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Really Solvent-free

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Really Solvent-free
Really Solvent-free

Video: Really Solvent-free

Video: Really Solvent-free
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Indeko-plus ELF is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. But the interior color wasn't always easy.

Numerous public debates - not least the discussion about health-endangering wood preservatives - caused uncertainty among customers. More than ever, they suddenly paid attention to environmentally friendly and health-friendly products. This was expressed politically in December 1985 when the green politician Joschka Fischer was sworn in as the first green environment minister at the state level. His appearance in white sneakers before the Hessian state parliament is legendary and marks the turning point at which the environmental movement, hitherto disparagingly referred to as “eco”, became socially acceptable.

In 1985, Caparol launched Indeko-plus, the world's first emission and solvent-free, odorless emulsion paint. In the Federal Chancellery, those responsible also decided on the product.

Groundbreaking new development

Just as legendary is what Caparol presented to the world public months earlier. With Indeko-plus 2000, the paint and varnish specialist from Ober-Ramstadt presented the world's first emission-minimized and solvent-free, completely odorless emulsion paint. The previously unsettled painting companies could literally breathe a sigh of relief. They were happy to accept the new development, which is reflected in the advertising slogan at the time "We painters paint environmentally friendly with the emission-free and solvent-free interior paints from Caparol". In order to emphasize these positive properties, Indeko-plus 2000 was soon renamed Indeko-plus ELF. Finally the painter had a color that did not raise any questions from the customer - at most one: “ELF - what does that mean?” And the painter replied confidently: “Really solvent-free!”. Today we know better, the correct translation is "emission-minimized and solvent-free".

Environmentally friendly, healthy living and excellent quality are among the advantages of the interior color, which the private client also appreciates.

Environmentally and health-friendly

But what was the revolutionary thing about Indeko-plus at the time? How did this color differ from conventional products? Before Caparol launched Indeko-plus ELF, interior emulsion paints contained a binder that contained so-called film formers in the form of solvents or so-called plasticizers for optimal, crack-free drying. Although their share was only around one to two percent, this resulted in a more or less noticeable smell. From today's perspective, such products are less recommendable in terms of home hygiene. Thanks to a novel binder formulation, the researchers at Caparol were able to do without these solvent-based film formers. With Indeko-plus, they created the first emulsion paint without solvents and plasticizers.

Today Indeko-plus is one of the most popular interior colors in its class, which also met the high demands of the architect when building the Ravensburg Art Museum.

Outstanding product properties

In addition to the positive properties in terms of environmental and health compatibility, the painters were particularly enthusiastic about the outstanding workability of Indeko-plus. Then as now, the paint has excellent hiding power and impresses with a long open time, which enables streak-free surfaces. With it you can achieve the highest quality interior coatings in a noble, dull matt look. Their opacity - usually a single coat of paint is enough - is as proverbial as their productivity. Various tests and practical tests have shown that the working time for coating work can be reduced by up to 25 percent due to these positive properties. This not only benefits the specialist painter, but also the customer.

The practice for children's dentistry "putzmunter" is based on the concept "a world for children". A significant increase in ecological aspects can be observed in medical practices, which is why the use of Indeko-plus was virtually predestined for this.

Innovation bearer

Since their market launch 30 years ago, Caparol product developers have continued to develop Indeko-plus. They improved opacity by increasing the proportion of high-quality pigments such as titanium dioxide and a new filler combination. Other developments in the area of additives ensure that the color is more productive. The researchers always responded very quickly to market requirements. When the topic of fogging dominated the headlines from the end of the last century, Indeko-plus had been one step ahead for years. Because plasticizers in various building materials and furnishings are still held responsible for the occurrence of the phenomenon. Not with Indeko-plus, because the ELF quality has guaranteed a plasticizer-free formula since 1985. All of these factors make Indeko-plus a reliable, excellent problem solver in every respect. That is the reason why Indeko-plus ELF has been found on many painting sites for generations - today more than ever. To see the white sneakers by Joschka Fischer, you have to visit the leather museum in Offenbach.

Photos: Caparol Farben Lacke Bautenschutz, Roland Halbe, Volker Kreidler