Experts on architectural coatings and stability

Architectural coatings have to withstand UV-radiation, rain, dust, fungal growth and more. At the same time, they should stay aesthetical pleasing for a long time. We spoke with experts about this issue and how climate change will affect architectural coatings.

(Picture: gpointsudio - -

Regardless of if one lives in their own house or in a rented flat, everyone wants their home to look good – from the inside as well as from the outside. The latter is much easier to achieve if your exterior wall paint has a high degree of outdoor durability. However, “durability can be defined in various ways, e.g. visual durability, mechanical durability and even in some cases mild chemical durability given the elements of exposure”, explains Mehmet Göbken from Synthomer. Also, he adds, the climate conditions vary depending on the geographic location. “Colour trends may also vary from market to market, which then brings different challenges to polymer design and paint formulations”, he says.  

Liz Hickson Hempel

Liz Hickson is a Marketing Director at Hempel Decorative Europe.

Facotor climate change

The climate is also a factor that Liz Hickson and Oliver Reis from Hempel underline. They say: “The changes in our climate will be the biggest challenge” and that “the impact from dirt, fungal or algal growth and increasingly air pollution in larger cities are pushing the limits of technologies and the capabilities of exterior masonry paints.” Additionally, they expect that rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions will shorten the application time.  

Mehemt Gökben states that Synthomer tries to design polymers that cover as much of such conditions as possible. “We usually have different monomers (including functional) in our toolbox to design the best fitting backbones as the basis.

Mehmet Gökben Synthomer

Mehmet Gökben is the Head of Technical Service Coatings at Synthomer.

We look at different factors from the environment and try to shield the polymer against them.” He also mentions the requirements for environmental, health and safety regulations, as further factors that can make the design process more complex. “Perhaps end consumers are not aware of how hard the value chain in coatings is working to provide the same performance while updating products and formulations to meet the regulations and directives”, he says.  

Sustainability key issue

For Liz Hickson and Oliver Reis sustainability is a key issue for consumers and the coatings industry alike. “Sustainability goes beyond the products, and will include the entire value chain”, they explain and add: “We have a dedicated focus on new bio-sourced, renewable or biodegradable raw materials and components as an alternative to traditional ingredients.”  

Oliver Reis Hempel Decorative Europe

Oliver Reis is a R&D Director at Hempel Decorative Europe.

As one part of this value chain, Synthomer is trying to play its part. As Gökben explains “some major changes within Synthomer are planned to be implemented short-to-midterm to contribute to a more livable future.” Among others this are linked to emission and water management, resource efficiency, energy management, urbanisation and managing or even eliminating harmful migratables substances.

Migratable substances is also a topic that Hempel is looking at. Aside from low VOC paints they are working on allergy-friendly paints that help limit exposure to airborne triggers of asthma and allergies. “We also see a strong tendency towards solutions that filter out emissions, pollutions or odours”, says Liz Hickson.  

This article is based on an interview in the European Coatings Journal 1/2020. The complete interview is available at European Coatings 360°.

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