For decades, the use of plastic components in automotives has experienced enormous growth rates. While the outer designs of automobiles have become more and more similar, it is the interior of a car that can now distinguish one model from another. Coatings have come to play an important role in this respect. They can improve the surface of both exterior and interior parts visually, but they are also used to generate comfortable tactile properties like soft-touch, warm, matte and leather-like.
I just edited a review article on polyurethane coatings, which will be published in the October Issue of the European Coatings Journal. Polyurethane polymers started their trimphal procession in the 1930s and it is still going on, e.g. 2k systems account for 80% of topcoats/clearcoats in car refinish. Nowadays formulating low VOC, waterborne coatings with PU is possible without sacrifying performance.The newest generation of wateborne systems can match the performance of most solvent-based systems. Market perfomance of PU coatings is also quite well. Although the economical crisis affected the coatings industry in general an annual growth of 6% in isocyanate consumption over the next fice year is predicted. The coatings industry still has a lot of new developments for PU coatings in store for a greener, safer and smarter future, but there is still scoope for improvement.
A sustainable life for the "inhabitants" of the sea - that's the overall goal of the "Marine Paint" research program. This project, carried out at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, is aimed at developing new and effective marine antifouling paints, which are more environmentally friendly than those in use today.
At the moment my days are filled with preparations for the European Coatings SHOW (ECS) 2011. More than 170 papers have been submitted for the European Coatings CONGRESS wich will run concurrently to the ECS. Out of these papers the program committee has to select 108 papers for the CONGRESS. I'm wondering what will be the trends this time. We received many papers dealing with environmentally friendly and sustainable coatings. Biobased raw materials will also play an important role in the congress program as well as "traditional" topics such as protective coatings and polyurethanes. What do you think will be the main trends at the ECS 2011?
It is an undisputable fact that decorative paint markets are being tilted more towards growth in the decorative DIY segment, rather than the professional or construction segment. More than ever this segment seems to be driven by environmental awareness. Legislation continues to push decorative paints towards low-, if not no-VOC formulations. This prompted IRL to conduct a survey of the greening of the decorative coatings sector. Asked about their business strategy paint makers indicated that the current standing of the industry is that about 70% of decorative paint makers in Western Europe produce...
Nowadays coatings have to be environmentally friendly otherwise it is hard to get a product accepted by the market. Improving the environmental profile of new products is a large driver in coatings development. Formulating waterborne systems is one option to reduce the VOC level and to make a system more environmentally friendly. However, dispersing pigments is rather challenging in such systems - foam generation is another nuisance. The use of the right additives helps to face these challenges. However you need to find the perfect mix. Would you change that system if there would be an one in all additive available?
I was talking to some experts of the printing inks industry the other day. They unanimously told me that due to the economic crisis there are hardly any technical developments going on at the moment, neither regarding raw materials nor processing technologies for printing inks. Companies are basically trying to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Among the challenges facing the industry are rising raw material prices, availability of raw materials, regulation and sustainability issues.
No doubt, formulating high perfoming VOC 2010 compliant paints and coatings has been a real challenge. When the first waterborne near-zero VOC coatings was presented this marked a real breakthrough in coatings technology. What will be the next?
22 July 2010 15:54:00 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal Clever and smart
In our editor's blog smart coatings are a frequently recurring topic. We have described exciting functional coatings, we have asked how "smart" these coatings really are, and we have been wondering how smart coatings can be defined after all. I guess it's best to say smart coatings are structured coatings which provide additional benefits by giving an appropriate response to outside conditions.
In order to obtain a high performing coating efficient and effective pigment dispersion is in gerneral indispensible. Long-term stabilisation of the dispersed pigments is a key-factor. However, the permament breaking down of agglomerates into, as far as possible, primary particles is cost- and time intensive. Now, a student developed in his diploma-thesis an aftertreatment for pigment surfaces making the conventional dispersion nearly dispensable.