Emerging Technology Award Winner - Interprint NA, Pittsfield, MA PDF Print E-mail

Electron Beam Curing of Coatings for Decorative Laminates on Film Substrates.

Interprint is a worldwide leading designer and printer of decorative papers used as the design layer in laminate surfaces such as kitchen countertops, flooring, furniture and retail fixtures. To supplement this paper-based business, the company recently invested in equipment that cures coatings that have been applied to a printed oriented polypropylene (OPP) with an electron beam. The resultant product provides excellent moisture and scratch/abrasion resistance. It also offers exceptional print fidelity, mitre foldability and gloss with low energy consumption, carbon footprint and cost.

EB curing of coatings on polypropylene films provides excellent print fidelity, moisture resistance, mitre foldability, excellent scratch and abrasion resistance, gloss at low energy consumption carbon footprint and cost.  The EB unit was installed last year after 2 years of development.  This industry typically uses low & medium pressure melamine formaldehyde laminates, which is a very energy intensive process.

Interprint’s approach to meet these market demands involves curing coatings on SynDECOR, AET’s oriented polypropylene-based film, specifically designed to meet the requirements of industries that source decorative overlays. Therefore, they needed a curing technology that would be relatively cool, so as not to distort the film thermally. The technology needed to provide high crosslink density, to achieve the extremely high requirements of scratch and abrasion resistance as demanded by these industries. The end product also needed to be odor free and provide the required gloss level. Finally it needed to use the least amount of energy to cure while being cost effective. According to Interprint, EB curing, especially low voltage electron beam curing, uses the least amount of energy when compared to any other curing technology. In addition it provides all the attributes as required by the end product in a cost effective sustainable way.