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Nordson hosts lab demonstrations: Nordon Crop. held an open house to demonstrate its quick color change and UV curing system developments. (Finishing Newsfront).

The doors opened at Nordson Corp.'s powder customer test lab on Sept. 28 in Amherst, OH, to material suppliers, industry professionals and finishing media. The company has six different labs on the l4,300-square-foot site. The tour showcased several different developments in powder coating that can be applied to both the metal and woodworking industries, including quick color change systems, less material waste, better transfer efficiency and less downtime.

Sure Clean Lab Demonstration

The first lab demonstrated the company's quick color change capabilities, powder extraction system and powder recovery! recycling system. All of these systems are integrated with the Sure Clean booth design.

The Sure Clean spray booth has a round canopy which is constructed of an electro-statically neutral material. Overspray powder falls to the rotating booth floor where the AeroDuct powder extraction system continually removes it at an air face velocity of 175 feet per minute.

The excess powder moves into one of two twin cyclones and then into the SureMax powder transfer system. It removes the powder from the cyclone and returns it to the feed system.

Nordson performed the color change by using an orange powder coating and then switching to a dark blue color. Components came through the booth and were sprayed with orange powder by six Sure Coat automatic guns. (The booth can use up to 27 guns, 25 automatic and two manual).

The color change began with the guns being internally purged. An electronic gun mover positioner and electronic roll-on/roll-off platform pulled back the guns, which created external gun blow off.

An operator used the lock out key on the booth to stop the floor rotation and to make it raise and lock. After it locked, the inside of the booth was cleaned with compressed air rather than squeegeed.

The cyclones were then cleaned by the same operator who cleaned the booth. The hinged doors of the cyclones were opened so the worker could spray them out with compressed air and a hand-held vacuum tube and vacuum unit. Then the tube from the cyclones to the recovery/recycling system was cleaned by several sponges which were drawn through by vacuum pressure.

When the guns were blown out the powder was discharged to the sieve in 30 seconds. While the other operator was cleaning the booth and cyclones, another blew off powder from the recovery system. Then the feed system booth was completely cleaned and a pound of the new powder in dark blue was sprayed out to check for color contamination. This whole process was completed in 10 minutes.

"All of these features will help the wood industry," said Herb Turner, vice president of the powder systems group. "They help reduce the time spent cleaning the system and provide customers with a 10 minute color change."

ColorMax Booth

Next the tour group moved to the ColorMax powder spray system demonstration. The ColorMax booth includes the Sure-Max powder transfer system and its own quick color change elements.

The booth has inlet duct work and sloped floors that help the powder slide down the floor. The canopy is constructed of a non-conductive material so that powder will fall to the floor of the booth.

The AeroWash base cleaning system continually used pulsed air wash to remove settled overspray powder on the floor into what Nordson calls the AeroDeck air distribution system. The AeroDeck creates a continuous air stream to contain powder.

At the begining of the color change, the whole system was stopped and operators entered the booth to spray down the walls with compressed air. Upon leaving the booth the operators shut the doors. The AeroWash system began washing powder again into the AeroDeck. There the face velocities reached a much higher 0.7 meters per second or 140 feet per minute. The powder then moved to the cyclone. The cyclone can be fitted with either a transfer pump that returns reclaimed powder to a feed hopper with a sieve or the Sure-Max powder transfer system.

"It is an innovative technology to the woodworking industry because of its flexibility," said Turner. "It can be designed to include many of the canopy, powder recovery and powder delivery features of the Sure-Clean system or it can be tailored to operations that require fewer color changes per day."

IR/Convection Oven and Nordson UV curing system

The Wood Lab featured the IP/convection oven and Nordson UV curing system in line with an Excel 2000 powder spray booth. The goal of this lab was to address the growing market for powder on MDF and wood. Turner said, "This lab is also an advanced research and development facility accessable to all resin, powder, MDF-wood and oven manufacturers in order to advance and better serve the powder on wood industry."

The MDF first entered the JR/convection oven where convection panels and then black panels heated the MDF at temperatures from 120 F to 160 F for 35 seconds to draw out the moisture and create a charge. It came out of the oven and entered the Excel 2000 spray booth where it received a 3-mil coating of UV powder.

Then it entered the oven again where the MDF was heated or flowed out. It entered the UV curing portion where it was cured with microwave lamps.

These microwave lamps use technology similar to a residential microwave oven. It uses UV-V or visible UV energy. According to Nordson, the microwave lamps use one type of bulb, which is gallium, and gives a better through and surface cure than the arc lamps. The arc lamps use two bulbs, which are gallium and mercury, rather than one and can cause bubbles in the powder coating. Microwave lamps can start up and shut off quicker, but arc lamps are more durable and have lower maintenance costs, says Nordson.

"I think our new developments will impact the wood industry," explained Turner, "because they give our customers the ability to perform fast color changes, powder applications and recovery. MDF and wood manufacturers can now enjoy the same benefits known by powder coating metal finishers."
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Author:Freund, Bernadette
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Nov 1, 2001
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