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Wood and Wood Products Applications for UV Curing 

 

UV-curable coatings for wood products were first developed more than 30 years ago to replace nitrocellulose lacquers and amino-alkyd coatings. Today, a wide variety of wood products including prefinished flooring, moldings, panels, doors, cabinetry, window trim, parquet flooring, particleboard MDF, and pre-assembled furniture are being finished with UV-curable fillers, stains, sealers, and topcoats (both clear and pigmented). 

 

Click here to see which of our products are most highly suited to wood products applications. 

 

Benefits of UV Curing for Wood Products 

 

UV coatings are known for their superior durability and chemical and stain resistance, while bringing out the beauty of the wood.  Among their many benefits for production facilities are: 

  • Faster production rates 
  • Reduced lead times 
  • Reduced labor costs 
  • Significant reduction or the complete elimination of VOCs 
  • A higher quality finished product 
  • Less waste 
  • Less floor-space required for the process 
  • Immediate handling and packaging 
  • Lower insurance premiums because of lower flammability risk 

Coating Application Techniques 

 

Flat wood products are typically roll-coated or curtain-coated. Profiles such as millwork and trim are often vacuum-coated. Spray-coating is used for shaped parts such as assembled furniture and moldings. 

 

UV coatings are low VOC, waterborne or 100% solids. New resins have allowed formulation of 100% solid coatings that are sprayable. Many commercial finishers reclaim their overspray UV coatings, operating at near 100% transfer efficiency. UV powder coatings are used for single-coat finishing of medium density fiberboard (MDF) parts. 

 

Click here to download a case history featuring Carolina Drawers, a wood drawer manufacturer. 

 

Wood Flooring 

 

Prefinished hardwood strip and parquet flooring have been finished for many years with UV-curable sealers and topcoats – both waterborne and more recently 100% solids – to provide excellent durability and stain resistance. UV-curable stains are also available. Even trim pieces and moldings can be UV cured to exactly match the flooring pieces. 

 

UV curing makes diversification possible!  Click here to learn how a custom architectural millwork and cabinetry company successfully made the transition to UV curing. 

 

Another company, Artistic Finishes, has used UV topcoats and stains for environmental as well as practical reasons. Click here to review a case study of its experience.  

 

The Heraeus Noblelight America Advantage 

 

Heraeus Noblelight America curing systems and equipment deliver stable output over time, offer very long life, and uniformity across the width of flat lines. Our equipment is especially suited for curing shaped trim, molding, and assembled furniture due to its modularity and flexibility to cure 3-D parts. 

 

Any wood products manufacturer concerned about excessive heat will find that our systems run cooler than others. For example, pine is notoriously resinous.  Most who finish pine find the Fusion UV lamp is the only one that will cure the coating without bringing the resins to the surface. 

 

Heraeus Noblelight America also has relationships with the best UV coatings suppliers for wood. In fact, many have our equipment in their own labs.  We can help you put together the right team to ensure a successful conversion to UV-coating your wood products. 

 

Contact us if you would like more information or have specific questions. 

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