AkzoNobel and BYK-Gardner digitise surface texture for powder coatings

AkzoNobel is entering new territory with the help of pioneering technology developed by BYK-Gardner, which can digitally measure and control the textured surfaces of powder coatings.

Launched on 10 April, the spectro2profiler represents a major step forward for the industry: currently, the only way to check the quality of a textured powder coating surface is to carry out a visual inspection. Therefore AkzoNobel and BYK-Gardner’s new tool – which can measure colour and gloss, as well as analysing the 3D topography of the surface texture – is being hailed as a game-changer.

“We’re excited to have achieved an innovation milestone,” explained Pim Koeckhoven, technology director for Colour at AkzoNobel.

“Being able to objectively evaluate the structural quality of a powder coating – in a consistent, precise and standardised way – using a dedicated digital tool will be a huge step forward.”

Jean-Paul Moonen, architectural segment manager for AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business, added: “Texture is an extremely important feature of powder coatings and the trend towards textured surfaces is getting stronger all the time, especially in the architectural segment, where both coarse and fine textures are used. As the world’s leading supplier of powder coatings, having this tool available will be a major asset to both ourselves and our customers.”

BYK-Gardner has previously collaborated on a digital device for AkzoNobel’s Vehicle Refinishes business, which is now the go-to colour measuring tool in the automotive industry. The aim of the spectro2profiler was to take what the two companies had already learned for leather-like surfaces and use it to explore the possibilities of digitising the surface texture of powder coatings.

“We started researching prototypes two years ago,” continued Koeckhoven. “Combining our knowledge with BYK-Gardner has enabled us to obtain objective quality control based on highly accurate measurements which just can’t be achieved with the naked eye. We are currently testing and optimising this in our manufacturing facilities. It’s hugely exciting and we expect that in the near future, this digitisation method will also be able to support our formulation activities.”

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