Over the last decades the microwave technology based approach developed into a fast and efficient drying technique in general, albeit that the scale up towards industrial applications requires specific expertise and controls.
Over the last years, the drying of water based coatings has captured a lot of attention specifically in keeping up the production speed whilst maintaining high quality. Traditional techniques like hot air or infrared (IR) drying have been combined with e.g. the UV approach in order to realize part of the challenge. Still, they do not provide a satisfying performance.
These more traditional drying techniques require longer production cycles. Additionally the equipment is often more complex and larger when compared to the approach needed for the drying of solvent based coatings.
The challenge of achieving a complete drying of water based coatings with optimal adhesion and without slowing down the standard production process has been proven by intensive testing and design activities at Meac plc.
Over the last months, an impressive set of data has been acquired proving that microwave powered installations dry swiftly and completely various types of water based coatings, applied on glass. Moreover various polymers (such as PVB) and enamels, used in glass processing and finishing proved to be difficult to treat with classical techniques, were dried in line after fine tuning the production parameters of the microwave drying equipment. Even complex and more hazardous process steps (e.g. oxygen supply) can be left out with microwave drying.
During the 2004 Glasstec edition, the MEAC DRY S series, ranging from 4 to 48 kW are launched as a novelty.
The advantages of this microwave powered approach is
- large surfaces are processed in line;
- energy efficiency is high when comparing the 12 24 kW installations with larger IR and combined hot air/UV installations;
- completely safe equipment with low temperature volumetric heating contrary to hot air, IR and other combined drying processes;
- overall lower process temperature
- radiation at entry and exit of the oven is zero;
- flexible and fully automated, compact lines;
- robust technology (24/7);
-low capital expenditure.
At the MEAC stand 12D27, the drying of (water based and other types of) coatings will be demonstrated continuously during this 2004 Glasstec edition.
Mr. Marc Vernackt