In the new laboratory, Univar will create product concept samples for customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with ingredients from its extensive coatings product portfolio. It will also evaluate raw materials, test specific coating-related problems and enable customers to see products in their finished state ahead of full production. According to the company, these services will cut testing and product development time for customers and enable them to develop the optimal product mix, saving time and money.The laboratory will provide services for many coatings market segments, including decorative, general industrial, wood and protective coatings as well as construction chemicals, liquid inks and overprint varnishes.Increasing the proportion of 'greener' and natural products in the company's portfolio is said to be a key pillar of its U+stainability programme. The coatings laboratory provides the facilities for Univar's technicians to formulate products with lower health, safety and environment impacts while also helping customers with sustainable formulations of their own products. One such Univar product is water-based solvents - as opposed to petrol-based solvents. Univar has investigated acrylic, alkyd emulsion and silicon resin technologies for the development of a wood stain that not only provides good colour stability but also offers a good water beading effect and water vapour permeability.