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Basic Theory
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If you manufacture products needing protective and/or decorative finishes, you're wasting more time and energy than you have to. SpectraTechnology and its associated trademark SpectraKote™ have now moved the goalposts. A long way. This Aussie invention, the result of some 40 years research and development dedicated to finding a better way of coating materials, was granted U.S. Patent No. 8,178, 464 B2 in May 2012.

Let's compare then and now, old and new.

Conventional methods - Not unlike most manufacturing processes, one of the most critical factors in painting and, more to the point, drying products is time. To speed things along, heat in the form of a thermal oven is one popular option. However, the physical properties of the materials themselves can make this a less-than-viable choice for a number of reasons.

Take plastic. Because thermoplastics are used to form most such industrial products, they have already been, by definition, heated. Adding more heat simply distorts and weakens the plastic. End of story.

Higher temperatures are also a problem with timber and fiber cement. Both materials contain a significantly high percentage of moisture, and adding excessive heat will cause the water to leave the substrate, leading to warping, splitting and other forms of stability loss. With the use of heat so problematical, manufacturers have little choice but to set aside these products to dry between coats. Not only do lengthy curing times slow deliveries and take up a lot of valuable space, they also increase the chances that inclusions will contaminate the wet film.

In the case of glass and metal, ovens are commonly used. But there are drawbacks here too, mostly economical. Not only are commercial ovens expensive to buy, they cost a fair bit to operate as well. Both glass and metal have a high specific gravity requiring a great deal of heat in order to maintain the surface at an appropriate temperature for curing. Glass presents another big problem. To avoid breakage, uniform heating and cooling are absolutely critical.

But with SpectraTechnology these problems are no longer an issue.

No Ovens The scientific principles - As the illustration above clearly shows, there are just three steps in the exclusive SpectraKote process. None involves heat. And together they take less than eight minutes. By replacing heat with a catalyst, you not only save time and energy, you also get a far more consistent product.

Here's what happens in technical terms. One-component, urethane pre-polymer systems are able to undergo further cross-linking, resulting in fully reacted, inert polyurethanes. These, in turn, can form protective and decorative films of commercial hardness.

SpectraTechnology energy-less coatings are greatly accelerated by the presence of suitable catalysts under pre-determined conditions. We employ an exclusive catalyst complex impingement technology to cure SpectraKote in just minutes...at room temperature. This astonishingly rapid reaction takes place mainly because only the film of the actual coating is involved.

But not only does SpectraTechnology work fast and without the expense of heat energy, it also makes no difference how dense the mass of the object being coated. The 'heat sink' characteristics of materials like metal and glass that absorb heat energy at great rates are no longer of any consequence.

Just as important commercially is the ability of SpectraTechnology to paint and cure heat-sensitive materials such as plastic at room temperature while still achieving properties in the final film that equal those from thermal-baking production lines.

A few other benefits - Saving time and money are undoubtedly the major benefits of SpectraTechnology, but there are several others as well. In no particular order:

  • Reduced occurrence of inclusions means far less wastage
  • Minimal fiber lift reduces sanding time
  • Strictly controlled applications result in every piece being identical to every other one on the run, which means there will be much less likelihood of rejection of any that don't match
  • You can apply any color, providing far broader vistas to designers, architects and builders

    Color Spread

  • Because you can completely flush the system in a matter of minutes with just the push of a button, you can greatly widen the range of colors you offer
  • You can take advantage of the speed and efficiency of a true production line
  • Freeing up space normally used for drying means reduces factory costs.

And there may well be still more benefits unique to your operation.

More info - If you would like additional information about how SpectraTechnology can help your operation run more efficiently, just click Contact Us to e-mail your questions.

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