The radiation-curable coatings market in North America is witnessing steady growth due to the increasing awareness of environment-friendly technology and the need for high productivity. Moreover, increasing compliance with the stringent environmental legislation on solvent emission for a greener and safe environment is impelling the demand for radcure coatings. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan inNorth American Radiation Curable Coatings Marketfinds that the market earned revenues of $1.5 billion in 2006 and forecasts that this figure will reach $2.3 billion in 2013.

Radiation-curable coatings provide numerous process advantages and offer excellent physical and chemical properties to the finished product. In addition, it can be used on a variety of temperature-sensitive substrates.

"Robust product performance combined with high productivity makes them a preferable coating technology for various industries such as printing and packaging, wood, electronics and plastics," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Easwaran. S.A.

"Increasing awareness of the numerous benefits of radcure coatings among formulators and end-user markets is encouraging market growth," added Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krithika Tyagarajan.

However, the high price of equipment and consumables in radcure technology requiring substantial investment is hindering widespread adoption. This is becoming a major entry barrier to the most participants, particularly small-sized companies.

The price for UV and EB curing systems begins at $100,000 and $800,000, respectively, and the price of radcure coating per gallon is much higher than that of conventional coatings.

"These wide price differences inhibit the growth rate of radcure coatings despite the regular slash in price of the curing system in recent years," notes Easwaran. "In addition, the limited availability of raw materials and its high price due to the volatility in oil price reduce the conversion rate of radcure technology."

"Participants must constantly engage in research and development (R&D) activities to bring out new coating formulations to develop new applications, as this market is set to gain more prominence by expanding its scope of applications," said Tyagarajan.

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