UV technology is an industry bright spot

By Tim Wright | April 4, 2008

Environmental concerns surrounding the reduction of VOC emissions, reducing energy costs, improving productivity and improving performance are four key factors driving technology innovation in the coatings industry today.

Whether it's at the auto plant, the body shop or the cabinet makers facility, end-users need coatings that are stronger, safer and just overall more efficient. In the quest for alternatives to solvent-based finishes, radiation curable coatings continue to gain favor. Ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) coatings offer lower VOC emisions, quicker processing times, more durable finishes and space savings in the plant. As a result, the UV and EB coatings market is one of the stronger growth areas in the coatings industry.

Representing 1.82% of all coatings globally with a value of $1.410 billion in 2007, according to The Chemark Consulting Group, radcure coatings still only make up a small chunk of the the coatings industry. Some of the hurdles this coatings technology faces include a high initial cost of investment when switching over to a UV/EB system. However, paint manufacturers Coatings World spoke with for this month's "Radcure Coatings Market," all believe that in the long run the benefits outweigh the costs.

Another area that has represented a challenge to the UV/EB coatings market has been the finishing of three-dimensional objects. But with advances in nanotechnology this problem might soon be solved.

So while the UV/EB coatings market is still relatively small compared to other coatings markets, it is perhaps the fastest growing and as technology continues to evolve, it too will continue to grow.

Also in this issue you will find an interesting story dedicated to color, which is perhaps the most crucial element influencing consumers' purchase decisions. If you want to gain more insight into the psychology of color, read this article to find out what color experts from several paint companies have to say.

Tim Wright

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