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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

EB UV: pre-painting steel coil using Electron Beam technology

Contrisson is a small town located in the Lorraine region in Northeast France. Since February 2023, the region benefits from the innovation of the Electron Beam solvent-free painting process at ArcelorMittal Construction’s Coil Coating plant.

EB-UV Team at Colisson plant
EB-UV team at Construction’s Coil Coating's plant, Contrisson, France.

This new technology, applied to steel coating lines, is the first of its kind worldwide and receives EU funding from the Innovation Fund, the EU’s programme for the deployment of net zero and innovative technologies, funded with revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System.

The Electron Beam technology and Ultra Violet (EB UV) project produced in February 2023 the very first pre-painted steel coil using Electron Beam technology. This innovative project aims to contribute to the EU Green Deal goals by reducing the energy and carbon intensity of the process, by replacing the gas-fired paint film curing ovens and solvent incinerator on one line at Contrisson with a nonthermal radiation curing EB alternative. This will save up to 31% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to the conventional process. Additionally, this technology uses solvent-free paint rather than the traditional solvent-based paints, further reducing the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions during the paint curing stage.

But what does it mean in concrete terms? Pre-painted steel coils are commonly used for construction applications such as profiles and sandwich panels for roofing, and wall cladding for instance. They offer a more consistent quality and coverage compared to traditional on-site painting methods. Additionally, the pre-painted steel coils are more resistant to corrosion, which makes them ideal for use in harsh outdoor environments and increases the lifespan of the finished product. 

The implementation of this first line is the accomplishment of many efforts conducted for several years by the R&D teams at ArcelorMittal. The knowledge gained in the pilot line at the Liege Research Centre has been now concretised in the actual application at the Contrisson site. 

The project will not stop here. The EB-UV project in Contrisson serves as a shining example of how innovative solutions can have a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable practices. As this technology is further implemented across Europe, the positive environmental effects are expected to multiply, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future, and supporting the EU Green Deal objectives.