UV Coating for Wood Flooring
Dalamas timber flooring products majority is in prefinished. Coating is an important component for timber flooring. It protects the wood flooring from wear and tear, stains and enhance it appearance as well. There is a wide range of coating in the market and the technology behind this product is fast changing to cope with the ever increasing consumer demand.
UV coating is types of chemical element (liquid) that request ultraviolet radiation to become solid and form a protection layer for the surface of wood flooring. With this say, without the UV light, UV coating will not solidify. Therefore, UV coating is only suitable to produce prefinished timber flooring like engineered timber flooring because it’s request a production line.
There are major 5 types of UV Coating available: UV Water-based Primer, UV Primer, UV Putty, UV Basecoat and UV Topcoat. Below are the major components for a UV coating:
Oligomer (Pre-polymer) is the main film-former. It is a main component (80-90%) in the UV Coating compositions. After the UV curing process, it forms a solid film which adheres to the hardwood flooring substrate and protect against climatic condition, mechanical and chemical damage. Besides that, Oligomer also plays a function to determine physical properties like hardness, toughness as well as viscosity, cross-linking and curing speed for the UV Coating.
Reactive Diluents (Monomer) added as viscosity modifiers. It involved in the cross-linking process to affect the curing speed and physical properties for the film.
Photo initiator plays a main function to absorb UV light to initiate the polymerization process.
Additives added in to optimize performance and appearance for the UV Coating, example like: abrasion-resistance powder, de-foaming agent and etc.
The solidify process for the UV coating initially with the absorption of UV light by the photo initiator. This process will produce free radical which plays a role to stimulate the chain polymerization between the entire compositions to cross-link and form a solid protection film on top of the timber flooring.
UV coating finishing system is a technology that integrated different type of UV coatings to provide a better surface protection for the hardwood flooring. These layers of coating have different functions and characteristics, which are related to one another and indispensable from each other. The composition of the UV coating finishing system can be explained is three different stages.
Stage 1: UV water-based, primer and putty provide good adhesion and toughness;
Stage 2: Multi layers of UV basecoat to provide superb hardness and abrasion resistance;
Stage 3: Ceramic Topcoat to enhance abrasion resistance and transparent finished
Compared to other types of coatings, the most significant feature of UV Coating is the fast curing speed. It can be cured between 0.05s – 0.1s under UV light irradiation. Traditional coatings like solvent-based coating and water-based coating need several hours or days to fully cure.
And due to the fast curing speed, UV Coating can be prefinished in the production line, the overall production time is save, hence increase the production efficiency. Prefinished wood flooring with UV Coating can be installed immediately on site; there is no sanding, no waiting for the finish to dry compare with traditional unfinished wood flooring. Therefore, we can save the site installation time as well.
There is no Volatile Solvent in the composition of UV Coating; this is complaint with environmental friendly. Solvent-based coating normally content 30% – 70% of inert solvent, during their curing process almost all volatile into atmosphere, this will harm the environment. The UV Coating is different, UV Coating is 100% solid content, all the compositions cross-link during the UV curing process and there is no/low volatile organic compounds (VOC) that volatile into atmosphere, which in turn, considerably reduces air pollution, harm to the human body and fire hazards.
UV Coating is considering low wastage in application as well. UV Coating is 100% solid content, all the compositions during the curing process cross-link during the UV curing process and form a solid protection film; therefore it is fully utilize the coating. Besides that the application machine for UV Coating are designed to recycling the coating.