Beckers Develops New Coil Coating Technology

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2023


Beckers, a global market coil coatings provider, recently released Life Cycle Assessment results showing that the use of ultraviolet/electron beam curing technology could significantly reduce the environmental impacts of the coating process.

According to the company, recent LCA tests performed by Becker revealed that this new technology has the potential to “revolutionize” the coil coatings industry.

About the Testing

Beckers conducted LCA tests for “conventional solvent-borne and water-based” coil coating techniques, in addition to UV/EB technology. The LCAs were reportedly made as comparable as possible, simulating the same coating system, thickness and coil coating line speed, from “cradle to coil customer’s gate.”

The assessments included the manufacturing of the coating, its component raw materials and the customer’s coil coating process for each technique. Excluded from the LCAs, however, were steel manufacturing, the end use of the coil coated product and its end of life, since they were “outside of Beckers' sphere of influence.”

“The LCAs highlighted that UV/EB coil coating significantly reduces CO2e emissions and enhances resource efficiency compared with conventional coil coating techniques,” explained James Maxted, Global Product Sustainability Director.

“Sustainability-related savings are primarily realized from the cold-cure UV/EB process that does not require natural gas and can instead use electricity from renewable sources. UV/EB curing also requires much less paint per square meter than standard solvent-based formulations which carry significant quantities of solvents that are necessary to facilitate application, but which are removed in the ovens and combusted via Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTO).”

Beckers states that this is the first time a comparable LCA between three different coating application processes has been conducted. Real-world industrial coil coating line data from the European Coil Coating Association (ECCA) and some coil coaters was used for standard coating technologies, while UV/EB was sourced from Beckers’ own development work and from a “specialized UB/EB equipment manufacturer.”

“As LCAs are only as good as the data you put in it, we worked to obtain the most accurate and reliable primary data sources we could for the analyses,” said Maxted.

“Our LCAs were also conducted according to ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, which stipulate that studies are critically reviewed by third parties. We contracted three external LCA experts to verify our assessments to ensure they were able to provide the best possible comparison of the different coil coating technologies.”

Results of the Tests

The LCA study reportedly highlighted significant sustainability benefits for UV/EB coil coating compared to conventional techniques.

The company states that the results from LCA testing not only show the usefulness of UV/EB technology but will also help them improve the way they work with sustainability through further developing their tools. After the LCAs, Beckers says that they saw the need to “refine” their sustainable product development tool—The Becker Sustainability Index—to include customer processes.

Minimizing the impact of coil coating formulations and applications is reportedly becoming increasingly important to Beckers’ customers as they work to “significantly decarbonize primary steel and aluminum production,” as well as responding to the challenges and requirements placed on them by legislation like the EU Green Deal.

Beckers states that UV/EB curing technology is the most significant gamechanger in terms of decarbonization of the coil coating industry. Beckers believes this will aid in developing more sustainable products that bring “even greater value to our customers and the environment.”

“All customers are working to decarbonize their value chain and our LCAs highlight that UV/EB could be an important step on their journey towards decarbonization,” stated Maxted. “UV/EB curing has other additional benefits, such as enabling customers to more than halve the length of their coil coating lines while reducing coating line complexity.”

Recent Beckers News

In May, Beckers Group completed the sale of its railway coatings business to Kansai Helios.

The company reported that the move, first announced in December, strengthens its profile in performance coatings and continues the transformation of the company into a sustainable innovation-based leader. Additionally, it allows them to increase efficiency and reinvest into strategic core segments and new products.

As a part of this transaction, Kansai Helios planned to establish its first subsidiary in France, Kansai Helios France SAS. Beckers reported that a number of its employees in the railway coating business had joined Kansai Helios as part of the deal, which also included the transfer of technology and business assets.

Kansai Helios reported that, with the closing, a wide range of industrial coatings designed to protect railway vehicles have been taken over by the company, to be integrated to extend its existing railway coatings portfolio. The company also announced that Hiroyuki Nagai had been appointed General Manager.

The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Beckers Group; Coating Application; Coating chemistry; Coating Materials; Coatings; Coatings Technology; Coil Coatings; Coil coatings; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Latin America; Life cycle; North America; Sustainability; Z-Continents

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