Can UV coatings be used other than on conveyor lines?
Yes - this is the new CIP or cure-in-place technology. Paints can be designed that cross-link under sunlight or more commonly can be "mowed" dry by our UV Mower - just like mowing the lawns.

Can I use my usual paints when I change from thermal drying to UV?
No. UV cure paints are chemically different and dry by a completely different mechanism. They are generally nearly 100% solids (UV convertable form liquid state).

Are UV paints harmful to use?
Provided that good industrial hygiene is practiced they are not harmful. Since they are almost 100% solids and non-volitile, they are less harmful than most paints from an inhalation hazard point of view, but they can be irritating to the skin. We recommend disposable nitrile gloves, but if skin contact occurs, wash with solvol soap and water. It is best not to use solvent wash-up on the skin

What is the ecological status of UV paint?
UV paints are listed as "best available control technology" for reduction of atmospheric pollution from coating processes by the California EPA. This is as a result of their very high solids, very low VOC's (volitile organic compounds) and speed of cure with low energy input.

Will UV paints dry without special equipment?
Generally not - they require UV lamps, but it is possible to formulate UV cross linking paints that will physically dry before cure (e.g. by solvent or water evaporation). This is sometimes suggested if there is likely to be shadow zones in the curing oven - e.g. with 3 dimensional objects. UV cross linking Polyurethane dispersions are useful for this
Do I need to wash up equipment between shifts etc. as I do with conventional paints?
Not necessarily. Since UV paints don't dry unless they are exposed to light it is possible to simply cover equipment between uses. Clean up is also an easy process owing to the non-drying nature of these paints.

How much power does it use?
Generally about 20% of that for thermal processes.

What are the key charateristics making UV cure a choice over conventional coatings?

  • Speed of cure (seconds or less!)
  • Hardness and scratch resistance (flooring, furniture, graphics)
  • Exceptional gloss (wet look)
  • Environment friendly (low or no VOC's)
  • Less wash-up (only dries under influence of light)
  • Space saving (equipment has compact footprint)