The food packaging industry serves as an excellent example of where radiation-cured coatings market have become the dominant printing technology. Use of UV curable coating technology and the resultant ready-to-ship printed packages marks a revolutionary change in an industry in which slow-drying, oil-based inks were in use for decades.
Ocean View, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/30/2020 -- With a considerable rise in the consumption of packaged food products and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), global radiation curable coatings market is well set to experience an unprecedented growth in the upcoming years.
Robust advances in the polymers and advanced materials space, a pressing need for high-quality functional coatings, and the advent of radiation curing technology have revolutionized the way coatings are cured today. Radiation cured coatings have emerged as one of the most prominently used technologies for wood and furniture coatings over the last decade.
Ultraviolet (UV) energy, low energy electrons (EB), or visible light are generally used to develop radiation curable coatings market. Since their discovery, these coatings have increasingly become a popular choice of material in printing inks commonly used in packaging and labeling.
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Extensive application in packaging and printing
The food industry being highly regulated, the application of UV cured coatings in food packaging printing requires manufacturers to consider numerous regulations and directives. Radiation cured coatings in the form of printing inks have a long and successful history of application in the packaging of non-contact food packaging.
In March 2008 however, RadTech Food Packaging Alliance was able to obtain clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a number of UV curable materials. The FDA had issued the Food Contact Notification (FCN) 772 clearance which approves the use of UV and EB curable coatings in direct contact with food products.
A regulatory framework introduced by the FDA for food packaging and labeling provides suitable guidance regarding the exposure of kids to hazardous materials and substances in packaging. On the basis of these regulations, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved the use of properly cured radiation coatings in the packaging of children's products.
Growing consumption of packaged goods along with the proliferation of ecommerce and online shopping is likely to propel the need for efficient printing and labeling technologies in the future. A favorable regulatory scenario approving the use of these coatings in printing and packaging applications will undeniably complement radiation curable coatings industry outlook.
The future of radiation curable coatings
UV curable systems are predominantly used in majority of applications where radiation curable coatings market are employed. Current development efforts are largely focused on minimizing the impacts of photo-initiators and monomer and improving waterborne systems. As curing equipment and coating formulations continue to evolve, LED curing technology is generating substantial interest and excitement.
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Several manufacturers are experimenting with LED systems that offer efficient thermal management and help remove excess heat from the system, maximizing the performance and efficiency. UV LED technology can cure at 20-30% faster speeds while consuming up to 50% less energy. In addition, these systems are more compact than conventional UV systems. Enhanced safety and reliability are additional benefits of the technologies as LEDs don't generate UV-C radiation, excessive heat, ozone, or noise.
Major growth restraints and COVID-19 impact
Unsaturated polyesters, vinyl ethers, and epoxy acrylates are some of the key renewable raw materials used in the production of radiation curable coatings. High costs of these raw materials and their lack of availability due to the recent coronavirus outbreak and subsequent supply chain disruptions may affect overall price trends. However, the upsurge in online shopping due to lockdown restrictions in many regions is providing favorable opportunities to manufacturers and suppliers of associated materials.
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