Interview: “The use of DTM coatings is rapidly growing”
What does R&D currently focus on for direct-to-metal (DTM) coatings?
Aaron Thornton: The use of DTM coatings is rapidly growing because of their ability to reduce formulation and labor costs while improving efficiency and lowering emissions as compared to traditional primer and topcoat systems. However, it remains challenging for DTM coatings to achieve the same level of durability as many two-layer systems. Improving weatherability, corrosion and chemical resistance in DTM coatings is an area of interest in the field and developing resins that can deliver this type of performance is a current focus of research and development.
What are the key challenges for DTM coatings?
Thornton: There continues to be a gap in the market for high-performance DTM coatings that deliver superior weathering and corrosion resistance. Established DTM formulations typically use resin systems that may require users to sacrifice one benefit for the other, or require the application of multiple layers, in turn eliminating the efficiency gains and cost savings they were seeking in the first place. Eastman “Tetrashield” protective resin systems were developed to meet this exact challenge and we have seen interest in these resins across a variety of applications.
What do you see as the prime applications for DTM Coatings?
Thornton: Prime applications for DTM include spaces that seek economic and operational efficiency. DTM coatings are less labor intensive and can improve throughput times, accelerate production schedules, and allow for more efficient use of raw materials.
In addition to economic and operational efficiency gains, DTM coatings can lower emissions for applicators in regions with more stringent VOC and/or plant emission regulations. We have seen great interest in our “Tetrashield” protective resin systems in ACE, rail, and protective markets where high performance is necessary and efficiency gains are desired.