Conventional two-pot lacquer coatings have been a mainstay of the building industry for decades, but UV curing has been growing rapidly in popularity due to a range of manufacturer and consumer benefits, particularly its higher environmental credentials and more durable finish.
The process uses ultraviolet light to cure the paint – a photochemical process that binds the pigments. Drying time, compared with solvent-based paints, is reduced from days to minutes. There are many benefits: for instance, there is much greater accuracy in application and colour, a more durable finish, and less time for airborne fragments to settle and mark the boards. It is also a cleaner factory process.
Benefits of UV coatings
- VOC free – no solvents – so cause and effect is greatly reduced.
- Compliant with international certifications such as Global Green Tag.
- More scratch-resistant and durable than conventional coatings.
- Quick drying.
- Fewer reject boards due to the faster drying.
- Better colour fidelity and more precision.
- More colour-fast than conventional coatings.
- A wider colour palette.
- Paint suppliers are ISO 14001 approved.
UV-cured paints are harder than conventional coatings, and offer:
- Improved impact resistance.
- Improved Taber (wear/abrasion) test.
- Improved scratch resistance.
Traditional polyurethane paint systems present a technical challenge when reproducing panels to an exact colour palette. This is due to the length of time they need to cure and the variation this creates in the final board finish. UV coating technology takes the guesswork out. It cures within minutes. We have more control over formulas and volumes because coating is precise. Due to its unique curing method, there is a much wider colour palette possible with UV application. All our colour work is undertaken with the colour spectrometer using L*a*b*.
Bates actively selects products and processes that minimise impact on people and the environment. Our raw material suppliers are all ISO 14001 certified and our panel partners make boards from sustainably sourced materials, with several achieving Global Green Tag certification and/or Red List Free status. These certifications require a UV paint system for compliance. With 80% of our production now in UV-cured coatings, we are possibly the most environmentally-friendly surface coatings factory in New Zealand.