Research and Development

At Smarter Surfaces we are heavily invested in the Research and Development stage of our product creation process. Our products undergo vigourous testing in order to get to their highest standard before being released.

Research and Development has been a key step for Smarter Surfaces from our first product Smart Wall Paint (White) to our collections of products available now and in the future. We recognise the importance of carrying out research to help expand and maintain the standard of our product range.

For us, the Research and Development process does not end after a product has been released, instead our products go through continuous testing enabling us to improve them when necessary.

We are at the cutting edge of surface technology which is evident both in what we sell and in the team of skilled professionals who, with a career's worth of knowledge, help us to create the most up-to-date products possible.

Research, Development and Innovation

Before we begin creating our products we first determine what the markets’ needs are. We conduct research into the trends that have emerged from commercial orientated areas through extensive market driven research. We then work towards filling the gaps which become apparent.

This helps us to determine which products to invest our time creating. We also speak to our partners to see where they’ve spotted a gap in the market.

Once an idea has been developed we have consultations with our suppliers in order to reach the highest quality of products. The products then undergo trials before being made into testing samples in order to review their practical application and gain feedback.

Smarter Surfaces, as a company, is extremely interested in the environment and being environmentally friendly. So in our product innovation and creation processes we keep this at the forefront of our minds.

We take into consideration locals environments aiming to fill the needs of users in terms of their local markets. We make sure our product is suitable and safe to use in all environments it has been applied.

Research and Development Process

Our RDI process is comprised of the following steps:

1. Brainstorming at our monthly Product Innovation meeting (Smarter Surfaces Directors, Smarter Surfaces RDI team, Smarter Surfaces Manufacturing team).
2. Products that emerge from step 1 are checked to ensure compliance with Reach legislation.
3. We request samples from raw material suppliers.
4. We produce a small sample of the new product idea (formulated from the approved raw materials).
5. These materials undergo trials and testing to ensure 'manufacture feasibility.'
6. We review all samples for practical application and feedback.
7. We check all costings to ensure a competitive market price.
8. The new product is produced in a small batch to test market demand.
9. Assuming market demand, the new product goes into large scale commercial production.

R & D Partnerships

In 2009, in the beginning stages of Smarter Surfaces, our Research and Development team got together and over the course of two years created our first product Smart Wall Paint White. Since then, Research and Development has been one of our main focuses in product creation.

We have built up our skill base to complete Research and Development programmes in an efficient and cost effective way. We understand the importance of keeping up-to-date with all Reach and European solvents, coatings and environmental legislation. Just one example of our partnerships is our work with CREST from the Centre of Research in Engineering Surface Technology in Ireland.

Our Research and Development division is headed up by two Senior Technology and Applications Officers.

Chief Technology Officer
Smarter Surfaces Senior Technical expert has built up a long-term career in national and multinational companies in the surface coatings industry across Europe. He joined Smart Wall Paint in 2008, where he enjoys the challenges of developing a new product range and the implementation of improvement strategies. The Chief Technology Officer, who has a FTC in Polymer Chemistry, has a broad technical background, having worked in various market areas including Automotive Original Equipment, General Industrial, Wood finishes, Protective Coatings, A.C.E. Coatings (Agricultural, Construction, and Earthmoving), Automotive Components, Coatings for Plastics, Drum coatings, and Domestic Appliances. He has experience in all low VOC coatings but specialises in Water Based and Electrodeposition coatings (E-coat). He has gained extensive experience having worked in coatings companies Macpherson, Protega, Tikkurila and Kemira, amongst others.

Chief Applications Officer
Smarter Surfaces Senior Technical Management Consultant has gained extensive board level experience with global multi-national paint and coatings companies as a Marketing and as a Technical Director. He has gained his in-depth experience, most notably, working for PPG Industries for over fifteen years. Holding a BSc Honours graduate in Chemical Technology and Engineering, he has worked in many manufacturing and coatings sectors including Automotive Coatings OEM, General Industrial, Sealants and Adhesives, Pre-treatment Chemicals and Wood coatings. His product knowledge extends across all major technologies including Electropaint, Resins, Water Based, Alkyd, Epoxy, Acrylic, Powder and Polyurethane coatings.

Certification

REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. It also promotes alternative methods for the hazard assessment of substances in order to reduce the number of tests on animals.

In principle, REACH applies to all chemical substances; not only those used in industrial processes but also in our day-to-day lives, for example in cleaning products, paints as well as in articles such as clothes, furniture and electrical appliances. Therefore, the regulation has an impact on most companies across the EU.

The categorised certificates listed are for the product Smart Wall Paint (White/Clear). Certificates for other products are available on request.

Our manufacturing adheres to the ISO certification system.

Leed

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a widely used standard of building construction. Once a building has been completed it finishes with a LEED score and with this certification Smart Wall Paint (White/Clear) can help improve a building's score.

This makes the product of great interest to architects and environmental consultants.

Smart Wall Paint is a low emitting product and is classified as having 42 grams per litre VOC.

Smart Wall Paint falls within the ‘materials used’ category under ‘finishes and materials’. We have held this for our Smart Wall Paint product from 2014 and it is a permanent classification recognised around the world.

LEED - Certified - http://www.usgbc.org/leed

Independant Fire Rating

Smart Wall Paint (White/Clear) along with LEED carries an Independent Fire Rating. This means that the product is safe to use in schools, offices etc.

The paint does not burn and the amount of smoke given off during emission is Euro Class B.

Fire - Certified to Euroclass B - https://www.exova.com/sectors/fire

Low VOC

All of our paint products contain low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

VOCs are solvents that get released into the air as the paint dries. They are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

We believe in delivering excellent quality paint products while minimizing the environmental impact and ensuring safe application and use in both commercial and domestic environments.

The VOC contents of each of our paints are listed below:

Smart Wall Paint White and Clear:

This product contains max 50 g/l VOC.
EU Limit for this product (Cat A/j): 500g/l (2010)

Smart Magnetic Paint:

This product contains max 45g/l VOC.
EU Limit for this product (Cat A/i): 140g/l (2010).

Smart Primer:

This product contains max 30 g/l VOC.
EU limit value for this product (Cat A/d): 130 g/l (2010).

Blackboard Paint:

This product contains max 20g/l VOC.
EU Limit for this product (Cat A/i): 140 g/l (2010).

Projector Paint:

This product contains max 12g/l VOC.
EU limit for this product (Cat A/a): 30 g/l (2010).

Smart Sealer:

This product contains max 20 g/l VOC.
EU limit for this product (Cat A/a): 30 g/l (2010).

M1

M1 is the short version name of the Finnish voluntary emission classification of building materials. M1 is the name of the lowest emission class of that system.

The emission classification of construction products for interior use is based on an emission chamber test after 28 days. Chemical testing parameters are TVOC, 1A and 1B carcinogens (EU classification), formaldehyde, ammonia, and an odour acceptability test (modified ISO 16000-28 test, or CLIMPAC test; odour shall be neutral (or better acceptable) under the test conditions.

Smart Wall Paint has been independently tested and certified to comply to this standard.

Green/Environment

At Smarter Surfaces we pride ourselves on being an environmentally friendly company.

We use eco friendly packaging for our products and create our brochures and marketing materials from recycled paper.

Environmentally sustainable technology is also used within our paints and accessories.

It is important to reduce the amount of paper we use. Our staff make sure to print only when it is necessary and our invoices are almost exclusively sent by email.

Our product innovation and creation processes we keep this at the forefront of our minds.

Carbon emissions policy

Our policy outlines how our staff can help to reduce our carbon emissions both as individuals and as part of our organisation. This is through methods including saving electricity and seeking alternatives to overseas travel such as using Skype meetings.

When we do have to travel we do so by using low carbon travel options when possible.

We also have a company bike-to-work scheme which enables our employees a eco-friendly method of travel to and from work.