The dynamic in the processes for developing coatings and stains is rapid and the creative opportunities are unlimited. The greatest challenge of all is to reconcile customer-specific wishes with general market requirements. Our innovations emerge from this interaction. Here are some of the current topics that are especially occupying both our R & D Department and the sector in general.
Digital printing technology has developed rapidly in recent years. Surfaces are now digitally printed in one pass in many areas, and at breathtaking speed. We can no longer imagine life without digital printing, be it for flooring, coatings in the timber industry or decorative elements made of glass. Even individual interior design pieces have become a reality thanks to digital printing: now your customer can print their holiday photo on the shower enclosure or depict their ideal dish on a kitchen front. Special primers are required to prepare the substrate for printing. They ensure reliable adhesion on the substrate that could be glass, HDF or plastic-based panels. These Hesse primers are optimally coordinated with the printing inks to enable surfaces to become an inspiring experience. A finishing lacquer is applied to protect the printed motif and reliably prevent scratches and stains. Trust the wide-ranging experience gained by Hesse when selecting your coating products for the digital printing process.
Greatest possible resistance, fast systems, high coating thicknesses. Ideal terrain for Hesse EBC coatings. Hesse EBC coatings are dried using so-called electron beam curing (EBC, German ESH Elektronenstrahlhärtung). This involves beaming electrons onto the applied coating, whereby unsaturated double bonds of the binder in the coating become cross-linked to create a resistant coating layer. This procedure is mainly used in foil coating, but also in coating wood and wood-based materials, e.g. on doors. It has the following advantages in comparison to traditional UV cured coatings:
The Hesse R & D Department develops EBC coatings (coatings for electron beam curing) using their own EBC equipment. This involves specifically adapting the formulation to your needs.
Hesse has already been involved with excimer technology for years. This form of UV radiation (172 nm) is used to produce extremely matt surfaces with maximum imperviousness. The Excimer radiation only cures the surface of the wet coating film, which results in folding of the surface. A conventional UV lamp or EBC is subsequently used to fully harden the coating layer. The micro-folding of the surface significantly refracts light, so the surface appears dull matt. Largely refraining from using conventional matting agents in the coating formulation makes these dull matt surfaces extremely resistant. In particular this prevents shiny areas on surfaces given daily use. Advantages of an excimer coating:
Energy-saving LED technologies are also used in our industry. For some years there have been UV curing systems for UV lacquers that rely on LED technology. Hesse Lignal even sells lacquers appropriate for this technology which enable complete energy-saving curing. Advantages of LED lacquer technology:
Digital lacquer embossing (DLE) can be used to achieve new methods of producing structured surfaces. This procedure was developed by machine builder Hymmen. How does it work? DLE involves pressing an ink into a wet lacquer film to displace the lacquer at this point. This creates a depression, which is fixed after curing. This imprinted pore corresponds to the pattern beneath and permits the look and feel of a decor to "merge". Several of our customers already use this procedure, naturally in combination with the innovative lacquers from Hesse.
The timber industry saw Calander Coating being invented to produce inexpensive coatings with superior quality. This procedure involves a plastic film being laid on the wet lacquer film. The lacquer film is subsequently cured using UV light that shines through the plastic film. Either a perfect high gloss surface or a matt, micro-structured surface is obtained after removing the plastic film depending on the plastic film’s characteristics. Since the radiation is inert, i.e. occurs in an oxygen-free environment, the finished surface meets the highest demands in terms of scratch resistance. Advantages:
Ralf Untiedt in Product Management will be pleased to answer any questions on these new technologies.