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Acrylate powder coatings
Acrylate powder coatingsKeywords: Du Pont, Powder coatings
It was the automotive industry which triggered the development of a new generation of powder coatings based on acrylates. This development has been pushed ahead by Du Pont Performance Coatings (DPC) in order to improve the visual and weather-resistance properties of what is described as an ecologically advantageous technology.
Powder coatings have successfully established themselves in the market for several years and have reportedly replaced liquid paint systems in many cases. However, in Du Pont's opinion, conventional powder coatings based on polyesters or epoxy resins, have come up against limits when high resistance to weathering was required in addition to the excellent surface finish, as is the case in the automotive industry, for example.
Acrylate resins are the main components in the new powder coating system and believed to be the key to the excellent appearance, high gloss and high resistance to weathering claimed of the coated surfaces. The innovative development of this new generation of coatings would have been impossible without these specially developed resins, which have been available in the required quality since 1997. However, it is only in combination with the other raw materials contained in the powder coating that the acrylates really unfold their full potential.
According to Du Pont, powder coatings based on acrylates can simply be applied with conventional application systems. A single layer of an acrylate powder clearcoat is able to produce a mirror-like surface finish. Significantly lower film thicknesses are sufficient for the new powder coating system to produce the same visual properties as a conventional polyester powder clearcoat, thus reducing the consumption of material.
Acrylate powder coatings are said to be a relatively new technology offering a highly unexploited potential for innovation and application. The outstanding properties claimed for the technology are still relatively unknown to the manufacturers of industrial products and this is thought to be why acrylate powder coatings are not yet widely used in industrial applications. Their potential in the automotive parts sector is considered by Du Pont to be enormous, as they can reportedly be used to coat anything from wheels to trim strips and plastic components. The furniture market is believed to be another promising sector in which these coatings could be used, for example, on bathroom and laboratory furniture, which must exhibit outstanding resistance to chemicals and scratching. Double-digit growth rates have been forecast by DPC for these coatings in industrial applications in the coming years.
The coatings are already successfully used in practice. BMW, for example, is said to be the world's first car maker to have made successful use of acrylate powder clearcoats since 1997. The coatings' resistance to weathering as determined by the Florida test method is reported to meet the automotive industry's standards after a five-year test period. Other mass car makers are thought to be planning to introduce acrylate powder coating systems. Manufacturers of de luxe bicycles have started to apply acrylate powder coatings from DPC to their products.
Details available from: Du Pont Pulverlack GmbH & Co.KG. Tel.: +49 8703 931 859; Fax: +49 9703 931 853.