If there is a benefit derived from rising energy costs, it is the new products that are developed to provide energy savings. Manufacturers now have access to a new coating technology that not only decreases costs by as much as 90% in some cases, but is also environmentally sound. Ecology Coatings, Inc. based in Akron, Ohio used 100% solids "liquid nanotechnology" to create its new coating.
"The key to energy savings is that fact that this new coating is curable via ultraviolet light and can reduce energy expenditures by as much as 80% since baking ovens which use a great deal of natural gas are no longer necessary. Furthermore this process does not release any pollutants to the ambient environment. And these coatings can be applied to metals, plastics, electronics, medical devices, composites and paper," explains president and COO Tom Krotine.
Another major savings is the fact that space on the manufacturing floor is freed up when a 30-100 foot long thermal oven is no longer necessary. Savings on floor space can be as high as 85%. Process improvements are another benefits as it takes less than a minute, including moving time, to coat a surface.
The new technology is especially useful in the paper industry as the coating can prevent moisture penetration. This property is important for medical labels, chemical resistant labels as well as water-proof packing.
Another sector where the coating provides a myriad of benefits are decorative surfaces. To create durable, bright finishes such as chrome plating, expensive and polluting processes are necessary. The material used in these finishes is expensive as well. Furthermore the coatings are very fragile. The new coating can be applied directly over the fragile alternatives to chrome plating to protect against corrosion due in part to the nanomaterial component. Hardware, plumbing and automotives parts can be better protected with this new finish.
"On the environmental side, this process doesn't use solvents and thus eliminates the emission problems that solvents cause. In fact the EPA considers the impact of our coatings as negligible. Any oversprayed coating can be caught, have dirt filtered out of it and be reused, as opposed to conventional liquid coatings that produce waste," explains Sally Ramsey, co-founder and vice president, new product development.
Ecology Coatings, Inc. develops nano-enabled, ultra-violet curable, clean technology coatings designed to drive efficiencies and clean processes in manufacturing. The company collaborates with industry leaders to develop coatings for applications in the automotive, general industrial, electronic, specialty paper and medical sectors. For more information, please visit www.ecologycoatings.com.