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Hybrid Cure Process for Coatings: Achieve Desired Finish Efficiently

SpecialChem – Aug 20, 2018

Hybrid Process for Drying and Curing of Coatings – Achieve Desired Finish Efficiently Today, cars are more than just a mode of transportation. From raw material manufacturers & formulators to automotive OEMs, everyone is regularly searching for ways to make things faster, better and cheaper. Constant advancements in materials such as lightweight plastics, specialized coatings, etc. can help develop desired surface finish as well as meet other requirements, like:

  • Robust in design
  • Elite in performance
  • Compliant to environmental challenges and regulations at the same time

Printing/coating on plastic is a growing and challenging market. They have been successfully used for many years, but new opportunities arise daily that remind formulators how difficult achieving adhesion can be.

Among several coatings used today, radiation cured coatings are gaining momentum meeting the:

  • Stringent environmental legislations, 
  • Durability requirements, 
  • Tougher OEM standards etc. 

Let’s discuss about developments in these coatings in detail…


Curing Processes – Then and Now


Coaters and decorators used to paint, or coat plastics parts using water or solvent-based coatings and then dry them all thermally in large curing ovens. Though effective, yet:

  • The water-based coatings required very high energy input to drive off the water content
  • The VOC emissions from drying solvent-based formulations required expensive containment or treatment equipment 
  • The drying ovens simply took up a huge amount of space 

Curing processes for coatings such as Ultraviolet (UV), electron beam (EB), IR (infrared), dual/hybrid cure etc. are gaining attention of manufacturers thanks to their benefits such as lower VOC, fast processing speed, cost-effectiveness, flexibility in applications etc. High scratch resistance, abrasion as well as chemical resistance are among the key benefits offered by these coatings making them suitable for plastics and polymer substrates widely used today in vehicles parts, such as:
Radiation Curable Coatings for Polymer Substrates Used in Vehicles Parts
  • Exterior body 
  • Interior coatings
  • Under-the-hood components
  • Lighting reflector housing
  • Headlamps, door handles, mirrors, 
  • Side molding, body panels
  • Tail lamps 
  • And many more…

Continue reading to understand more about different curing processes used today for plastics and polymer substrates and how they fulfill market requirements »

1 Comments on "Hybrid Cure Process for Coatings: Achieve Desired Finish Efficiently"
Paul B Aug 24, 2018
Good article. However, it seems that the pros and cons of the different curing processes still exist the same way they did 18-20 years ago. We still have the heat sensitivity issues for sensitive substrates, the shadow zone problem for pure UV and the formulation and system complexities of hybrid systems. As was the case then, is the case now, the process has to suit the strengths and weaknesses of your end product, there is still no perfect solution.

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