I. Polymer-Based Floor Finishes -
Formulation Guidelines for Improving Floor Finishes -
Detergent-Resistant Polishes -
Clear Floor Finishes -
II. Wax-Based Floor Polishes -
Guidelines to Formulation Improvement of Floor Waxes -
Metal-Containing Floor Waxes -
Paste Floor Polishes -
Solvent Systems -
Water-Emulsion Systems -
Other Specialty Paste Products -
III. Floor Sealers -
Aqueous Floor Sealers -
Solvent-Based Sealers -
IV. Wax Emulsification -
Emulsification Techniques -
Wax Emulsifiers -
Nonionic Emulsifiers -
Use of the HLB System -
V. Floor Polish Evaluation -
Evaluation Rationals and Programs -
Test Methods -
Performance Tests -
Chemical-Physical Property Tests -
Control of Consumer Use Testing -
VI. Maintenance Of Resilient Floorings -
Mutual Effects of Flooring and Polishes Upon Performance-Appearance -
General Composition Resilient Floorings -
Spray-Buff Finishes and Maintenance -
VII. Specialty Polish Products -
Furniture Polish -
Shoe Polishes -
Metal Polishes -
Automobile Cleaner-Polishes -
Aerosol Waxes and Polishes -
VIII. The Product Development Chemist -
IX. Applications For Waxes -
Widespread Use of Applications for Waxes -
Wax-Based Cosmetics -
X. Origins Of Waxes -
Vegetable Waxes -
Insect, Animal and Mineral Waxes -
Petroleum Wax -
XI. Chemical Specialty Cleaning Products -
Carpet Shampoos -
Floor Polish Removers -
Germicidal Cleaners -
If the following foreword were to be titled, "Glossiness is Next to Godliness" would certainly be most appropriate. To those involved in the formulation, manufacture and sale of polish and polished products, the title assumes an almost Biblical overtone. There can be no question that, almost without exception, the gloss and gloss-influencing properties of a polish product are of greatest concern and importance during the preparatory stages, as well as the consumer-use stages. Sacrifices are quite often made in other important polish properties in order to achieve optimum gloss, while the reverse situation almost never occurs.
The consumer's reverence for gloss is evidenced by the wide spread usage of a host of terms that connote, or relate to, the value of a reflective surface, e.g., glisten, gleam, sparkle, burnish, glow, smooth, radiance, polish, sheen, shine, luster, reflection, glare, sleek, glint, glitter, patina, etc. While the exact psychological reasons for the value ascribed to glossy surfaces have not been fully defined, it certainly could be said that gloss bespeaks quality, respectability, wealth, a state of repair, suggested newness and, of course, cleanliness.
If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then too must glossiness be next to Godliness. In subsequent chapters, which will occasionally deal with a variety of polish products, the gloss property, and its achievement, will be considered specifically within the framework of each type of product. The following will briefly and generally discuss certain of the technical aspects of the gloss property as the reasons for its being elevated to an Olympian plane in the chemical specialties field, and will illustrate the surprisingly many interdependent formulation considerations that must be balanced during the compounding of a typical gloss producing product.
Detailed definitions of gloss and its related terms are beyond the scope of this foreword. Suffice it to say that the gloss of a surface is determined by the behavior of light that strikes the surface and the manner of its specular reflection. The attainment of gloss is always a matter of achieving surface smoothness and subsequent reflectivity. Surely we are all familiar with the sensation of gloss when observing a pool of undisturbed water. At certain viewing angles, the liquid film appears to act as a perfect reflector. The sensation is broken, however, when the surface is disturbed, thus reducing, or eliminating its reflective powers.
Other contributing factors include the internal light absorption and dispersion characteristics of a film. Any absorption or dispersion of light will prevent its full specular reflection and thereby reduce gloss. Light that penetrates a transparent surface is sometimes internally dispersed due to the non-homogeneous nature of the film, or to substrate irregularities. If the angle of the dispersed light exceeds the critical angle for light in the film, the film will be illuminated, giving it a luminous appearance. Coatings of materials possessing high refractive indices can, once past a critical angle, aid in deflecting light and in a sense thus increases gloss by enhancing reflection. An illusion of depth, which contributes to greater awareness and appreciation of mirror images, is created in this way.
These two aspects of gloss-distinctness of image gloss and depth of gloss are then related. The distinctness of image and depth of gloss characteristics are of utmost importance in our current world of highly polished surfaces. A wide consumer preference is exhibited for those products that are superior in producing or enhancing these characteristics, notwithstanding that there will be no consensus as to Why.
It is interesting to note that while we can actually measure specular gloss and depth of gloss separately, we do not have an instrument that will measure both simultaneously. Only the human eye can integrate and evaluate the total result. The reason for a lack of ability of the consumer to define or explain a preference is because in making a decision as to what is glossy or glossiest, the consumer is in reality visually evaluating both of the above properties at the same time, as well as a parallactic effect in which one sees a surface through, or behind, another. If our space-age technology can not duplicate the workings of the human eye, how then can mortal man adequately define his thoughts and preferences in regard to the Great God Gloss?
A variety of psychological reasons for consumer demand for superior gloss-producing polishes have already been mentioned. A considerably more important reason has been variously referred to as the physical factor, or the reward factor. The user of a floor, furniture, or automobile polish must be rewarded by an attractive, high-gloss appearance after investing the time, effort and labor involved in its application. The person waxing his automobile encounters something of a physical workout, since he must first wash the car and then hand-apply and buff the wax to its optimum gloss. Similarly, the housewife physically washes and strips a floor of its previous polish and then applies the fresh product. Industrially this polish might also be power buffed. It is reasonable for these people to expect some immediate reward for their efforts. The immediate reward is gloss and a subsequently renewed appearance. It is entirely possible that if a product does not offer such reward value, it will receive no further trial, despite the fact that it may be an exceptional product in all other regards. Conversely, it is possible that an exceptionally glossy product will enjoy considerable and continued popularity even though it is weak in one or more other performance properties. Most specialty polishes can be said to develop, or produce gloss by cleaning and smoothing a surface and/or (additionally) depositing a still smoother coating or film upon that surface. This film may be produced in a variety of ways.
Some of the more important film forming mechanisms are: (1) Deposition of films from aqueous, or solvent systems (solutions or fine particle size dispersions), which by virtue of the inherent film forming natures of the ingredients, or high degrees of built in coalescence, self-develop the smooth reflective state upon drying. Typical examples of specialty polish products in this category include water-emulsion floor polishes, gymnasium finishes, varnishes, etc.
(2) Deposition of films from aqueous or solvent systems that are not sufficiently coalesced or capable of self coalescence, and which require either manual or mechanical buffing (frictional heat) in order to develop smoothness and gloss. Typical examples include paste shoe polishes, paste floor waxes, polymer gels, and automobile liquid and paste products.
(3) Formation of a film through interaction of polish ingredients with the surface being polished. Examples include aluminum cleaner-polish products, as well as silver polishes. In the instance of the aluminum polish, an aluminum soap is deposited over the surface from reaction with fatty acid components released during the rubbing operation. This protective coating also contributes to a pleasant mellow gloss. Similarly, silver, when polished with certain sulfur-containing compounds, is thought to form a silver-sulfur bond that acts primarily as an anti·tarnish mechanism and also contributes to gloss and gloss retention. It should be noted that abrasive polishing action is sometimes a necessary supplemental aid in the achievement of adequate gloss, particularly in the automobile and metal cleaner polish areas.
All chemical specialty polish products can be thought of as attempts at balanced products. That is to say, products that are balanced so as to optimize advantageous performance properties and minimize disadvantageous properties.