Powder Coated Timber in the Construction Industry

Powder Coated Timber in the Construction Industry

How Gas Catalytic IR technology from Heraeus has enabled a unique breakthrough in the construction industry

 

Powder Coated Timber

It is often said that brilliant ideas are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Jeff Stewart, co-founder of Climate Coating Ltd, found his 1% whilst watching a large wooden wall being painted single handed by a weary decorator. If it were a steel section wall, Jeff would have powder coated it, so why not try powder coating timber to see if it worked? Then the 99% perspiration kicked in and Jeff joined up with Kyle True from the timber industry, and the rest, together with ground breaking technology from Heraeus (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) is history. One of the primary problems with powder coating a timber substrate is its heat sensitivity. The time required to cure powder in a conventional hot air oven (20 – 30 minutes) would cause significant damage to the timber. The creative solution was to use Gas Catalytic IR. The IR waves are easily absorbed by the powder which will now cure (7 – 10 minutes), without overheating the substrate. The result is a patented process that is having a big impact in the construction industry.

As the world population continues to increase, the need for sustainable, low waste, energy efficient commercial and residential buildings has become a necessity. The founders of Climate Coating Ltd. in New Zealand have pioneered and patented innovative methods of creating powder coated surfaces on plywood, MDF and plasterboard. The majority of these products can be fitted without any further finishing requirements and are available pre-cut to size and in many colours. They include:

  • Pre coated plasterboard for walls and ceilings
  • Decorative MDF board for commercial fit-out
  • Moisture resistant exterior grade plywood
  • Pre primed exterior finishes that do not need to be finished for up to 3 months

So how do Climate Coating Ltd.’s products contribute to the drive for sustainability? The answer is multi layered and is evidenced not just by the product itself and its place in the market, but also by the innovative, energy efficient method of manufacture.

Product Advantages

The advantages of pre-finished products themselves are self-evident. By creating pre-finished and pre-sized materials that are commonly found in every type of construction, the reduced need for wet trades (brick laying, plastering and painting) has a significant impact on building lead time. Delays due to weather, material supply and waste are all but eliminated. Consider the number of half used tins of paint and wasted bags of plaster that are commonly seen on building sites! The products are also ideal for the pre-fabricated building industry.

Manufacturing Advantages

Dig down deeper, and further very significant advantages can be discovered. As Climate Coating Ltd pre-finish the board materials in a purpose built factory, the efficiencies of having a precisely controlled process means that waste is virtually eliminated and a consistent level of quality control is achieved which far surpasses that which can be accomplished “on site”.

One of the vital elements of the production system is the use of Gas Catalytic IR ovens to efficiently cure the applied powder on the chosen substrate. The system, designed in conjunction with world leaders Heraeus (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) has proven to be a wise choice. The systems produced by Heraeus have proven to be the most controllable, energy efficient powder coat curing solutions available today.

The powder curing system details are as follows:

  • Two coat system
  • 2 PLC controlled Gas Catalytic ovens (2 section preheat and 5 section main cure)
  • 300m2 per hour output
  • Space saving design has small footprint
  • Programmable to control the heat output horizontally and vertically through the oven
  • Perfect cure obtained by using only the exact amount of required Infra-Red.

What Climate Coating Ltd say about Heraeus:

“Having the world leading industrial IR process heating guys on board from the outset was an inspired choice on our part. Their in-depth knowledge and experience was key in enabling the Climate Coating Ltd concept to become a reality”

Kyle True (MD Climate Coating Ltd [climatesurfaces.com])

Key Product Points

  • Sustainable, no VOC’s produced in manufacture
  • Extremely high level of quality control that is unachievable “on site”
  • On site wet trades eliminated
  • Ideal for pre-fabricated buildings

Key Gas Catalytic IR powder curing points

  • Measurable and consistent process
  • Highly controllable (PLC) and adaptable
  • High quality finish
  • Energy efficient process
  • Small footprint

Gas Catalytic IR from Heraeus – New Video

Gas Catalytic IR from Heraeus New Explanatory Video

Gas Catalytic IR emitters convert natural or propane gas into medium – long wavelength Infrared by means of a special platinum catalyst. The only other byproducts are Water, in the form of vapour and Carbon Dioxide. There are no noxious gases such as Nitrogen Dioxide or Carbon Monoxide. This flameless catalytic reaction produces a surface temperatures of 175 ° C to 480 ° C . The radiation intensity is continuously controllable by the use of PLC’s  within a range of 20%-100% of the rated output.

This video explains how gas catalytic IR heaters from Heraeus work. If you would like more details, please contact us.

Gas Catalytic Heaters Provide Quicker and Better Finish on Boats

catalytic heatersKey improvements by switching to Catalytic Heaters

  •   Quicker job completion
  •   Improved gloss finish
  •   Flexible system
  •   Safe to use in hazardous environment
  •   30 % operating cost saving

 

The International Marine Composites company in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA is at the centre of the vibrant East Coast yachting industry. The ability to complete a wide range of boat repairs, and paint refinishing is key to the company’s success. Generally, the marine industry relies upon wet finishing systems which usually comprise a wet epoxy primer underneath a two part polyurethane finish which gives the desired hull colour. Further protection to the high gloss finish can be provided by an extra two part polyurethane clear coat.

Multipurpose boat sheds tend to be big, cold and dusty which makes high gloss finishing difficult to achieve. The cold atmosphere can cause an “orange peel” effect on the finished paint, so the generally accepted method of heating the shed is to use a hot air circulation system, prior to wet spraying. Unfortunately the air movement causes dust to become airborne which can then land on the newly painted surface. Curing of each coat can take up to 24 hours, which means that a simple paint job can take 3 – 4 days.
Jorge Borges, owner of International Marine Composites approached Heraeus Vulcan (formerly Vulcan Catalytic Systems) for help in speeding up the complete process, and improving the finish on completed boats. Our engineers quickly determined that 30 minutes of Gas Catalytic IR Heat could be used to pre heat the boat hull prior to the wet spraying of the epoxy primer. This was then followed by a further 20 minutes of IR heat. Heaters were arranged on a movable and easily adjustable framework, which can be positioned up to 2.5m away from the boat hull. By using this method there was no unnecessary air movement and a tack free and dust free primer could be achieved and cured very quickly. Previously, the epoxy primer coat required 24 hours of cure time before it could be rubbed down. With Gas Catalytic heaters, this can take place after just 6 hours. The same process can be repeated when applying the polyurethane paint and clear coat.
The end result is a boat hull which finish which meets proud owners expectations of a high gloss finish with no imperfections. The added advantage is that Jorge can complete a simple paint job in a day.

Energy Efficient Powder Coating System – Case Study

Working with our distributor in the Czech Republic, Surfin s.r.o, Heraeus Vulcan designed a new energy efficient powder coating system for Dikrt spol. s r.o. . The system is designed to cure powder on large agricultural parts, and the performance of the oven has exceeded expectation. Mr Weikert, the company’s owner stated:

“It used to take 70 minutes to cure our parts with the old convection oven. With the new Vulcan oven, it now takes only 12 minutes! We are very satisfied with its performance!”

energy efficient powder coating system

Large Parts Curing in Record Time in Energy Efficient Powder Coating System

Energy Efficient Powder Coating System

View of Energy Efficient Powder Coating System

How Did We Do It?

Working with our distributor in the Czech Republic, Jaroslav Blazek of Surfin s.r.o., the customer was able to see an existing Heraeus Vulcan system at another location and carry out part testing. Heraeus Vulcan then designed the powder coating oven to meet the customer’s requirements using SolidWorks. Heraeus Vulcan then provided Surfin s.r.o with a package that included the sheet metal design, the Heraeus Vulcan infrared heaters and the controls. To see a video on how Heraeus Vulcan designs and builds ovens, please follow the link.
The system was then easily constructed at the Surfin factory, with the sheet metal parts being produced locally from the SolidWorks files. The new energy efficient powder coating system was then installed and commissioned at the customer’s site within a few days.

Advantages of a Energy Efficient Powder Coating System from Heraeus Vulcan

All Heraeus Vulcan energy efficient powder coating systems operate using the principles of gas catalytic infrared heating. This type of system has an energy to effective heat conversion ratio of 85%, compared to traditional convection oven which is only 5% – 7% efficient. In practical operation this results in curing  taking a third less time in a gas catalytic infrared oven than a gas fired convection oven. This translates into significantly reduced energy bills.
The flameless nature of our systems means that there is no noxious emissions such as Nitric Oxide or Nitrogen Dioxide, so Heraeus Vulcan ovens are environmentally friendly.

If you would like more information on our energy efficient powder coating systems, then please contact John Martin (john.martin@heraeus.com) for USA enquiries or Ian Bartley (ian.bartley@heraeus.com) for UK and Europe.

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