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A step for powder coatings, a leap for the furniture industry

When people hear the phrase 'technological innovation', they probably imagine self-driving cars or smooth-talking AI assistants. In reality, many innovations – the things that truly make a difference to our world and our quality of life – are not always immediately obvious.
In fact, contrary to popular opinion, innovation is rarely the consequence of a single brainwave or individual – rather, more than ever, progress is driven by teams, step by step.  

At Covestro, we understand all too well what it takes to deliver technological innovation over time. Our teams of scientists have developed a range of innovative technologies – for example, we were one of the first companies to pioneer powder coatings in the early 1960s.  

A wide variety of metals and household appliances could soon be painted more cheaply, quicker and more sustainably than ever by electrostatically applying a thin layer of powder and curing this coating by heat. It may not be top of mind for most people, but powder coating technology changed the game for the coatings industry worldwide.

Addressing the heat-sensitivity challenge

For decades, powder coating technology was limited to applications involving non-heat-sensitive substrates such as metals. To address this constraint, Covestro's teams of R&D experts went down a new route.  
 
Step by step, they developed a new technology based on unsaturated polyester and urethane, which allowed curing at lower temperatures while delivering high-performing, consistent coating solutions.  
 
Their innovation bridged the technology gap and allowed powder coatings to become a reliable proposition for heat-sensitive substrates. With the launch of our Uralac® Ultra resin in 2014, curing temperatures of powder coating resins could be lowered to 130°C, and curing time to 3 minutes.  
 
This might not sound revolutionary, however, it meant that powder coatings could now be applied to a wide range of wood and MDF substrates without the risk of the substrate being damaged. It paved the way for the use of powder coatings in wood furniture manufacturing. What was a step for powder coating technology was a giant leap for the furniture industry!

Higher performance, lower environmental impact

Since its inception, powder coatings based on Uralac® Ultra technology have delivered a range of crucial benefits to coating applicators, wood furniture makers and end users around the globe. Not only can these coatings be applied more efficiently, lowering costs and increasing output, they contain low to no volatile organic compounds and enable energy savings during curing. Uralac® Ultra coatings deliver excellent levels of hardness and durability, without compromising on surface quality.  
 
Moving forward, our R&D teams will continue to drive our technical proposition for powder coatings, step by step, by looking to reduce curing times and temperatures even more. Further widening their scope for furniture application and making the technology even more efficient and sustainable.  
 
This way – although it may not be immediately obvious to people outside the coatings industry – we continue to have a daily impact on people's lives and help create a better, more sustainable world.

Are you interested in Uralac® Ultra? 

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