses solvents to dissolve the resin to a water-based paint that mixes the paint in water.

Technological Issues

Today, most ICT equipment, such as servers and personal computers, uses solvent-based paint, and switching to water-based paint presents the challenges of drying the paint to cause the resin particles to bond, and maintaining the level of paint performance demanded in the context of ICT equipment chassis.

With solvent-based paints, the resin particles that will make up the coating are dissolved in solvent, so they adhere easily to the surface being coated, but with water-based paints, the resin particles are suspended in the water as tiny particles, rather than being dissolved, so making them join together and bond requires the liquid to be boiled. Most water-based paints need to be heated to a temperature of 100°C or above to boil and then dry the liquid, but the plastics used for ICT equipment chassis cannot withstand such high temperatures without deforming. Furthermore, the requirements for solidity, adhesion, chemical resistance, weather resistance, and appearance for paints used on ICT equipment chassis make high-performance coatings a necessity.

About the Technology

 Comparison of components in solvent-based and water-based paints

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a water-based paint that can be dried at a temperature that does not cause plastic chassis to deform, with resin particles that can bond, and that has the coating performance required for ICT equipment.

By fine-tuning its volatility, this water-based paint can be dried at a low temperature of 65°C, cool enough not to deform plastic chassis. In addition, it uses two types of resin in a core shell structure, so that a soft resin is used in the shell to encourage bonding between particles. The core uses a hard resin to form the tough coating that ICT equipment needs, resulting in coating performance suitable for use in ICT equipment chassis.

Use of this water-based paint cuts VOC emissions by 80% compared to conventional solvent-based paints. Also, because it does not use solvents, it lowers the use of non-renewable petroleum resources by 54%, contributing to more efficient use of resources. The first computers in the industry to use this water-based paint are the new UNIX servers SPARC M10-4 and SPARC M10-4S, where the paint is used on their front panels.

 

SPARC M10-4S / Component coated in water-based paint

Fujitsu plans to expand the use of this kind of paint to other ICT equipment as part of its general efforts toward efficient use of resources and a reduced environmental footprint.


  • [1] Core shell structure

    Two chemicals, where one forms a core and the other surrounds the first to form a shell.

  • [2] Volatile organic compound

    Organic chemicals that easily evaporate into the air at room temperature, causing pollution and health problems when released into the environment.

  • [3] About 40% of all VOC emissions are accounted for by paints

    According to 2010 materials from Japan's Ministry of the Environment.See http://www.env.go.jp/air/osen/voc/inventory/est_industry.pdf (Japanese)

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.

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All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 04 March, 2013
City: Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., , , , , , , , ,