Although it may be new to the metal coatings industry, UV/EB technology has been around for 40 years in many industrial applications and has demonstrated to be the ‘technology of choice’ for many of the new challenges to overcome. UV/EB technology is still gaining broader acceptance throughout the European Industry. RadTech members are confident that UV/EB technology will be recognized as one of the leading technologies for VOC reduction and economic developments in the future.
Today, UV/EB technology still has a limited footprint in the metal coatings market. The metal coatings market includes several industries as automotive, protective (e.g. pipes, agricultural and construction equipment), coil, can and consumer electronics. However, some UV/EB metal coating applications are well established and new ones are emerging. UV/EB curing technology does not pretend to immediately replace all the conventional coating systems used in the metal coating industry today. However, regardless of whether you are looking for anti-corrosion primer, pigmented base coat, protective or aesthetic topcoat, UV/EB curable coatings are considered to be a feasible and valuable alternative to some of the existing coating technologies.
Applications of UV/EB technology in this industry
- Automotive Industry: UV coatings on Light Reflectors, seat frames, wiper frames, diesel engine pumps, truck axle
- Protective Industry: Temporary storage and welding UV primer for pipes, Protective and aesthetic topcoat for pipes
- Coil Coating Industry: UV topcoat for household appliance and UV primer and UV or EB topcoat for construction steel and aluminum
- Can Coating Industry: UV Base Rim Coats, UV protective topcoat
- Consumer Electronics: UV topcoat on mobile phone housing
Advantages of UV/EB technology in this industry
UV/EB curable coatings share the same general attributes as conventional solvent-based coatings but also add new capabilities such as improved properties (better surface performance), environmentally-friendly features (reduced VOCs, highest material utilization, reduced waste), lower energy consumption, low-temperature drying requirements, fast cure cycles, reduced space requirements and increased productivity. The use of UV/EB curable coatings can simplify production, eliminate solvent extraction steps and consequently reduce the cost (no drying zone). Moreover, UV/EB technology is not subject to any possible carbon tax because it does not produce CO2. Existing coating units can be easy retro-fitted with UV technology given the small footprint. Due to the immediate drying mechanism, UV technology reduces lead time and increases the coating throughput.