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Sustainability: Producing for today without harming opportunities for future generations


Session focuses on ways UV curable coatings technology can help companies reach their goal of growing a sustainable business

By Tim Wright • Senior Editor

These days, people are talking about sustainability as a key issue in society. Sustainability in the coatings industry continues to progress and evolve. Most companies operating in today’s business environment agree that adopting sustainable strategies is a necessity for long-term growth.

Today’s session, Sustainability for End Users, which will be held 10:00 pm – 12:00 pm, will focus on ways UV curable coatings technology can help companies reach their goal of growing a sustainable business.

The first talk, “Conversion to UV Curable technology with a Sustainable Approach,” will be presented by Diane Marret of Red Spot Paint & Varnish Co. This paper/presentation offers a realistic look at the process to convert from traditional thermal applications to UV with a sustainable approach in mind.

The goal for sustainability in regards to UV applications is typically defined as smaller, faster and cleaner, and it’s always the objective to give the end user a complete package of a smaller footprint with faster throughput and no VOC’s. However sometimes there can be restrictions that prevent that perfect scenario from happening right away. For an end user new to UV, all three might not be immediately achievable, but certainly there will be improvements in one or two areas over traditional thermal applications.

This paper walks an end user through the steps of converting to UV curable technology, keeping in mind ideal sustainable practices, while understanding the role of the raw material supplier, the formulator and the equipment supplier. The presentation will touch on the known advantages of UV—smaller production footprint, faster cycle time, reduced energy costs, low/no VOC’s—while also highlighting the process of converting and what questions they need to be asking early (where/who is doing production, what are product specs/expectations, are there known cost targets/limitations, etc). It also can highlight the fact that the formulator manages raw materials, unless specifically directed towards specific suppliers, and can help guide equipment selection based on cure parameters.

The next talk is titled “A UV Curable Grease Resistant Coating Comprised of GRAS Components,” to be delivered by Sally Ramsey of Ecology Coatings. “We have discovered that UV curable coatings can be made from ingredients of food that are GRAS (generally recognized as safe),” said Ms. Ramsey. “This type of formulation can eliminate the conundrum of migration and adulteration of foods.”

This paper deals with such a coating formulated for grease resistance. Ecology Coatings has tested this resistance by the ability to prevent the passage of oil from peanut butter and other sources through packaging material that has been sharply creased. Oil absorbs on the surface of the coating but does not pass through the packaging material the company said.

“Sustainable Chemistry: One-Component UV Curable Waterborne Polyurethane Coatings,” is next on the agenda and will be presented by John Brandt, Bayer MaterialScience.

According to Mr. Brandt, since the introduction of UV-curing waterborne polyurethane dispersion systems, the commercial use of coatings based on this technology in place of acid catalyzed varnishes and nitrocellulose lacquers has resulted in the source reduction of 50-90 percent for VOC and 50-99 percent for VHAPS, which equates to more than two million pounds of organic solvents and more than 40,000 pounds of formaldehyde from the U.S. Environment.

Lastly, Gary Jones from Printing Industries of America will give a talk titled, “Sustainability in the Printing Industries.” He says sustainability has quickly become the norm in many industries and it is being driven through the supply chain. The printing industry has been part of the transformation with a focus on both the products being produced and the actual print manufacturing process. This presentation will focus on the market forces shaping sustainability and they have impacted printing operations.