Web Coating Services: What Do They Cover?
Web coating services: many of us within the manufacturing industry must utilize them at one point or the other. However, in order to properly select a provider of these services, you must first understand how they work, as well as what you must procure in order to utilize them properly.
Properly applied web coating goes beyond simply utilizing good web coating equipment. It’s about selecting the right technique and applying it properly as well. With that being said, our team at Conversion Technologies International delves into what you should look for in a web coating process, as well as what kinds of options you have when it comes to implementing it.
What is Web Coating?
First and foremost, let’s get the basic processes behind web coating service out of the way. In its most basic form, web coating involves applying a specialized coating over different types of substrates and webs. Web coating differentiates from other types of coating processes through its length and thin, stretched out quality. Additionally, a web coating is typically more flexible than its alternatives.
On a basic level, you can recognize some of the products utilized through web coating. Some of the most common webs include: plastic, film, wire, metal, foil, and paper. When you think about it in these terms, it’s easy to find web coating everywhere!
What is Gravure Coating?
One type of web coating you’ll want to be aware of is gravure coating—perhaps one of the most favored web coating services. Gravure coating is meant specifically to deposit a pre-metered amount of solution onto a substrate. Theoretically, this would allow for a greater amount of control over the final product. An engraved roll is actually used to control the amount of product delivered, and that in itself is typically made of ceramic or steel. The roll will be either submerged in the solution, or coated in the solution using an enclosed applicator head that holds the coating against the roll itself. We then use a blade to scrape away any excess product, and the roll rotates.
As the roll rotates, we apply the coating to the web through what we call a nip point. We create the nip point between the engraved roll and the rubber covered backing roll. Both rolls rotate at the same time and speed as the web, which ensures that we transfer the coating to the web in a consistent, smooth manner. The amount of coating that we transfer to the substrate is heavily dependent on the size of the cells. However, that is not the only factor that affects the general application of the solution, The firmness of the rolls, the construction of the knife blade, angle and pressure, operating speed, properties of the web, rubber thickness and hardness, and the surface of the web are also contributing factors.
How is it Useful
The thing about gravure coating that makes it so appealing (among other attributes) is how easy it is to replicate its results. You simply need to apply the solution again under the same conditions and parameters that it was originally applied with. While other procedures can allow for a certain amount of variation, gravure coating is generally more reliable and predictable.
What is Comma Coating?
While gravure coating is among the most admired web coating services, it is not alone. Comma coating is an alternative that you may want to consider, depending on the job at hand. Essentially, comma coating is dependent on letting a film form. As always, in order to execute this process we must utilize the proper web coating machinery. Firstly, we ensure that there is a film roll and a back roll. A substrate moves through a gap between these rolls, forming the necessary film.
There are, of course, issues we consider when engaging in this process. For one thing, the substrate blend is typically exposed to the surrounding environment during comma coating. What this means is that there is a potential for solvent loss throughout the process. Additionally, keep in mind that there are two ways through which we can deliver this solution. In one method, it’s applied directly to the substrate. In another, it’s metered through the comma roll. Of course, there is also a third option we can consider. We may also meter the solution through the comma roll and onto an applicator roll. It’s then applied to the substrate.
How Do We Implement Web Coating Services?
At times, it can be difficult to implement web coating as a small business owner. For that reason, it may be a better idea to outsource web coating services through third party manufacturers. Fortunately, you have options—you simply need to be careful about who you work with from the start.
A good third party manufacturer doesn’t just have the equipment and coating solutions at the ready to help get your business off the ground (or continue an already-fruitful process). A reliable manufacturer will also consult with you from the beginning, keeping you in the loop about the best ways to process products affordably and efficiently, without ever sacrificing quality.
At CTI, getting you involved from the beginning is our highest priority. That’s why we begin with initial consultations, determining whether or not we’re the right fit for your business. You don’t just hand the process off to us without being certain, and if you want to stay more involved, you’re free to do so. You can have as much involvement as you wish, and during that consultation stage you’ll get to approve prototypes as well as a pilot run.
Ready to start? Call CTI at 419-924-5566 or contact us here. It’s that easy!