Leverkusen, Germany - The Italian city of Cogoleto, west of Genoa, has created an environment that the children accept as their own with the "I made this..." project. When redecorating the classrooms of the Don Milani preschool in Cogoleto, children's drawings were recreated on the floors in greatly enlarged form using the Artwalk® decorative floor coating system from Bayer MaterialScience AG. The coating was formulated and applied by Api S.p.A., Mignanego, Italy, one of six companies with which Bayer MaterialScience has entered into cooperative agreements for the formulation, design, and application of Artwalk.

The new rooms were dedicated in September 2005, with the mayor and representatives of both Api and Bayer MaterialScience in attendance. But the stars were the children, who admired their works of art while running around on them. They now say "I made this!" when playing in the school. The floors have become the school's main optical attraction.

"Artwalk brand decorative floor coatings offer nearly unlimited design freedom," said Werner Ebert, who is responsible for floor coatings at Bayer MaterialScience.

"What pleased me most was when a little girl walked into the classroom, pointed to a drawing on the floor and said to her father, ‘That's mine!,'" said Ciro Scialó, head of the Building Division at Api.

Artwalk brand custom floor coatings are based on two-component polyurethane systems formulated with raw materials from the Bayhydrol® and Bayhydur® or the Desmodur® and Desmophen® product lines from the Coatings, Adhesives and Sealants Business Unit of Bayer MaterialScience AG. Application of the floor coatings begins with a solid-colored primer base. A liquid casting resin is then applied in the colors, patterns and motifs of the design by applicators who move across the liquid coating in spiked shoes. Finally, the walkable art is sealed with a transparent, highly abrasion-resistant polyurethane coating capable of standing up to the rigors of romping children for years to come.

When completed, the monolithic floors are free of seams and joints. Depending on ambient temperature and humidity, the coatings can be walked on after as little as 24 hours. Besides the high abrasion resistance, the floor coatings are also insensitive to cleaning agents and chemicals, and won't fade or yellow.

In addition to Api, Bayer MaterialScience has also entered into co-branding agreements with Bolidt (The Netherlands), Boulenger (France), Hermeta Chemie and AB Polymerchemie (both in Germany) and Flowcrete Group plc (United Kingdom), from whom end consumers can procure the decorative floor coatings.

For more information about Artwalk, reference projects to date and Bayer's partners listed above, visit the Artwalk homepage, www.artwalk.bayer.com.

Information about polyurethane coatings, including detailed descriptions of sample applications and contact information, can be found at www.bayercoatings.com.

The classrooms of an Italian preschool were decorated using the Artwalk® polyurethane floor coating system.