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A new way with waterborne UV curing

Tikkurila Coatings has developed an economical coating method based on waterborne UV curing products anda new UV curing device – for chairs and other furniture components to replace existing solvent-borne coatings.
Tikkurila Coatings Oy

Chair manufacturers typically use polyurethane, nitrocellulose, and acid-catalysed coatings to finish their products today. Although these perform very well, their low solids content means that larger producers in the EU will not be able to meet the requirements set out in the Community’s Directive 1999/13/EC limiting emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) after 2007.

This presents these manufacturers with a dilemma, of course, and was one of the catalysts for a project launched within Tikkurila Coatings to come up with a viable alternative that would match or exceed current systems, while enabling manufacturers to meet the new VOC limits.

Switching to a waterborne approach

The result was the new UVITEC UV coating method, which consists of a family of waterborne LUMINOL UV curing coatings, a spray booth with a built-in recovery system, and a new 3D UV curing device that allows the curing of the waterborne UV lacquer to take place in an inert atmosphere of carbon dioxide.

A range of waterborne AKVI ATS stains and LUMINOL lacquers and paints is also available for the new method.

Chairs, components produced from glue-laminated wood products, and plastic components that cannot be treated with equipment designed for flat substrates, are all well-suited to the new method, which offers multiple benefits in areas such as low emissions, raw material usage, and reduced throughput times.

International recognition

Tikkurila received a special award in the Coatings and Adhesives category at the RadTech Europe Association’s RadTech 2005 Conference in Barcelona for the UVITEC ultraviolet coating system – and the first industrial-scale UVITEC units began trials with customers in late 2005.

Tikkurila Coatings’ new, economical coating method based on UV curing is ideal for replacing solvent-borne coating methods for chairs and furniture components.

Key benefits of UVITEC UV coating

  • Low production-related VOC emissions
  • Low energy and carbon dioxide consumption
  • Low investment costs, and easy upgraderoutes
  • Possibility to save 40–50% in materialand waste management costs
  • Similar or lower process costs comparedto existing systems
  • Similar or better surface properties than achieved with solvent-borne products
  • Reduced throughput time. Products areimmediately ready for packagingLow curing temperature, suitable forheat-sensitive materials, such as pine and plastics.

Established in 1862, Tikkurila develops, markets, and produces paints and coatings for DIY and professional painters and for industrial applications, particularly in the wood and metal industries. A strong regional player, with a leading position in Northern and Eastern Europe, Tikkurila is committed to continually upgrading its production processes and manufacturing techniques.

> Mikael Knif
(Published in High Technology Finland )