Two questions on wood coatings

Our editor Vanessa Bauersachs spoke to Dr. Albert Rössler, CTO, Adler, about the latest trends in raw materials and developments in this significant application area.

Low emission products with a long lifetime are key in sustainability Source: bbgreg - Adobe Stock

Sustainability is a megatrend all over the coatings industry. What is the impact on wood coatings and raw materials for wood coatings?
Dr. Albert Rössler: Sustainable coatings are currently on everyone’s lips. However, it is a multifaceted topic, which goes much further than environmental protection. Sustainability is a kind of philosophy and that´s why we as Adler are strategically focusing on the more holistic approach of the SDG´s of the United Nations. This still includes renewable materials and low VOC contents as well as avoiding harmful or toxic substances. However, sustainable development is focussing already on the entire lifecycle – from raw materials, manufacturing, product safety and application to the degradation the products. Thus, there is an impact on the whole supply chain including the raw material industry as well as the transportation. The good news are: high-end, low emission products with a long lifetime are key in sustainability. But further innovation is necessary regarding renewable raw materials, transparency in the carbon or environmental footprint of materials as well as approaches regarding circular economy. Waste should be no longer rubbish but a valuable resource.

Event tip: besides sustainability, the PRA’s 12th International Woodcoatings Congress taking place from 8-9 November 2022 in Amsterdam will address a wide range of research angles.

What is the status in wood coatings and what are other current trends in the field?
Rössler: We all are already in a transformation process. The European Green Deal will make its contribution to this development through increasing CO2 taxation. For sure there will be an ongoing move from solvent-borne systems to water-based coatings and UV systems. The new Chemicals Strategy of the EU will also affect the formulations. In addition, we will see interesting developments in the field of ecological and sustainable coatings, which are manufactured with a high proportion of renewable raw materials (propably certified by the 14C-method, but only if the footprint makes sense), as well as in the implementation of circular economy approaches. Looking on the environmental footprint will be state of the art in the supply chain in future. To fulfill all these aspects, much more innovation and cooperation as well as new business models will be necessary. In addition, digitalisation will help to optimise processes, generates innovation and helps to better serve customers through the value chain. Coatings in combination with digital printing and new overspray-free application technologies will require also new formulations. Last but not least, (multi)functional coatings – from fire resistance to conductive coatings – also with new crosslinking mechanism beside isocyantes will have increasing importance.

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