DMF-free coating solutions for synthetic materials

Supporting a cleaner synthetics value chain  
In recent years, we’ve seen a new wave of regulatory and market-driven initiatives to eliminate the use of dimethylformamide (DMF)1 in the production of synthetic articles.

These include the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)’s new, reduced occupational exposure limits (OELs) for the solvent under its updated REACH regulation.

Meanwhile, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) program has added DMF to its latest Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL). This will see the solvent banned from intentional use in ZDHC-compliant facilities processing textile materials, leather, rubber, foam, adhesives, and trim components for textiles, apparel, and footwear. 

Innovating ahead of the curve
For several years, Stahl’s experts have been working proactively to help our partners adapt to this changing landscape – and comply with new regulatory and market requirements ahead of time.

In line with our commitment to responsible chemistry, Stahl maintains its own internal Restricted Substances List (RSL), to monitor hazardous substances that are under scrutiny from regulators and market actors. This allows us to stay ahead of regulatory changes and industry trends. It also catalyzes the development of alternative products that allow our customers to ensure full compliance, ahead of schedule.

Our R&D teams are constantly working to formulate new low-impact products and solutions that avoid the use of restricted substances completely. Of course, it’s essential to never compromise on quality and performance. That’s why Stahl’s application engineers at our global Centers of Excellence are able to precisely replicate the production processes employed at converters’ facilities to make synthetic articles.

This allows our development teams to create authentic product prototypes to validate the performance of our DMF-free solutions – ensuring they provide the high-quality, high-performance results that the market expects, exceeding the required standards.

DMF-free alternatives for water- and solvent-based systems 
Through extensive research and development, Stahl can offer a full spectrum of DMF-free synthetic coating solutions to support customers at different stages of the production process. The solutions we offer range from pre-skin to skin and adhesive layers, and from basecoats to topcoat finishes.

For customers working with water-based systems, Stahl provides the Permutex® and NuVera® ranges of water-based dispersions, high solids resins, coatings, binders, and ready-to-use formulated lacquers. The NuVera® product range offers classification-free chemistry based on a variety of renewable chemistry feedstocks, such as biomass, captured carbon, and recycled waste materials.

Meanwhile, our Permutex® RC-2214 mechanical foam is a foaming, water-based polyurethane compound designed to create a coated base material for synthetic substrates, offering a low-impact alternative to traditional DMF-containing coagulation systems.

And for operations that still require solvent-containing products, we offer a mild, DMF-free option: the Permuthane® EVO range of solvent-based resins, lacquers, and coatings – all of which are fully ZDHC- and REACH-compliant.

Coming soon: Water-based coagulation systems for synthetics  
Stahl is preparing to introduce a fourth product category of DMF-free synthetic solutions: a high-performance coagulation system for synthetic textiles.

This new, ZDHC- and REACH-compliant solution will offer customers a more sustainable, low-impact alternative PU coagulate base that’s free from any traces of DMF.

Ready to be part of a DMF-free future? 
Download our new brochure to discover more about the synthetic coating solutions on offer at Stahl. Also feel free to read more about DMF in our blog. Find more about all our performance coatings solutions here.

1 NOTE: Dimethylformamide is also known as N,N-dimethylformamide or DMF(A).