roll to -roll coating machine at National Polymer

The Roll to Roll Coating Process: Interesting Facts and Figures

This post is intended to provide interesting facts and figures as it pertains to the roll to roll coating process. From key market indicators (like electronics), to the general state of the union for the R2R segment. Let’s take a look.

The roll-to-roll coating process involves several rollers, which wind the substrate material over and through these rollers as it carries out a number of operations. A roll-to-roll coating system is perfect for coating films, webs and foils. Substrate-based manufacturing methods may vary in material, however the roll-to-roll coating process is the physical process that unwinds a roll of substrate material through a process for the purpose of fabrication of that material as the continuous movement rolls the substrate up into another roll.

Developing a process and scaling it to Roll-to-Roll (R2R) production can be a very challenging task. Even performing R&D on R2R can be expensive, since continuous R2R coating can consume a significant amount of material.  Many of these materials, both substrates and coating solutions, can be costly, particularly those used in the organic and printed electronics industries. Here’s some interesting facts.

  • In some cases, a R2R machine works by transferring a coating from the surface of a roller to the surface of a film or substrate. When this happens, it is known as transfer coating. A thin layer of coating on the surface of the roll splits – part of it stays on the roller, and the majority adheres to the surface of the continuous substrate. This process usually creates a very smooth coating surface.
  • With their advantages in terms of high throughput and environmental friendliness, roll-to-roll (R2R) coating technologies are forecast to grow in numerous industrial applications. 
  • Over the past 20 years, the US government has been promoting the development of its capabilities in flexible electronics through numerous institutional channels in the defense and civilian sectors among others using R2R coating methods.
  • The European region has made significant investments in R2R manufacturing and related printing plate-to-plate for displays and RFIDs.
  • As the market for such flexible electronics expands, the need for the number of manufacturers adopting the roll to roll printing technique is expected to increase further.
  • Other applications are trending upward such as electronics embedded into clothing, large-area flexible displays and roll-up portable displays.

National Polymer is a leading R&D and manufacturing company specializing in roll to roll coating, polymer synthesis, formulation chemistry, deformulation, reformulation, engineered coating technologies, batch optimization and batch production.  To learn more about our capabilities, call us today at (800) 679.0477.

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