A specialist in the manufacture and marketing of special wood coatings is aiming to play a role at the forefront of sustainable building through its two new products for the protection and finishing of wood.

By leveraging its longstanding commitment to the development of water-based coatings that have what it takes to safeguard the health of users and of the environment, ICA Group – a specialist in the manufacture and marketing of special wood coatings, based in Civitanova Marche, Italy, is aiming to play a role at the forefront of sustainable (or "green") building through its two new products for the protection and finishing of wood. The distinctive feature shared by the new water-based impregnating oil (called BIOCOAT) and the new water-based waxy top coat (called BIOLACK) is their total bio-compatibility, since they contain no trace of solvents – rather, their formulations are based exclusively on the use of vegetable resins and oils in a water-based emulsion, with boron salts taking the place of biocides. These 100%-natural coatings have been designed to offer protection against aggressive environmental agents, both meteorological (such as rainwater) and biological (such as mold and xylophagous organisms).

ICA Group's laboratories have developed BIOCOAT and BIOLACK for use with all types of untreated hardwood, both on interior and exterior surfaces. These treatments are the ideal solutions for coating wooden surfaces intended for use in roofs, floors and structural elements in general. The objective in designing these coatings was to provide the construction sector with entirely natural products that are able to protect wood – one of the main components in sustainable building – in a way that is at once safe and effective. BIOCOAT is an impregnating agent with high penetrative capacity that helps to maintain the optimum humidity level of the wood, slowing down the natural aging process and also preventing the risk of changes to the tonality. Water-resistant and permeable to steam, this product can be applied using a brush, pad or spray gun, making it a versatile solution for a plethora of different situations. BIOCOAT is available in various shades, including wooden tones such as oak, elm, dark walnut and cherry, as well as white and colorless. A number of other colors are available on request.

ICA Group has also developed BIOLACK colorless topcoat, which is the ideal complement to BIOCOAT water-based impregnating agent as part of a fully bio-compatible coating cycle. This treatment forms a thin, anti-static film on the wood, which protects it against water and humidity, both in interiors (when applied, for example, to tables and chairs) and in exteriors. Developed using natural oils and resins, BIOLACK allows users to create a washable, breathable surface that does not attract dust (since it does not store up electrostatic energy). This ready-to-use topcoat can be applied by brush, roller or spray gun, making it suitable for a wide range of different uses. BIOLACK colorless topcoat enables users to achieve excellent results in aesthetic terms – an important factor not just in green building but also in construction in general. Indeed, BIOLACK gives the surface to which it is applied a highly polished, satin finish that is smooth and natural to the touch and even highlights the wood's graining.

Through the development of BIOCOAT and BIOLACK, ICA Group is clearly underlining its desire to pursue an innovative approach that is increasingly centered on bio-compatibility and on environmental protection. With these two coatings, the Italian company is affirming its commitment to the values of sustainable construction, making it the ideal partner for designers and house builders.

Through its ongoing research and development, ICA Group aims to fuse environmental protection with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge performance, with a view to creating products that meet the specific needs of each and every user. The eco-friendly approach is very much part of the company's DNA and has been an increasingly important feature of its operations since way back in 1983 – the year in which ICA Group produced its first water-based coatings. The decision to focus more and more on water-based coatings has been the company's response to the increasing awareness of the importance of safeguarding the environment and the health of those who work with coatings and those who live in contact with the products onto which those coatings have been applied.

As a consequence of ICA Group’s dedication to reducing environmental impact, its range of bicomponent water-based coatings was awarded the LIFE mark by the European Union in recognition of the “sustainable long-term development” demonstrated by the company in its endeavors to lower atmospheric pollution. ICA Group’s project was the only initiative in the coating-products sector to receive an award: the products developed were shown to work effectively towards a reduction in atmospheric emissions of VOCs. Products, which are intended for use by professional users, are sold all over the world. The company's highly specialized distributors cater to the requirements of the various industry sectors in which wood coatings are used (such as interior design, carpentry, boatbuilding, exterior fixtures, door and window frames, garden furniture, parquet flooring and musical instruments).

ICA's new coatings are distributed directly in North America; for more information, Tel. +1519 7680732 or e-mail markl@icaamerica.biz.