Witley Jones put AkzoNobel’s FF top of the class

Keeping our children safe in school and providing fit for purpose furniture is a mantra that most good schools now adhere to. Gone are the days when dangerous, chemically-coated furniture and fittings were all-too prevalent in the UK school environment.

Bromsgrove is a co-educational independent public school in Worcestershire which can trace its history back to between 1548-1553 and therefore has a venerable history on which to lean. Today, Bromsgrove with 1600 pupils is one of the country’s bigger independent schools providing a unique micro-environment within the larger school for every pupil. As with most school’s development the actual infrastructure of their buildings is also key to both growth and sustainability. In embracing this expansion Bromsgrove School has a legacy of only using suppliers who can always deliver fit for purpose quality products and meet their exacting standards every time.

From their UK-based premises in Stourport-on-Severn Witley Jones design, manufacture and install bespoke furniture for schools and educational facilities throughout the UK, Europe and across the globe. They manufacture high quality furniture for all educational establishments, producing extensive ranges of classroom, library, common room and accommodation furniture to meet a varied host of individual requirements. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Witley Jones have been working with the Bromsgrove School for several years.

Simon Downes, Managing Director, Witley Jones commented:

“we have built up a close operational relationship with Bromsgrove School spanning over nine years, working on a wide variety of projects; from single pieces of furniture through to furnishing whole boarding houses and classrooms”. He added, “we work closely with the Bursar at the school from the initial design ideas, through to installation and accommodating specific design requirements, together with specifications to manufacture bespoke items for them”. Simon Downes further said, “Witley Jones are proud to work closely with the Bromsgrove School across their estate, always ensuring that their requirements are met in delivering the highest quality furniture for their students”.

In producing these high-quality products Witley Jones wanted to ensure that their initial manufacturing methods would be free of formaldehyde in any of the lacquering processes to safeguard both their own workers and the end user.

Simon Downes went on to further say:

“we now use AkzoNobel Duracid FF products for all our products that require a lacquer finish. It’s a product that we prefer to use even when our clients don’t specify the need for formaldehyde free lacquer. Using Duracid FF forms part of our commitment to continually improve the products that we manufacture”. He also added,” ensuring that we use hardwearing products and components is our key aim, and as the furniture is being used in a school environment it’s essential that only non-harmful products are used. This is exactly where the Duracid FF range of products from AkzoNobel really come into their own”.

Clive Dove, Technical Service Manager, Wood Finishes and Adhesives from AkzoNobel Wood Coatings said:

“the advanced chemistry of our Formaldehyde Free coatings is a good technology fit for this market, and it’s always a privilege to work with other specialist firms like Witley Jones who take safeguarding the school environment seriously”. Clive added, “there is a real synergy between the formaldehyde free coatings we can offer and the school furniture and fittings they manufacture, and this move is one that we at AkzoNobel wholly commend and support. Providing the right product for the right application with our Duracid FF range is actively helping companies like Witley Jones to meet a host of stringent demands”.

In meeting supply demands AkzoNobel have created a superb UK-wide network of distributors enabling customers to order and purchase products. This ensures that the market is fully served with every aspect of coatings for factory finished timber constructions. It’s a level of service that’s both personal and locally focused. Witley Jones are supplied by Abrabond Ltd. The company has grown significantly since the mid 1980’s when they initially specialised in the supply of coated abrasives to the furniture industry. Today, Abrabond offer a complete portfolio of adhesives and services for the furniture, construction and packaging industries, together with full technical support, laboratory testing and reporting.

Ian Crowther-Green, Managing Director, Abrabond said:

“AkzoNobel produce technically excellent products throughout. Our relationship with AkzoNobel is progressing and is now moving into the process of selling and processing their coatings products.”

Ian CrowtherGreen concluded by saying,

“We are involved in specifying internal coatings and remain keen on developing the coatings side of our business on a national basis.”

Duracid FF from AkzoNobel is a series of acid-curing products delivering high-quality results without the use of formaldehyde. It’s a system that’s Formaldehyde-Free, and isocyanate-free with no odour to the end user on either coated furniture or fittings. Duracid FF has all the same high-quality attributes as traditional Acid-curing and PU Alkyd products with no yellowing. It provides excellent adhesion, drying, and stacking properties together with providing simple cleaning routines for the production line and equipment. Duracid FF has good spray application and an extended pot-life of five days and is compatible with the AkzoNobel tinting system. Duracid FF also has excellent adhesion to wooden substrates including UV primed surfaces. Drying, viscosity and gloss can easily be adjusted with different additives.

Simon Downes concluded by saying:

“As part of our aim to continually improve our processes and furniture, we have chosen AkzoNobel products because they are hardwearing which is ideal for the heavy use of our products in a school environment. We use the AkzoNobel Duracid FF range because we want to create products that do not contain harmful materials”.