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Coated Products & Adhesives

Today CENTRO SVILUPPO MATERIALI S.P.A. is strongly involved on developing sophisticated technological solutions addressed to have both new organic and hot dip coated products, and hybrid panels obtained through the application of top adhesive technologies

With respect to the adhesive joining capability, the global adhesive market currently exceeds 16.000 M€, with applicative fields including electronic, automotive, construction, packaging , aeronautic, medicine, with a product offer in a range of broad properties and chemical compositions (i.e. epoxies, acrylics, silicone, thermoplastics or thermosetting,) curable at room temperature or treated with radiation or heat.

 

The expansion of the market, which is expected to occur in the near future, will be driven by such factors as the new production technologies (e.g. the expansion of new design concepts, the use of pre-finished materials like pre-coated steel in automotive or domestic appliances...), the request for better adhesive performances (for instance, to be obtained by means of nanotechnologies) and the development of new products/applications (e.g. the realization of special multilayer composite panels).
   
Some improvements are necessary in order to permit adhesive technologies to expand into specific applicative sectors. The main ones are:

 

  • reduction of the joining time for applications requiring high production rates;
  • improvement of the design criteria and performance tests to allow a reliable prediction of the lifetime of adhesive bonded junctions;
  • development of products with specific enhanced performances (e.g. temperature and fire resistant adhesives).

 

CSM is traditionally involved in the technological aspects related to the use of adhesives in the following sectors:

 

  • evaluation of the junction lifetime under multiple environmental and mechanical stresses;
  • development of fast assembly cycles;
  • process development of multi-layered composite panels (structural, vibration damping,etc).

 The most common classes of organic coatings include:

  • Liquid paints (solvent/solventless, one/two components, room/high temperature curable…);
  • Powder thermosetting paints and thermoplastic powders polymers;
  • Extruded polymer films.

 

Furthermore, such coatings can be applied by means of various techniques, in dependance to the nature of the coating, the dimension and characteristic of the components to be coated, and  productivity constrains:
  • liquid spray (air/airless, electrostatic);
  • powder electrostatic spray and fluidized beds;
  • extrusion coating (e.g. in the coatings of pipes);
  • laminated films adhesive coatings;
  • electro-painting (e.g. in automotive priming);
  • other techniques (e.g. roll, brush, dip, spinning,..).
The most important properties of organic coatings are mainly related to selected combinations of resin binders and pigments.
One of the main concerns in R&D is the formulation of new environmental-friendly solutions, able to comply with the new regulations for health and environmental protection (e.g. VOC limitation directives, RoHS directive, etc.).
 
 
Research activities are mainly focused on binders (e.g. reduction of solvent volume in the liquid paints, development of solventless radiation curable resins, substitution of chlorine/fluorine containing resin) and pigments (e.g., elimination of heavy metals in corrosion inhibitive and colour pigments).
At the same time new developments are in progress in order to improve the coating durability and to add new functionalities to the coated surfaces (e.g. scratch resistance, self-repairing properties, pollution reducing activity, easy-to-clean or anti-graffiti properties, perlescent or photochromic effects…).
The corrosion protection and the aesthetic aspects are, in fact, expected to keep on being one of the main driving concerns for what regards organic coatings applications.
Many of these functionalities can be obtained by means of the new opportunities offered by the nanotechnology.

 

CSM S.p.A. is mainly active in the sectors of surface treatments and organic coating technology for flat products continuous/discontinuous lines (e.g. coil coating of metals, sheet coating), tubolar and long products and full-finished goods (e.g. domestic appliances, automotive, …), with new environmentally-wise formulations expressing special functional properties, and guaranteeing a high productivity.
With respect to the hot dip technology, metallic coatings like zinc, zinc-aluminum, aluminum will keep on being used for protection of steel from corrosion and thermal oxidation.

 

It is a matter of fact that they can take advantage of the low cost of the process, consisting in the immersion of the steel component in a melting pot, containing the fused metal precursor of the coating: batch and continuous processes (e.g. steel strip galvanising) are both possible.
Today, as far as the batch process is concerned, the most important research areas are the use of leadless zinc baths, the development of special environmental-friendly fluxes allowing the application of zinc-aluminum alloys, and the development of new alloys with improved corrosion resistance.
For the continuous hot-dipping processes for steel strip, the biggest efforts are being made in order to increase the lines productivity, to improve the surface quality and the thickness control, to reduce the coating weight by means of new alloys with improved corrosion resistance, and to develop new in-line environmental friendly post-treatments (e.g. passivation, conversion and priming).
CSM is also active in the sector of hot-dip coating of steel coils and long products (e.g. tubes, reinforcing bars…); in particular in the setup of process conditions for specific steels, the development of new coating bath compositions and the in-line post-treatment processes.

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