Looking for abrasion-resistant matt surfaces?
IST Metz, winner of accolades for its UV technology, uses the excimer process for bright matt results across a range of industrial applications.
IST Metz is a global specialist in UV curing and coating systems which now offers excimer technology to produce matt surfaces with high scratch and abrasion resistance. This technology is widely used for the cleaning and modification of surfaces in the manufacture of displays and touch panels, bleaches in the textile and cellulose industry, disinfection of air and water, and the matting of plastic parts.
After over 40 years in UV, IST Metz is a very well-established player. It started out in, and continues to serve, the printing industry but subsequently diversified into much wider industrial applications, recognising the benefits it can bring to many sectors with its coatings expertise. Currently it is generating great interest in its excimer technology.
IST entered the excimer (a shorthand for excited dimer) field 20 years ago, seeing the appeal of a matt surface finish. Its purpose is to create a roughened surface so that, when light strikes it, it is not reflected in a definite direction. That means the surface will look bright and the same from any direction, in other words matt.
IST uses very short-wave radiation and high energy to penetrate a very thin layer of a varnish coating. Xenon excimer lamps are used as the short-wave source. The surface dries very quickly causing shrinkage and a wave effect on the surface which is then preserved by applying long wave radiation using a medium-pressure lamp. It is a system that gives high processing speeds and can be used on large surfaces.
IST customer Klebchemie has seen the benefits of excimer technology for wood flooring applications. Rainer Kampwerth, sales manager for industrial coatings at Klebchemie, says: “We are currently seeing a slight stagnation in high-standard, high gloss coatings. On the other hand, a rapid rise in ultra-matt surfaces is becoming apparent, Thanks to excimer technology, we are the market leader in this sector and were the first to push ahead with industrial installations for engineered wood boards. We now have a dozen such installations worldwide.”
He believes that chemical matting materials will continue to have their place but that physical matting, eximir technology, has added levels of matting that been thought of as extremely difficult or impossible until now.
“The gloss levels are now highly scratch-resistant and have anti-fingerprint and anti-grease properties thanks to excimer technology. In short, the surfaces are more matt as well as more resistant to scratches and grease,” says Mr Kampwerth.
Last year IST Metz was awarded the title “Global Market Leader 2018” in the Mechanical and Systems Engineering sector and in the category for Drying Systems based on Ultraviolet, Infrared and Warm Air. The Global Market Index 2018 listed 461 companies and those chosen for awards were selected based on a ranking by the University of St Gallen. This award IST sees as recognition of its innovation and practical commercial solutions.
IST Metz, which is based in Nürtingen near Stuttgart, was founded by Gerhard Metz in 1977 and today employs about 500 staff and has 15 subsidiaries around the world. Its UK subsidiary, IST (UK), is based in a 400m² facility in Skipton which includes training and presentation areas, systems and spares storage as well as being the main base for the sales and service team. Joint managing director Simon Mitchell is responsible for industrial applications of UV technology and can be contacted on 07771-614487.