Composites FLORENTINA

A retrospective journey into the history

The history of artificial composite materials dates back to the origins of civilization, when a man began to consciously design the newest materials.

The first references of adobe bricks can be found in the Bible. River boats made of reeds, impregnated with bitumen, were built in Egypt and Mesopotamia (a prototype of modern small boats made of fiberglass). Making mummies in Egypt can be considered the first example of a tape winding of fabric impregnated with resin. In ancient India, wooden trunks of cannons were wrapped with vines and impregnated with resins, which were curing for months, but the range and accuracy of such weapon, the ease of its transportation served as a distinct advantage.
A prime example of effective use of composites in the Middle Ages is the use of bows in the troops of Genghis Khan (and later in Europe) with bilayer structures, the outer and the inner parts of which were made from different types of wood and then glued together.
This boom in modern material science began around the middle of the twentieth century.

A retrospective journey into the history

The composite material formula

Modern composites consist of two or more components which differ greatly in their properties, and their combination provides a synergistic effect that cannot always be foreseen.

Typically, one component forms a continuous phase, which is called the matrix, the other is the filler. An adhesive interaction is created between them. Thus, the properties of the final composite are determined by the matrix, the filler and the inter-phase boundary.

The “Right” composite can be presented by the formula

1+1>3
And the “wrong” composite formula is 1 + 1 <2. It means that properties of its individual components in the “wrong” composite are not summed up, and in some cases the final properties of the material are inferior to the properties of the components of the composite.

Composites FLORENTINA© Are «Right»
Matrix
Matrix
As a polymer matrix for FLORENTINA© composites special acrylated polyester resins are used, which are the development of our scientific and technological center.

Such resins are thermosetting, and in many of their properties are superior to pure polyesters and thermoplastic methacrylic resins used by most manufacturing companies of kitchen sinks.


Fillers
Quartz sand (Si02), the mineral powder for the manufacturing of kitchen sinks, is used as filler.

This mineral has high hardness (7 on Mohs’ scale) that provides good durability of sink surface. The use of micro-crystal iodides with high volume specific surface area as a filler allows providing a high mechanical strength of the final material.

Fillers

Inter-phase Boundaries
Inter-phase Boundaries
In addition to the high properties of the individual components in order to get the “correct” composite it is necessary to provide the chemical affinity of the polymer matrix and the filler at the inter phase boundary.

To achieve this aim, special purpose additives coupling agents are introduced into the material composition, that allows to bring the surface energies of the polymer and the filler closer to provide maximum wettability and maximum adhesion at the inter phase boundary.

If it is not ensured, the film of gas and condensed liquid medium is formed between the surface of the filler particles and the polymer matrix. As a result, after the curing of the composite, the filler particles will be separated from the polymer matrix, leading to a reduction of mechanical strength, durability and a number of physical and chemical properties of the product. The composite strength will be lower than the strength of pure polymer monolith.

The inter phase boundary in a molded composite is 5-5-20 nanometers, and it mostly determines the final properties of the material. Providing the correct organization of the inter phase boundary, we are creating the material with the properties superior to natural materials.


Antibacterial Protection
Sinks while in operation can develop bacteria on its surface that can lead to the appearance of the mold, stains and odors.

Special antibacterial protection systems based on silver were introduced into the structure of Florensil© and Florengran© materials. As a result, the freshness and hygiene of the working surface are preserved throughout the whole service life of the sink.

Antibacterial Protection

Lotus effect

In contact with the surface of the sink without water-repellent protection the wetting angle is less than 90°. Water droplets melt wetting the entire surface.

Lotus effect

On the surfaces of the sinks with Florentina© protection the wetting angle is more than 90°. Therefore, water droplets will not melt, providing a low degree of moisture and dirt.

Effect of Self-cleaning Surface
Imagine what vegetation along the busiest highways would look like if the self-cleaning effect was not laid down by nature.

The rain has fallen, and foliage and fruits are clean again. And who does not feel a slight oiliness on the surface of a fresh apple growing ripe in a tree? All the dirt is regularly removed due to rain. The secret of this effect is hydrophobization of the surface of the leaves and fruits in nature. This phenomenon is called the “lotus effect”.

The same effect was developed at our R&D Center. Special hydrophobic additives are integrated into the composite structure, which allows the surface of the sink to remain clean at the light exposure to a sponge and usual detergents. Moreover, this effect remains unaltered throughout the whole service life of the product. Drops of water and dirt wet the surface poorly, and the product provided with regular cleaning remains cleaner and fresher during its whole service life.*

Cleaning?

The special composition of the FLORENTINA© composite materials easily allows you to keep the sink clean and use almost any cleaning agents.

High heat?

FLORENTINA© composite materials are resistant to a wide range of temperatures.

Scratches?

FLORENTINA© composite materials are resistant to abrasion and scratches.

Stains?

The lack of porosity in FLORENTINA© composite materials allows you to remove even the toughest stains.

Hitting?

FLORENTINA© composite materials have a high durability and blow resistance.

FG

Florengran© — is the material based on methacrylated polyester resin and filler in the form of ground quartz sand (75%). It has high resistance to blows, mechanical loads, abrasion, chemicals, high temperatures and thermal shocks. It has a moderate range of colors similar to natural minerals and distinctive textured surface.

FS

Florensil© — is a new composite material based on crushed quartz sand of different nature and a highly durable polymer binder. The special modification of the quartz surface and the introduction of the microcrystal iodides in the filler make this material very durable and resistant to aggressive external influences. It has a fine structure, silky to the touch and color palette in moderate and bright monocolors.

FSm

Florensil metallic© — it's basic properties are similar to Florensil©. It has distinctive metallic gloss and can be perfectly coupled with stainless steel household appliances, chrome-plated furniture parts, faucets, etc. Highly scratch-resistant.

CM

Cast Marblе — is a sanitary ware based on grinded marble and polyester resin. The surface has a special decorative coating based on gelcoats. It has satin gloss and is and resistance to pollution.