Coating is an important component for timber flooring. It protects the surface of timber 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.
What is UV Coating?
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 because it’s request a production line.
Five Major Compositions (ingredients) of UV Coating
Below table shows the functions for each component:
UV Coating Curing Process
UV Coating Mechanism
Based on the pictures show above, the solidify process for the UV coating initially with the absorption of UV light by the photoinitiator. 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 wood flooring.
UV Coating Finishing System
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. Below table shows the different types of UV coating that available and the function:
UV coating finishing system can be developed and vary by deciding how many layers of the coating and also the combination of different types coating according to the function that you need. The total layer of coating can be as simple as 4 layers to 10 layers or even more!! To develop an UV coating finishing system is almost same like to create a recipe for a meal. Every manufacturer can created their unique system according to customer needs and make them outstanding from the competitors. DLM Power Dekor has already done!!
Although the layers and the combination coating can be changed, but the basic “sequence” need to be followed. Below picture shows the feature or the basic “sequence” for a UV coating finishing system:
From the picture shows above, basically UV coating finishing system can be divided into three different stages. Stage 1 is playing a very important function for the adhesion and toughness of the final finishing for the timber flooring. The coating that needs to use in this stage is basically UV water-based, UV primer and UV putty. Manufacturer can decide how many layers and combination that needs to use.
Physical properties like hardness, abrasion resistance, scratch resistance and etc. are contributed from stage 2. There are various of UV basecoat can be used in this stage and again manufacturer is able to decide how many layers and the combination to achieve clients requirement.
Finally come to the finishing stage which is stage 3. We only advice to use UV topcoat for this stage to control the transparency, surface smoothness and glossiness. There are two type of UV topcoat which are popular use in the market: UV ceramic topcoat and UV aluminum-oxide topcoat. DLM Power Dekor timber flooring chooses UV ceramic topcoat in order to enhance the scratch resistance for the surface finishing. Strongly suggest the layer for topcoat is between 2-3.
Wood is a precious resource from the nature. Wood itself already has a natural beauty appearance, UV coating is just an extra step to enhance the appearance and give extra protection in order to make the hardwood flooring more durable. With this say, UV coating is just like a cosmetic for the wood flooring!!
Below are some pictures to show the production line and the coating application machine:
Advantages of UV Coating
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.