ETCC: Broad spectrum of topics
The ETCC in Krakow was originally planned for September 2020. However, due to the Corona situation, it was impossible to hold the event at that time. As a result, the event was postponed to 2021 hoping that the situation would allow it. But again, it was not possible to hold the event, and so the third attempt was successful: The ETCC 2022 finally took place from 12 to 14 July 2022.
Worth the wait
354 participants from 26 countries were registered. The congress programme included 108 presentations in 5 parallel sessions and offered a broad spectrum of lectures on various topics in the coatings industry. In addition to the oral presentations, scientists presented their latest results in the poster session. To round off the agenda, 60 scientific posters were displayed for the duration of the event. There was also an accompanying exhibition with 15 exhibitors. Furthermore, the “SummerSchool Coatings and Colourants” was held the day before the ETCC, to give interested young scientists and students a basis to better understand the congress topics. This is particularly interesting for young participants who have not worked or researched in the field of coatings for many years.
Traditional trumpet call
For the opening ceremony, the organisers, consisting of the members from the Federation of Associations of Technicians for Industry of Paints in European Countries (FATIPEC) and the Polish Society of Chemical Engineers (SITPChem), came up with something special: A brief overview of Krakow’s history, with the traditional trumpet call of St. Mary’s played live by a trumpeter.
Current and future challenges
Andre van Linden from Akzo Nobel opened the congress of the first day with his keynote speech on current and future challenges in the field of coatings. He started with the customers’ expectations on the performance of coatings and that more and more functionalities are expected. At the same time, sustainability is becoming more important to achieve the promised sustainability goals. Van Linden explained that sustainability needs to be achieved by “triple R” which stands for “Re-duce”, “Re-use” and “Re-new”. This means to reduce the carbon footprint (e.g. by improving the durability of coatings, decreasing coating thicknesses or reducing the energy intensive processes), to reuse paint and substrates or have biodegradable coatings and to renew binders and other raw materials by bio-based ones. Van Linden showed quite well that the topic of sustainability does not only refer to the coatings and their raw materials, but also to all related processes up to reuse/recycling.
Durable and resource-efficient functional coatings
Also on the second day, the opening keynote presentation focussed on sustainability. Rüdiger Mertsch from Evonik talked about new solutions for coatings giving an overview of various methods and technologies to achieve durable and resource-efficient functional coatings. An interesting fact is that most of these approaches are known since years and thus quite well researched, but probably represent rather niche applications like using microspheres with phase change materials for thermal management or having biocide-free systems by killing bacteria via UV-light.
In addition to the presented technologies, Mertsch raises the question of quantification: “How can the handprint be quantified?” An interesting question, whose answer is challenging when comparing products in terms of the sustainability of the overall process.
Different awards were bestowed at this year’s conference. This included awards for the best presentations of the congress, for the best papers presented by young scientists up to 35 years of age and the Alain Clause Award for the best paper with an ecological content. The winners are listed in the box.
The day after ETCC, the FATIPEC had its annually board meeting. Wihthin this meetins, the Fatipec works on formal items and also make decisions about strategic issues. This time, the board had an important item, which usually takes place every four years: elections. The FATIPEC board decided unanimously to prolong the terms of responsibility of the president (Dr Michael Hilt), the general secretary (Jozef Koziel), and the treasurer (Alain Lemor) for another term of four years.
Furthermore, the chairperson of the European Scientific Committee (ESC) was elected (Professor Maria Zielecka), and the consulting circle, the Executive Committee (ExCo), was confirmed.