International. Beckers has developed the first commercial paint formulations for dual ultraviolet and electron beam curing in the coil coating market.
The innovative technologies, which build on Beckers' 18 years of pioneering work, can significantly reduce VOC and CO2 emissions and improve efficiency in the industry by providing up to twice the surface cover per kilogram of paint.
The European Coil Coating Association (ECCA) considers ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) curing technology to be the most important game-changer in terms of decarbonising the coil coating industry.
Until now, the only available industrial application of radiation curing in coil coating has been electron beam (EB) irradiation used for packaging material.
The long-term collaboration between Beckers and one of its customers has led to the first large-scale application of advanced UV/EB dual curing technology in coil coating for the construction industry.
Beckers has been involved in adapting the use of UV/EB curing technology in the coil coating industry and developing the necessary paint formulations since 2005.
Today, the company is actively developing UV/EB solutions with coil coating customers worldwide, with some now in the process of preparing to go to market.
Beckers has a UV/EB coil coating development lab at its largest site in Montbrison, France. The team has shown that UV/EB curing has significant potential to reduce the CO2 footprint of coil coating, because it requires much less paint and energy in the curing process.
"UV/EB curing allows us to use up to 100 percent solvent-free solid formulations that are more efficient and provide up to twice the surface coverage per kilogram of paint," says Beckers CTO Gavin Bown.
Solvent-free solid UV/EB paint formulations are more sustainable, requiring about half the volume of paint and significantly reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
"Compared to conventional gas curing, the UV/EB cold curing process also uses much less energy, facilitates the transition from natural gas to renewable electricity, avoids the use of expensive gas, and requires no water to cool," adds Bown.
"Additional benefits of UV/EB curing include a lower transport carbon footprint, as around 50 percent less paint is required per m2 of surface cover, and the instant curing process offers the potential for coating."
"UV/EB coil coating lines can also be much shorter, as they avoid the need for several furnaces on conventional lines, each of which can be up to 40 m long," explains Eric Fouissac, President of Beckers, Southern Europe and Africa at Beckers.
Beckers is currently working with customers who are completely replacing their conventional coil coating lines with UV/EB curing or retrofitting existing lines. Others are adding additional coating steps or partially switching to UV/EB on their existing lines.
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