It’s well known that the coatings industry tends to be a bit conservative and secretive. Paint makers guard their recipes with the same fervour as Gollum watches over his treasure in "Lord of the Rings”, and they are loath to tell their raw materials suppliers anything about the other ingredients in them. Some even go so far as to refuse to say what they use the raw material for. And they are quite entitled to do so. But what if there's an issue with the paint because it fails to perform as expected, or what if someone would like to collaborate on further developing a particular product?
No matter what their age is, it is easier for people to show a required or desirable behavior, if their compliance is directly rewarding for them. This is true for many situations, and it is also valid for the task of increasing sustainability within the coatings industry. Everyone is in favour of eco-friendly raw materials and processes, but someone has to pay for this kind of added value in the end.
The American Coatings Show (ACS) was a great success in terms of organisation and enjoyed a record number of attendees. Regrettably, the exhibition element of the show rather downplayed Sustainability. Despite enthusiastic promotion of waste paint recycling, I noted that even those companies displaying ingredients with improved environmental footprints elected to promote potential functionality enhancements and said very little about upstream sustainability credentials; a significant contrast to the European exhibition in Nuremburg a year ago. However, the technical conference that accompanied the exhibition was a very different matter.