Radiation cure coatings are surface treatments which are either cured by ultraviolet or electron beam radiation. These coating products are obtained by the process of radiation curing which can be modulated to fit in a wide range of applications. Radiation cure coatings are used for a variety of materials such as wood, glass, plastic and paper. These formulations are widely consumed in adhesives, inks and electronics which are cross-linked by high-intensity electron-beam or ultraviolet energy sources. The manufacturing process for these coatings is considered instantaneous which requires less time as compared to conventional thermal curing processes
The global demand for radiation cure coatings has been primarily driven by increase in infrastructure activities resulting in rise in demand for wood coatings. Moreover, environmental compliance of this technology has also contributed towards the growth of the market. Radiation cure technology produces minimal waste which is later disposed of as ordinary waste. The global industry for radiation cure coatings exhibits high degree of backward integration owing to majority of radiation cure coating manufacturers engaged in the production of feedstock materials as well.
This factor has provided the market participants a distinctive competitive advantage in terms of raw material supply and procurement. The market has also been witnessing noticeable growth on account of significant technological advancements in the radiation curing technology which present many advantages, applicable to a wide range of substrates, particularly heat-sensitive substrates such as plastic and wood. In addition, radiation cure coatings are manufactured through eco-friendly technological processes without any volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and has replaced various conventional low solids, solvent borne coatings
However, as high material costs are involved in manufacturing process as well as the need to install new application equipment, radiation cure coatings account for a small share of the total coating market. Moreover, there is relatively minimal consumption of radiation cure coatings on metal, which individually account for the largest industrial coating market. Over the next few years, government regulations particularly concerning air pollution in matured regions such as North America and Europe are anticipated to be the key driving factors behind the adoption of low pollution coating technologies such as radiation cure coatings.
Increasing implementation of solvent-free formulations in order to meet environmental restrictions coupled with the growth of the wood coatings industry are some of the key driving forces for the radiation coatings market. In addition, economic advantages rapid curing and drying, low energy consumption during the manufacturing process as well as superior hardness and abrasion resistance properties of these coatings have also contributed significantly towards the growth of the market. However, escalating prices of raw materials associated with the manufacturing of radiation cure coatings are expected to hamper the growth of the market.
Increasing use of radiation cured coatings in printed electronics which include electric device manufactured by printing hold significant potential for the growth of the market. Ultra-violet curable coatings and inks are being increasingly produced which exhibit the potential for widespread consumption in transdermal patches, electroluminescent, portable photovoltaics, and organic light emitting diodes. Moreover, increasing trend towards the implementation of bio-based materials in radiation cure products are also expected to provide new opportunities towards the growth of the market.
BASF SE, Chongqing Changfeng Chemical, Cytec Corporation, Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals, Royal DSM, and Sartomer are some of the key manufacturers for radiation cure coatings present in the market.
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