What Does Radiation-Cured Coating Mean?
Radiation-cured coatings are formulated materials which are cross-linked or cured using high-intensity radiation energy from electron beams or ultraviolet light radiation. The radiation-curable formulation contains a reactive liquid vehicle, pigments and conventional additives. These formulations are specifically designed to be cured with radiation energy.
Radiation-cured coatings have several advantages, including fast curing, low energy costs and improved surface properties which include improved corrosion protection for metals.
Radiation-cured coatings are also known as radcure coatings.
Corrosionpedia Explains Radiation-Cured Coating
The radiation-cured coating process involves applying a low-viscosity mixture of reactive materials and additives onto a substrate. This is then exposed to an electron beam or ultraviolet radiation energy for short periods of time. Once exposed to the radiation, the mixture converts instantaneously into a cross-linked high-quality coating.
A typical mixture contains:
- Low-weight reactive materials such as oligomers and monomers
- Surfactants, colorants, fillers, wetting agents, defoamers and other conventional paint coating additives
The radiation-curing energy is obtained from specific short-wave radiation sources. Commonly used sources are special UV-lamps or an electron beam system with an electron gun and a particle accelerator.
Advantages of radiation-cured coatings include:
- Fast cure, hence a high production rate
- Low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC)
- Low energy consumption
- Durable, high-quality and consistent coating
- Enhanced scratch, impact, abrasion, chemical and mechanical resistance
- Expensive raw materials
- Adhesion problems caused by coating shrinkage
- Difficulties curing 3-D objects
Radiation-cured coatings are used in a variety of fields including industrial coatings, graphics, electronics, adhesives, aerospace and more. Typical applications include:
- Automotive refinish applications
- Domestic appliances such as:
- Cans and other packaging
- Cold-rolled steel, aluminum, nickel, magnesium and brass
- Aerospace & defense
- Pipe & tubing steel pipes for oil drilling
- Graphic arts applications