Q. I run the finishing operations for my company, which manufactures concrete tile products. We seal the surfaces with a coat of acrylic material. Environmental considerations and rising energy costs are forcing us to look at alternative curing methods. Some time ago, I remember reading about electron-beam curing somewhere. Unfortunately, I can’t find the article now. I am interested in further information on this subject and the names of coatings suppliers and equipment manufacturers. Can you help me? T.B.
A. Electron beam (EB) curable coatings may meet environmental requirements but may not be the best method for your application. Since capital costs and energy usage are so high for EB curable coatings, it sounds like overkill for applying clear coatings to concrete tile products.
As an alternative, I suggest you investigate ultraviolet-radiation (UV) curable coatings which require lower capital costs and lower energy usage. Clear coatings based on urethane-acrylic, epoxy and other resin chemistries have been commercially available for many years and are widely used in various industries. Suppliers of UV-curable coatings and UV-curing equipment can be found at pfonline.com. Ask your present coating supplier if he is also be able to provide you with UV-curable coatings for your products.