By David Savastano • Editor
Energy curing technologies are enjoying strong growth in a wide range of applications, and exhibitors at RadTech 2012 say they are looking forward to showcasing their latest technologies and seeing the most recent trends during the conference.
“We are very excited about RadTech 2012,” said James Zawicki, manager, marketing communications, Sartomer USA, LLC. “The economy continues to build and is showing many positive signs for growth. This is also our first opportunity to participate at RadTech as part of Arkema.”
“We have two major expectations for the RadTech Conference,” said Dr. Mike J. Idacavage, director of business development at Esstech, Inc. “The first is to introduce Esstech and our products to potential customers outside our current market space as a leader in dental and nail care applications. The second would be to network within the industry as we are always looking for new materials, collaborators and opportunities within the UV and EB curing market.”
Joe Coffey, manager UV applications for Shamrock Technologies, believes that the market is strong and has very specific needs.
"One need is perfectly clear," he said. "Formulators continue to seek a matting agent that works in both thick and thin films, gives excellent clarity, does not burnish, mattes efficiently and, most importantly, does not affect their rheology.
“This is a tough one," Mr. Coffey added, "but some of us in the industry are getting close."
Anthony Carignano, global marketing manager, Packaging Coatings & Inks for Cytec Industries said that Cytec is looking forward to showcasing new technologies during RadTech 2012.
“Our expectations for RadTech 2012 are to let the market know about several of the innovative technical areas where Cytec’s Coatings Resins business is playing an active and innovative role,” Mr. Carignano said.
“Expectations are high for continued growth and expansion in today’s energy curing technologies,” said Rich Edgar, end use manager - wood, coil and can coatings, BYK USA Inc. “RadTech 2012 provides the ideal forum to showcase these products and offer innovative solutions to the market.”
John Erbeck, product line manager for Emerald Performance Materials, noted that this is the first RadTech that his company is exhibiting.
“We see a lot of growth potential for energy curable applications,” Mr. Erbeck noted. “Raw materials for energy curable technologies have continued to evolve. Some of the challenges for this segment from a raw material supply perspective have been overcoming misconceptions that all raw materials are hazardous, difficult to handle and have an unpleasant odor that in some cases carries over to the final product. In fact, radiation curable processes can be a good option from a safety, health and environmental perspective.”
Mr. Carignano noted that the End User sessions that will be taking place at RadTech 2012 are equally of high interest.
“It’s not often that you get multiple links and members from, for example, the UV Field Applied industry value chain in the same room together, discussing industry trends and potential solutions to technologically unmet needs in an open format,” Mr. Carignano said. “The Print & Packaging End User Session that will be taking place on April 20 should be of high interest to anyone in the consumer product packaging value chain. Nestlé’s Stephen Klump, Ph.D., and David Ettinger from Keller and Heckman will be addressing some of the latest topics and salient issues in indirect food contact regulations in North America and Europe. Presentations will also be given on new materials, EB technologies, H-UV technology and UV inkjet for flexible packaging and labels.”
Exhibitors noted that are challenges moving forward, as customers develop new applications.
“Especially in the consumer packaging and industrial plastics markets, the current market for Radcure coatings and inks technology in North America remains strong and continues to organically grow in many new product development areas,” Mr. Carignano said. “Current challenges in the consumer product packaging space include a push towards greater traceability and accountability over raw material ingredients which are free of chemicals of concern: BPA, formaldehyde, organo-tin, etc. Raw material ingredients which are low in VOC emissions and which are proven to be sourced from environmentally renewable ingredients are also of high interest. In industrial coatings and graphic arts, cost reduction and the development of products with exhibit a ‘basic goodness of fit’ in meeting application needs are also common themes.”
“The demand for improved product quality and efficient manufacturing processes have resulted in much greater challenges in UV curing technologies,” said Mr. Edgar. “With the development of newer oligomers and monomers, combined with advances in processing and application equipment, the UV formulator today must find innovative solutions that meet this demanding criteria.”
“Radcure coatings continue to be a growing market in the global coatings industry,” said Tina Snider, market manager for industrial coatings at BASF, citing growth in electronics and growth in support of alternative energy industry.
“In these challenging economic times, companies are taking a close look at any technology that might bring an advantage, and UV and EB curable materials will meet this requirement,” Dr. Idacavage said. “In general, the major trend that we see is a move from generic, low cost materials and processes to higher performance materials and more efficient processes that can meet the increasingly demanding needs in the marketplace.”