ACE Coatings: “Combine lower VOCs with faster throughput”

The coatings market for agriculture, construction and earth moving equipment (ACE) is quite versatile. Many different needs have to be met by coatings manufacturers to succeed in this market. We spoke with two experts about current challenges and new requirements.

Coatings for Agriculture -

Even though the ACE market is very diverse, some requirements remain the same. “They are all looking for similar functionalities: excellent colour and gloss retention combined with a high degree of edge and corrosion protection usually top their lists”, says Eric Fouissac who is vice president for ACE & trucks at Beckers.

Coating speed is key

Berckmans Cardolite

Tom Berckmans, international sales manager at Cardolite Specialty Chemicals.

Tom Berckmans who works as international sales manager at Cardolite Specialty Chemicals adds that high coating speed is key: “Reducing pre-treatment to just degreasing the substrate or avoiding pre-treatment altogether is one way to obtain a faster throughput.” Reducing the number of layers is also a possible way to increase speed. One way to achive this is to apply DTM coatings. “But the big downside here is a weak corrosion resistance generally”, says Berckmans.

“Apart from a focus on coatings performance, we are seeing calls for more environmentally sound products”, adds Eric Fouissac and states that he expects that high-solids and powder coatings will certainly grow in the ACE sector.

At Cardolite people are also believing that low-VOC coatings are getting more important. However, “it can be a challenge to combine lower VOCs with faster throughput “, says Berckmans, adding that he believes that new technologies are already showing good results.

Are lightweight substrates the future?

Eric Fouissac Beckers

Eric Fouissac, Vice president for ACE & trucks at Beckers

There are some arguments for using more lightweight substrates in trucks, tractors or harvesters and some against it. For Eric Fouissac the pro-arguments are already showing an impact on the market. He says: “Volume of coatings for plastic substrates in ACE has increased over the last few years as part of strategies intended to strike a balance between cost effectiveness, style and weight.”

Tom Berckams on the other hand has a different opinion: “I believe these substrates will remain the same in the near future. I do not see this market moving towards composite materials any time soon.”

This text is based on a more detailed interview, this excerpt is taken from issue 10/2017 of the European Coatings Journal. The digital version of the issue is available at European Coatings 360°.

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