IPCM International Powder Coating Magazine
“THE CATALYTIC FUTURE – Il futuro catalitico”
As with all industrial sectors, the coating industry still has much to discover. There are still frontiers to be explored, especially in the drying sector where the treatment of the liquid and powder coatings can be carried out with excellent results with infrared gas catalytic panels: from gelification to polymerisation, a single oven for the complete treatment of powder coatings. No bubbling effect, and smooth, flawless surfaces that are obtained rapidly.Infragas has been producing catalytic IR panels for about 40 years: an extremely simple product to use that encapsulates an advanced technology aimed at obtaining a high level of quality with low environmental impact. Indeed, not everyone knows that heat treatments carried out with catalytic IR panels produce a high level finish with extremely low exposure times, minimum cooling times, taking up less room and with extremely low energy costs. And all completely environmentally friendly.
The frontiers in play: catalytic, infrared, gasCatalytic – Catalysis (from the Greek word καταλύειν, which means to break, unloosen) is a chemical phenomenon through which the speed of a chemical reaction undergoes various variations because of the intervention of a substance (or a mix of substances), called a catalyst, which is not consumed by the reaction process itself. Our catalytic panels are equipped with a catalyst that has been chemically treated, which constitutes the front of the panel itself. This catalyst starts the reaction, namely it provides the catalytic oxidation: the gas supply (combustible) flows inside the burner and comes into contact with the oxygen in the surrounding air (combustive agent) – through the action of the catalyst, oxidation of the gas is generated with the production of thermal energy in the form of infrared energy. In the thermal processes, the catalytic combustion allows the treatment of the surfaces to be carried out with significant benefits, such as:
- The absence of flames – the catalytic combustion occurs in the total absence of flames, in that the catalyst activates the oxidation of the combustible at a temperature lower than the temperature for igniting the fuel itself. It follows, then, that the operation is completely safe and that it can be used in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX and FM certification) (fig. 1, next page).
- The absence of CO, NOx and unburned fuel – the catalytic combustion only generates carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2OV), without any emission of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC). Therefore, catalytic combustion is environmentally friendly.
- Abatement of VOCs – with the Infragas catalytic technology, the Volatile Organic Compounds, namely solvents, alcohols and other polluting chemical compounds, and as soon as they come into contact with the surface of the catalyst are decomposed at the molecular level and transformed for the most part into water vapour (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). As a result odours are reduced and there is a sizeable reduction in pollution.