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Emerging Trends in Coatings: Safety, Environmental Protection, and Energy Efficiency
The development of coatings has always been closely tied to the three major themes of safety and health, environmental protection, and energy conservation. In recent years, issues related to food safety and hygiene have been frequently exposed, drawing increased attention from society. Government departments have intensified regulatory efforts, and hygiene regulations continue to be enhanced and perfected. Public awareness of safety and hygiene is also continually spreading and deepening.
The rapid economic development has led to environmental deterioration and energy shortages, becoming a global focus and a top priority for governments worldwide. In response to these demands, the metal packaging coatings industry is accelerating technological development and product updates, promoting the entry of new products into the market that are safer, more hygienic, and environmentally friendly. The key points are summarized below:
(1) Solvent-Free Coatings: Solvents such as ethylene glycol ether, ethylene glycol ether acetate, toluene, etc., which pose significant health risks to construction workers, need to be removed from coating formulations.
(2) PVC-Free and Epoxy-Free Coatings: The international debate on the health hazards of PVC resin and epoxy resin used in food packaging has never ceased. Although there are no regulations prohibiting their use, some food producers opt for coatings without PVC and epoxy to avoid disputes, such as polyester-phenolic coatings.
(3) Low-Temperature Curing, High Solid Content, and Waterborne Coatings: Focus on environmental protection and energy conservation.
(4) UV Coatings: UV coatings are gaining popularity in the tinplate industry in China due to their fast curing, energy efficiency, and solvent-free emission characteristics. They are mainly used for external inks and clear coatings on cans.
(5) Powder Coatings: Pollution-free, fast curing, and excellent protection make powder coatings widely used in industries such as construction and home appliances. In the three-piece can industry, they are currently primarily applied for seam coating due to their high cost.
(6) Film-Coated Tinplate: This is our ideal, and the technology is currently applicable to two-piece cans without issues. The technology for coating the body of three-piece cans is still being overcome.
With technological advancements and a deeper understanding of human health, more substances affecting human health will be discovered. Environmental protection and energy conservation issues are not solved overnight, so it is believed that the development of coatings in the coming years will continue to revolve around the themes of health and safety, environmental protection, and energy conservation."