Interview: "Powder coatings represent a growing niche” Image source: Pattadis - Fotolia.com
27. Jul 2020 |
Interview: “Powder coatings represent a growing niche”
Dan Simovic, co-CEO of Tiger Coatings North America, addresses the latest trends in powder coatings. Even though powder still represents a smaller portion of the coatings industry, Simovic says that there is further potential to grow as demand is increasing for these systems.
What are the current trends in powder coatings?
Dan Simovic: The following are three common trends. For the longest time powder coating applicators and end users have been looking for ways to replace metallic liquid coatings. While advancements in manufacturing technologies allowed for incremental advancements in the achievement of the new and innovative metallic finishes, the depth in the appearance remained a challenge for the powder coating formulators. Recently, metallic powder coatings with liquid-like coatings appearance have become practical reality. Pioneering steps in re-creation of visual 3D looks in metallic powder coating finishes resulted in a new array of special effects in the market.
Environmental responsibility is a continuing trend and has resulted in expansion of TGIC-free powder coating formulations. Driven both by regional environmental legislation and globalisation of the markets, HAA (TGIC-free) is quickly becoming an alternative to the traditional TGIC polyester formulations. While relatively new in the North American market, TGIC-free powders represent a majority of the outdoor durable powder coatings used in the EU for the last 20 years. Ease of application, due to the inherent properties of the formulation of these powders, is quickly making them the choice for many environmentally and cost-conscious end users and applicators.
Customisation is a megatrend that is becoming more dominant in the powder coatings market, resulting in increased requests for customised products in smaller lot sizes. Custom colour matches are common request for customers to get the exact look they want. At the same time, custom jobs usually mean smaller size runs, and applicators are looking for ways to cater to those requests. This puts pressure on powder coating manufacturers to hone their capacities and ensure flexibility to cater to variety of order/lot sizes.
Powder coatings are an eco-friendly alternative. Why are these systems still niche?
Co-CEO, Tiger Coatings North America
Simovic: Powder coatings represent a growing niche. There will typically be some sales volume restrictions associated with the requirement for powder coating applications in manufacturing environments (versus field applications); however, the market for powder coatings continues to increase in addressable markets. For manufacturers, using powder coating products offers efficiency (less waste), durability and environmental advantages. All this is creating increased demand.
Where do you see further potential for powder coatings?
Simovic: Increasing globalisation of the market for powder coatings creates increased demand for global solutions, as customers seek consistent product quality and features across different markets. One of the examples is increased demand for more durable coatings/finishes in architectural specifications since we see expansion of Qualicoat requirements into North America. This is usually driven by global projects, with manufacturers and coaters in one region and actual end user/project installation in completely different region.
Additionally, while with limited success so far, we believe that powder coatings still have significant long-term potential in non-metal substrate applications, as new technologies come to market.
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