Review: UV-curable water-borne polyurethane coatings

UV-WPU coatings are becoming attractive due to increasingly rigorous environmental demands. Now a state-of-the-art and recent advances review has been published.

PUAM emulsion could be used as anti-counterfeiting ink printed on different substrates.. Image source: doctor-a - Pixabay (symbol image).

Waterborne polyurethane coatings prepared by UV-induced photoreactions (UV-WPU) are becoming very attractive due to the increasingly stringent environmental demands. They were developed to replace solvent-based polyurethanes in the coatings of wood, paper, plastics, metal, and glass, mainly because of their good physicochemical, rheological, and optical properties.

Specific questions

Several UV-WPU formulations have been tested over the years, making their research substantial.  A new work aims to answer specific questions about the state of these materials’ art, such as: “which monomers have been used most in UV-WPU synthesis?”, “what type of photo-initiator has promoted the most efficient curing of the material?”, “what additives or particles have been tested for composite UV-WPUs?”, “which applications have UV-WPUs been directed to?”, “what adaptations and technologies have already been tested to overcome the challenges of the process?”, among others.

As a result of a systematised bibliographic search in four databases, considering the period from January 2000 to July 2020, a total of one hundred and thirty-eight distinct and relevant articles on UV-WPUs were found. From this study, the publishers hope to present a scientific source on the current state-of-the-art of UV-WPU synthesis, providing new combinations of raw materials and intelligent solutions, thus making material and industrial engineers able to mitigate the inconveniences of the process.

The review has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 154, May 2021.

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