To support the development of specialized and proprietary coating and drying applications, Dürr has an in-house Development Center with a roll-to-roll pilot coater located at its headquarters facility in De Pere, Wisconsin, USA.
In parallel with the development of new coatings, researchers often need to define a method/process for proper drying. But in the early development stages, advanced materials are often available in limited quantities, which makes traditional pilot-scale coating and drying trials impractical.
However, the ability to characterize drying behavior on a smaller scale makes it possible to capture key information for timely process design decisions before making extensive development expenditures in time and capital.
Our bench-top laboratory methods make it possible to leverage early returns on key data to help assess the commercial viability of web-based substrates.
- Small sample capability; minimal investment in materials for initial process learning
- Opportunity to observe drying behavior both qualitatively and quantitatively
- Ability to characterize water-based and solvent-based coatings
- Initial drying process scoping as input to roll-to-roll process definition by simulating continuous process dryer conditions
- Drying process can be rate-limiting step; opportunity to assess economic viability of new formulations
- Sample preparation and drying tests can be performed in enclosures under dry room conditions (dew point < -40 °C)
The Dürr in-house pilot coating line enables customers to test, develop and improve web-based processes by evaluating system variables and components without having to invest in full-scale production. The goal is to optimize coating and substrate performance and web-based operation to shorten the time between trial and commercialization.
The pilot coating line is an important factor in establishing the viability of emerging and advanced materials applications. It can help confirm the potential for technology patents by providing a highly confidential environment needed for new-product development. Having access to pilot coater web-based substrates is the ideal environment to produce prototype materials for further research, marketing, and quality testing.
Related services and equipment capabilities of the pilot coating line facility include preparing slurry mixtures, access to multiple coating methods, a three-zone dryer that can be used with a wide range of substrates and tensions, plasma and corona treaters for foil substrates, and on-line coating thickness measurement and performance tracking.
Customers may apply their own proprietary expertise in a confidential setting. If required, our process engineers, R&D technicians, and analytic staff are available to leverage their collective process and materials expertise to solve drying and coating challenges for an ever-increasing array of substrates. Mixing, coating, and drying capabilities of the pilot coating line include:
- Manual unwind and rewind
- The ability to run multiple coating methods with precision coating modules for single- or dual-side slot-die coating
- A flexible machine layout that can accommodate custom changes to the line as needed
- Convection dryer with either impingement or flotation nozzles to dry the coated side of the web
- The ability to handle substrates up to 600 mm wide
- Line speeds up to 200 meters/minute
The Dürr in-house Pilot Coating and Drying Lab facilities are available to test, advance and improve web-based coating and drying processes. These facilities can be rented, and are a cost-effective tool for evaluating system functionality and design, with the goal of optimizing their performance and operation with various coatings and substrates.