Conventional thermoset coating formulations are thermally cured through crosslinking and polymerisation processes. Catalysts are often added to such formulations to initiate these curing processes.
A disadvantage of thermoset coating formulations is that they contain organic solvents or water which need to be driven off by a drying process.
Radiation coating formulations are mainly free of organic solvents or water which make them more environmentally friendly in use. Such formulations are initiated by a catalyst (photoinitiator) which is actived by briefly irradiating the coating formulation with uv or visible light.
The curing reaction is extremely rapid which means shorter finishing lines, increased line speeds to be shortened, line speeds increased, and finished products which can be immediately handled and packaged.
Advantages of UV cured formulations are summarised by the 3E's:
* Energy required to cure coating formulations is low
* Efficiency of curing is high
* Ecology - compliance to stricter VOC regulations is made easier as little or no volatile organic components are present in most radcure formulations.