Radiation-Cured Coating

Definition - 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
  • Photoinitiator
  • 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

Disadvantages include:

  • 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:
    • Microwaves
    • Ovens
    • Dishwashers
    • Refrigerators
    • Cans and other packaging

  • Cold-rolled steel, aluminum, nickel, magnesium and brass
  • Aerospace & defense
  • Pipe & tubing steel pipes for oil drilling
  • Adhesives
  • Electronics
  • Graphic arts applications

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