Previously, the method to coat melamine in standard UV-lines was to use surface energy matching UV-primers. Surface energy matching utilizes distance-dependent interaction called van der Waals forces (a comparatively weak interaction between molecules). This surface energy matching needs to be tailored for each type of melamine, making it sensitive to batch-to-batch variations in melamine quality.
Mercene Labs vision for melamine adhesion was already from the start focused on achieving covalent binding (the strongest chemical bond) to melamine, using only a standard UV-line. After six years of development, including deviations from the original vision (e,g. 2K mixtures and IR-heating) and multiple complete do-overs; the breakthrough was finally found through a new type of surface chemistry. This breakthrough discovery is now finalized in the form an easy-to-use primer called Duoprime M1814.
The revolutionary primer relies on a patented breakthrough in Mercene Labs’ UV surface chemistry research. Exposing the primer to UV light triggers a chemical reaction that binds the primer covalently to the melamine groups on the laminate surface. The subsequent acrylate coating layer is partly mixed to create a monolithic layer that mixes the top coats’ mechanical properties and the primer’s excellent adhesion. The reaction is rapid, enabling QC of the coating performance as soon as it leaves the UV production line.
The primer has shown excellent adhesion test results in full production lines, e.g. Hamberger Hobel = 30-45N, Crosshatch = 0. These results have been performed together with several full coating systems from a few selected partners, and replicated over a wide range of melamine substrates, which can be attributed to the covalent binding mechanism.