Powder Coated Timber in the Construction Industry
How Gas Catalytic IR technology from Heraeus has enabled a unique breakthrough in the construction industry
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.
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.
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