A consequence of the change over from solvent-based to water-based lacquers has been longer drying times in warm air circulation ovens. This is an opportunity for using infrared emitters, specially suited for the drying of water-based lacquers.
There is no question that the reduction of solvent emissions within VOC guidelines is a very important goal throughout industry. However, at the same time, competitive pressures in the coating sector demand that energy costs are reduced and finishing times are shortened. A conversion from solvent-based lacquers to powder coatings requires a completely new plant. A conversion from solvent-based to water-based lacquers is much simpler in terms of plant technology.
As water takes much longer to evaporate than solvents, conventional hot air ovens are no longer suitable. For example, if the drying length must remain the same because of space limitations, then the flow speed through the oven must be reduced to increase dwell time. This can lead to production bottlenecks which no coater wants. A practical solution to this problem is offered by infrared technology using infrared emitters and systems, which, because of their compact design, can be easily retrofitted into existing systems.