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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

UV curing without photoinitiators

Thursday, 21 August 2014 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

I would like to draw your attention to a new technology I find very interesting. It concerns UV curing without photoinitiators and has recently won a regional innovation award in Germany.

According to the company that invented this process, the innovation enables application of UV paints and coatings in compliance with tightened European VOC limits. At the same time, new application areas for this printing process open up.

The inventors point out that in conventional UV curing, residues of toxic photoinitiators, used for UV cured paints and coatings, could later leak from the surface and cause health damages.

Irradiation with extreme short-wave light

The new process works without photoinitiators: liquid paint is irradiated with extreme short-wave light from an excimer lamp in a chamber, exluding oxygen. This is directly followed by irradiation with a newly developed UVC medium pressure lamp. Due to especially high-energetic light ions, the molecular double bonds break open. Free radicals are formed and polymerisation is directly set in motion.

Food and pharmaceutical packaging

Paints and coatings cured this way are especially suited for food and pharmaceutical packaging, the company says, but also for car interiors, furniture surfaces and flooring. The process is currently undergoing a long-term test with a pilot client.  

What do you think about this technology? Does it sound promising to you? Will it be a big step for UV curing, or is it just an idea never to be commercialised? Please share your opinion!

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