It is an exciting time for powder coatings
Do you see developments that could make it easier to use powder coatings on non-conductive substrates?
Gunjan Khanijow: There are already sufficient solutions that support non-conductive-substrate coatings as long as the substrates can be heated. Challenges arise when the substrate is non-conductive and cannot be heated. Then you need to look for alternatives involving UV curing or LTC curing. In recent years, we have noticed a significant rise in research activity into technologies for low-temperature coatings, which indicates that the industry is actively looking for innovations for coatings on non-conductive substrates.
Lowering the stoving temperature for powder coatings is commonly seen as a way to open up new market segments. Do you see potential to go much lower than today’s temperatures?
Khanijow: Lowering the temperature tends to have more to do with the stability, shelf life and process stability of the powder coating rather than the curing chemistry itself. The potential to lower the curing temperature is always there, but would entail extensive modification to the base chemistry. This modification would be needed in order to provide proper flow and finishing while maintaining process safety and ensuring shelf-life stability of the end product. We offer an epoxy resin, which is suitable for wood and other non-conductive substrates, we can attain curing temperatures as low as 110 °C, but to achieve even lower temperatures we need to be creative with regard to the process and to the overall formulation aspect.
Gunjan Khanijow works as global strategic marketing manager at Olin.
What other technical developments do you see for powder coatings in the next few years?
Khanijow: It is an exciting time for powder coatings. With the industry expected to grow at 5-6% CAGR, especially in emerging economies, we foresee many new avenues for exploring technical developments in the next three to five years. Developments should not only positively impact the life-cycle costs of coatings and provide enhanced performance, but should also be environmentally friendly and sustainable.
In our opinion, some of the upcoming areas of technical developments are flame retardancy effected with non-halogenated materials, antibacterial applications on epoxies, nanotechnology in coatings and diffusion of nanotechnology with nanofillers and graphene – to name a few. Regulatory-driven requirements are also an important factor that lead to new product developments in the powder coatings industry. At Olin, we have been actively working on developing specialty products for epoxy-based functional applications that provide improved corrosion resistance, high-temperature resistance and toughening properties.
In epoxy-hybrid based decorative coatings, we foresee more technical developments aimed at creating differentiation through finishes. Improvements to finishes in the form of low gloss, hammertones, and textured would drive innovation. Last but not least, while not a classical technical development, the industry is certainly very receptive to process-based innovation that is enabled through digitisation initiatives!
If you want to start developing your own powder coatings formulations the European Coatings seminar Powder Coatings will help you understand the necessary basics and parameters. The Seminar will take place on 22 May 2019 in Amsterdam.