Uralac® Ultra

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Uralac® Ultra

The powder of possibilities

Ten times faster with powder coatings

When high-end kitchen cabinet manufacturer, Kempa, recently decided to go with DSM’s Uralac® Ultra-based powder coatings, company owner Paul Maeyninckx expected faster processing. But was happily shocked when his team achieved a ten-fold reduction. “Obviously, it depends on the type of substrate and the number of layers,” says Maeyninckx. “But it is possible to use just three minutes of oven time with powder, rather than the half an hour with paint.”

WHY NOW?

Powder coating has been available already for several years, so why did Kempa wait until now before adopting the technology? “Our customers are specialist kitchen builders, and for several years they have occasionally asked if we did powder coatings,” says Filip Laureyssen, Kempa’s Customer Care Manager. “But in the last three years there seems to have been a sudden increase of interest, so naturally we decided to look into the possibilities. We also believed that the technology had reached the level of sophistication where we wanted to use it.”

 

That sudden increase of interest in powder coating was almost certainly caused by the growing awareness of the benefits of powder coatings. The kitchen building community was hearing more and more about the time and cost savings over liquid paints, but also about the higher durability advantages. Powder coatings are more scratch-resistant, more humidity-resistant, and offer good chemical resistance, while at the same time providing excellent surface appearance with a range of gloss levels. 

“We also found that architects were particularly interested in the product’s very low carbon footprint, says Laureyssen. “This characteristic helps architects achieve more ‘green’ credentials in their proposed tenders for local and national government new builds.” 

WHY SO FAST?

“Powder coatings are faster to process than liquid paint because there is no priming and less sanding involved,” says Maeyninckx. “There’s also reduced curing time. So you can see why it is ten times faster – especially for single-coat processing. But make no mistake, this increased speed does not impact at all on quality.”

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Frequently asked questions

How is it possible to spray powder on standard “non-conductive” MDF?

For the application of the powder, the moisture in the MDF is used for conductivity. A moisture content of 4-to-8 percent of weight is sufficient to attract the powder.

Is special MDF needed for powder coating?

For the application of the powder, the moisture in the MDF is used for conductivity. A moisture content of 4-to-8 percent of weight is sufficient to attract the powder.

Can I use my existing powder coating for metal oven for curing MDF powder?

Most of the conventional curing ovens are convection ovens but the best results for MDF are reached with infrared radiation (IR) ovens. With IR ovens, the surface of the MDF can be heated up quickly to cure the powder coating, while the core of the MDF stays relatively cool. With convention ovens, the temperatures are often too high or the core of the MDF heats-up too much because of the longer time needed to reach the curing temperature.

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