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Sunday, 27 September 2020

The most important future coatings technologies: always the same

Monday, 17 September 2012 | Posted by: Sonja Schulte, European Coatings Journal

When I am thinking about latest trends and technologies I come across all the time with the same topics: sustainability, low VOC, high-performance, functional and so on. Every year we are performing surveys at different conferences asking the coatings experts what the most important future trends are and the answer is always pretty much the same. Is the coatings technology moving in a circle?

At the moment sustainability is one of the hottest topics in the coating industry. One major problem with sustainability is that no clear definition for THE sustainable coating is available. When reviewing the abstracts which have been submitted to the European Coatings CONGRESS which is taking place parallel to the European Coatings SHOW in Nuremberg next year I saw many papers dealing in some respect with sustainability. Cool roof coatings seem to be very important topic at the moment – it`s a functional coatings and you can call it sustainable, because less energy is necessary to cool a building in hot summers. But is it really sustainable? I am not sure about it. It could be that the production of this coating is less sustainable that the production of a "no cool roof”-coating. As long as no LCA is performed you cannot tell if a cool roof coating is more sustainable than a conventional roof coating. Are sustainable coatings really a technological challenge? At the end performance is the most important aspect.

Functional coatings

By the way, functional coatings are also very often named in terms of future technologies. Many functional coatings are around for years such as easy-to-clean, anti-icing, anti-fogging, self-healing etc. However, they are not really established in the market. One main question reminds: How long does functionality last. Any ideas?

Low VOC and waterborne coatings

Still low VOC coatings are named as important future technologies. Why? In many application areas low VOC coatings are available and perform well or even better than their solvent borne counterparts. In my opinion many of the technical challenges are solved and I am asking myself, why low VOC coatings are still named as one of the most important future technologies.

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Sonja Schulte
European Coatings Journal
Sonja Schulte
Editor-in-Chief, Science & Technology
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