Since the early nineties, water-based radiation curing technology has enjoyed an uninterrupted growth in the field of industrial coatings and this trend is expected to continue in the coming decade and to expand into new markets such as printing inks or field applied coatings. The major factors fuelling the growth of water-based radiation-curable formulations include their low viscosity without the need for co-solvent making them suitable for spray application, easy incorporation of matting agents and excellent coatings performances (chemical, scratch and abrasion resistance) coming from the UV cross-linking. Today, unlike the UV/EB-100% liquid systems that offer a wide variety of chemical backbones, the radiation curable water-based technology is dominated by one type of chemistry: the acrylated polyurethane dispersion (UVPUD’s).
Recent investigations about UV-PUD chemistry and physics addressed outdoor performances(1), colloidal stability(2), rheology(3) and pigmented systems(4). In order to open up new markets and extent the range of properties offered by the radiation curable water-based systems, Cytec is developing new chemical routes to water-based radiation curable resins. In this paper, an overview of the new chemistries and dispersion processes and the properties associated with them will be presented and discussed.