ROSEMONT, IL - New developments for UV and EB finishing of wood products were on display at RadTech UV/EB 2014, May 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont.

The three-day event included a conference and exposition focused on advancing the educational, technical and scientific advancement of the use of using low VOC-emitting ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) to cure finishes and adhesives used in manufactured products. with a special emphasis on UV-curable water-based materials.

The gathering, orchestrated by RadTech International North America, brought together a diverse mix or professionals representing everything from woodworking, plastics and packaging to graphic arts, printed circuit boards and more.

Exhibitors included resin suppliers like Bayer, Sartomer, Allnex and BASF who discussed the use of polyester acrylates that are being used in most of today's UV curable wood finishes to provide durability in terms of scratch, mar and chemical resistance. These attributes are impacting a wide variety of wood products from office furniture, kitchen cabinets and wood flooring to exterior uses like wood decking.

Another big emphasis on the sold-out expo floor of interest to many in the wood products industry was the display of lamps and equipment for curing UV finishes, including energy-saving LED UV systems. Among the companies showcasing these technologies were American Ultraviolet, Clearstone Technologies, Nordson Corp., Philips Lumiled Lighting Co. and Phoseon Technology. Also on hand was Miltec, which won an IWF Challengers Award in 2012 for its HPI Gloss Control UV Curing System. Miltec's system is designed to eliminate downtime for changeovers by allowing the use of only one UV final topcoat for all gloss ranges from 30 to 80 gloss units, depending on the UV coating formulation.

RadTech International North America is the nonprofit organization dedicated to the technical, educational and market advancement of Ultraviolet (UV) and Electron Beam (EB) Technology. RadTech has over 600 members that supply and use UV/EB equipment, raw materials and formulated products.

Keyland Polymer Ltd. showed samples of complex MDF parts sporting a high-gloss UV powder-coated finish. (See slide show and video.)

The extensive UV/EB technical conference featured a two-hour program devoted to the wood products industry. The May 14 program featured topics such as "Comparing UV-Cured Wood Floor Finishes to Convention 2K Systems," "Advancements in UV-LED Curing for Wood Coatings; "Waterborne UV Coatings for Industrial Wood Applications" and "UV-Cured Powder Coating - the Development of a High Gloss Coating for MDF."

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