Research and development
Tikkurila produces interior paints, lacquers, and effect products, and exterior products for wood, masonry, and metal surfaces, as well as services related to painting. Depending on the desired properties, there are also vast differences between the ingredients used. Paint typically consists of binders, pigments (above all titanium dioxide), fillers, solvents or water and additives.
The prices of raw materials and packaging materials are largely dependent on the price development of oil, energy and metals. On the group-level, Tikkurila has approximately 500 local and international raw material and packaging material suppliers. Raw materials play an essential role in paint manufacturer’s operations.
More than 90 percent of the raw materials and packaging materials for Tikkurila’s units in the EU are bought from the EU region. In Russia, more than 60 percent of all raw materials and packaging materials are bought from local suppliers.
Tikkurila sets high standards to the cooperation between Tikkurila and its suppliers, to all purchased raw materials and packaging materials. We aim to ensure that our business partners operate responsibly, and fulfil our quality, safety, environmental and responsibility requirements. We only cooperate with suppliers that have been approved by our principles for supplier collaboration and make a group-level agreement with our most significant suppliers.
Research and Development
Already for decades, Tikkurila has worked to develop and offer its customers environmentally sustainable and user-friendly products. Our systematic long-term efforts have resulted in durable, high-quality products that are easy to apply, provide longer maintenance painting intervals, and are safe for both health and the environment.
Tikkurila’s product development sites are located in Finland, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Estonia. At the end of 2018, Research and Development employed 175 (2017: 193) people.
The main target for our R&D function is to support business by developing new products, by creating new business opportunities, and by renewing the properties of existing paints and coatings. The R&D work has an important role in minimizing the environmental and health impacts and improving the user safety of our products. The continuous development of the product portfolio is essential for keeping Tikkurila competitive and for meeting the changing needs of customers. It also helps Tikkurila comply with the increasingly stringent safety and environmental standards
The key principles of Tikkurila’s product development are quality, durability and safety. Our goal is to develop products that provide longer maintenance painting intervals, burden the environment as little as possible, and are safe to use. In close cooperation with raw materials suppliers and Tikkurila's sourcing, our R&D chemists and product developers select raw materials that are technically functional and safe options with regards to health and the environment. They also explore the use of alternative and renewable raw materials, develop new purposes and functionalities for paints.
Product development selects the raw materials based on the end-use and the desired properties. This is why, for example, the raw materials used for exterior paints are different from those used for interior paints. The choice of raw materials plays an important role in the environmental impact, quality and safety of the products.
We carry out thorough field testing and extensive laboratory testing to ensure that our products have all the desired properties. Products undergo testing at our own test fields, test painting facilities and test sites. Field tests are done to make sure that our products can also withstand outdoor exposure. In addition to test fields at various Tikkurila sites, we also have testing areas on seaside, where products can be exposed to a saline and humid climate with high levels of ultraviolet radiation.
Prior to field testing, Tikkurila paints undergo a number of demanding laboratory tests. Our research and development teams use weathering chambers to test how our products react to the exposure of solar radiation and humidity. Our paints and coatings for metal surfaces are tested in condensation chambers, in which the painted surfaces are exposed to water droplets caused by the condensation of water vapor in the air. A salt-spray chamber is used for testing how products endure in conditions that imitate natural wet/dry cycles. Analytical laboratory tests are done to analyze painted surfaces in great detail, and our microbiological laboratories test products that provide mold prevention.