Uralac® Ultra

The powder of possibilities

Wooden garden furniture with coating that lasts for up to 20 years

When Dutch designer Jan Willem Henssen wanted to breathe new life into an old idea, he turned to the Covestro R&D department. The result is a range of wooden garden furniture that lasts for up to 20 years without any maintenance whatsoever. A range that looks great and requires no cleaning, scraping or recoating. And best of all, it is extremely friendly to the environment. “The idea of making furniture from discarded wooden crates and pallets was first explored by the famous designer Gerrit Rietveld in the 1930s,” says Jan Willem. “Since then, various other designers have experimented with the idea, but in 2010 I decided it was time to really push this eco-friendly, cost-effective idea to its full potential. Because I like wood, and I don’t like waste.”


Jan Willem began designing prototype models that tested various strategies in stability, aesthetics and ease-of-construction, keeping in mind the "pallet look and feel". “To continue the theme of eco-friendliness, we finished the prototypes with linseed oil – a natural, renewable material, that requires no primer or cross-linking chemicals” says Jan Willem. “Initial results were good, but we later found that linseed oil on unseasoned pallet wood becomes unstable and gets sticky in strong sunshine. Not really what you want in garden furniture.” 



“Amazingly, the day after we discovered that linseed oil was not possible, I stumbled across an article on the Internet about Covestro’s work in powder coating resins – and the latest breakthrough in relatively low curing temperatures. This low-temperature curing meant that it could be applied to my pallet-wood furniture. What’s more, the performance characteristics of this powder coating – in terms of scratch resistance, humidity resistance and chemical resistance – meant that it would significantly prolong the life of the furniture.  So I immediately contacted the relevant departments and started tests with Jos Verlaak, Covestro’s New Business Development Manager”

“We both instinctively knew that our newly developed single-coating of powder resin for heat-sensitive substrates was the perfect finish for Jan Willem’s chairs,” says Jos. “Both the chairs and the resins have very strong eco credentials. But we needed to identify the best coating and curing process for unseasoned pallet wood, and we spent many hours in our special coating laboratory testing various application pressures, coating thickness, and curing temperatures and times. Eventually, we found the best parameters to ensure excellent surface appearance and very high scratch and humidity resistance.”

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Frequently asked questions

How is it possible to spray powder on standard “non-conductive” MDF?

For the application of the powder, the moisture in the MDF is used for conductivity. A moisture content of 4-to-8 percent of weight is sufficient to attract the powder.

Is special MDF needed for powder coating?

For the application of the powder, the moisture in the MDF is used for conductivity. A moisture content of 4-to-8 percent of weight is sufficient to attract the powder.

Can I use my existing powder coating for metal oven for curing MDF powder?

Most of the conventional curing ovens are convection ovens but the best results for MDF are reached with infrared radiation (IR) ovens. With IR ovens, the surface of the MDF can be heated up quickly to cure the powder coating, while the core of the MDF stays relatively cool. With convention ovens, the temperatures are often too high or the core of the MDF heats-up too much because of the longer time needed to reach the curing temperature.

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