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Sunday, 15 September 2019

Coatings preferences – national differences?

Thursday, 24 April 2014 | Posted by: Sonja Specks, European Coatings Journal

German punctuality, British humor, French cuisine – we all know these stereotypes. They work well, although German trains might come late, some British have already lost their humor while talking about football and also some French might have burnt their Coque au vin. But these prejudices are deeply in our heads. So my question is: Are there (individual) national coatings tastes?

Coca Cola as model for coatings adjustment

The American Coatings Show 2014 took place in Atlanta. The city of Coca Cola. The visitors tasted in the on-site museum the differences of the famous soda with samples from e.g. South Africa, USA, Germany, Britain, etc. Just because of the direct comparison the differences appeared quite clear. I don’t know how the company researched the specific national taste of a country, but I thought about an adaptation for the coatings industry. Of course the paint production is usually adjusted for a customer or at the specific customer-site. But: Are there county-specific preferences for example in the usage of solvents or the foam performance?

National preference in line with the technical performance

Of course, the performance of a coating product should be good. It has to be in line with VOC, REACH and other legislative regulations. But is it only the performance and specifics that make a customer decide for a particular coating, or is the decision also based on taste?

Meaning: Do Italian coating specialists prefer the smell of acetone instead of isopropanol? To what extent prefer the Dutch ready to mix rather than ready-mixed systems? Nobody in this world likes pinholes because of bubbles on a surface. But is there a nation that is the most impatient to wait to see the efficiency of defoamers?

Experiences to deal with stereotypes

I don’t know about any survey that researched human or a nation’s preference for a specific coating. But I know that we all have to deal in this global world with others. One of my experiences is that although technical test results showed a clear trend, the tendency to discuss this matter is more likely to happen in countries of southern Europe. I was surely not always delighted, there were moments that my German background wants me to do things fast and in time :-) 

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Sonja Specks
European Coatings Journal
Sonja Specks
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