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END-USE APPLICATIONS IN THE INDUSTRIAL COATINGS MARKET ARE TRENDING TOWARD HIGH-PERFORMANCE, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY SOLUTIONS.
The industrial coatings market is one of the largest coating segments. In Evonik’s Coating Additives business line, industrial coatings cover a broad range of applications – from marine and protective coatings to plastic and powder coatings and so on. This market grows more than 5% annually, driven by the increase in infrastructure and construction projects in emerging countries, as well as the rising demand for high-performance, environmentally friendly protective coatings. The shift toward environmentally friendly systems such as waterborne, high solids, powder coatings, and direct-to-metal applications continues to be a big trend.
SUSTAINABILITY ISN'T JUST A BUZZWORD ANYMORE...
Regulatory requirements are the main driving force behind this shift. Across the globe, end-users are looking for ways to improve sustainability. We have seen the shift from traditional solventborne to waterborne coatings for quite some time already, especially in Europe.
In recent years, the Chinese government is picking up the pace by tightening the restrictions on VOCs. For example, the Chinese government has implemented a tax on solventborne paints and has changed the regulation of container coatings from solventborne to waterborne. This trend is making its way into other industrial applications as well.
WATERBORNE SYSTEMS MAY NOT BE THE SOLE SOLUTION.
Converting traditional solventborne coatings to waterborne while maintaining performance is the biggest challenge. Waterborne coatings tend to show defects more easily. They are more susceptible to corrosion, weathering, and UV degradation – especially in extreme environmental conditions such as high humidity and high and low temperatures. As such, customers are tending toward high solid, radiation curing, and powder coatings in order to meet the regulatory requirements and the high-performance attributes needed.
HIGH SOLIDS SYSTEMS OFFER A BETTER ALTERNATIVE, BUT EVEN THEY HAVE THEIR CHALLENGES...
Switching to a high solids system is not easy. Simply reducing solvent content from an existing medium-solids paint to meet legal requirements would result in a very high-viscosity paint. Experience shows that, with a conventional binder technology, it is impossible to formulate paints with less than 250 g/L VOC. So the main hurdle in moving towards high solids systems is to achieve an optimal application viscosity at low VOC.
SO WHAT ARE SOME GOOD ADDITIVE OPTIONS FOR INDUSTRIAL COATING FORMULATORS TO KEEP UP WITH GLOBAL REGULATORY TRENDS?
As an innovative leader, Evonik has a broad product portfolio that supports the growing trends in industrial coatings. Evonik has been focusing on water-based additives for decades. This focus intensified with the acquisition of Air Products Performance Materials Division. In recent years, we also focused on new developments especially for high solids systems.
For example: TEGO® Airex 990 – a 100% active matter deaerator. We also have functional high solids resins such as SILIKOPON® EF and SILIKOTOP® E 900. They have more than 90% solids content, low VOC, and low application viscosity and provide high durability, which gives a high value of life cycle analysis.
We work closely with our innovation department to develop next-generation, environmentally friendly products to meet the needs of the industrial coatings market.