Curing deeper paint layers: improved radical-initiation in thick and pigmented systems

UV-curing is a widely used technology for industrial coatings. However, the UV light used to activate photo initiators does not readily penetrate deeper (thick) coatings or in pigmented systems. This project will investigate different methods to overcome these challenges.

UV-curing is a widely applied technique for the drying of industrial coatings, often used on wooden substrates. Advantages of the use of UV-curing are that no or only small amounts of solvents are required, drying times are short (seconds to few minutes) and that the final coating has excellent properties. Also, especially with the use of UV-LED lighting, the curing process is very energy-efficient compared to curing at elevated temperatures (often used in industrial coating processes).

UV-curing coatings make use of radical curing of acrylates, which is initiated by photo-initiators. A big drawback of the technique is that the UV-light used to activate the photo-initiators, does not readily penetrate in deeper (thick) layers, or in pigmented systems.

In this project, different research approaches will be investigated to overcome these challenges and apply light-cure in thick and/or pigmented coating layers.