New UV Curing Method
Tikkurila Coatings Oy has developed what it calls an economical ultraviolet light (UV) curing coating method for chairs and other three-dimensional (3D) components. It can be used as a replacement for existing solvent-borne coatings in the furniture industry, according to the company.
The method consists of waterborne Luminol UV-curing coatings, a spray booth with a recovery system and Uvitec, a new 3D UV-curing device in which curing of waterborne UV lacquer takes place under inert atmosphere in carbon dioxide. Benefits of the new method, according to the company, include low VOC emissions in production, low energy and carbon dioxide consumption, low investment costs, the possibility to save 40–50% of costs in material and waste management, equal or lower process costs compared with existing products/production, equal or better surface properties than achieved with solvent-borne products, and reduced throughput time in production. Products are immediately ready for packaging and suitable for heat sensitive materials such as pinewood and plastics among others.
Chair producers typically use polyurethanes nitrocellulose and acid-catalyzed products. These coatings perform very well, but due to their low solid content, larger producers in the EU region are not able to meet the requirements set out in Directive 1999/13/EC with these products after 2007, the company said.
The advantages of a system based on curing UV lacquers under inert atmosphere have been actively demonstrated during the last few years, when coating three-dimensional components.
Tikkurila Coatings developed the Uvitec UV curing device with its technological partner. The first industrial-sized device based on this concept is ready, and customer trials will start in the fourth quarter.