A life in the Coatings industry

We met with Sue Tyler, who has been working as a in the Coatings area for the past 11 years, last as senior editor at PPCJ.  She gives us her reflections from the years in the Coatings industry.

The most noticeable change from a publication’s viewpoint is the major shift to being ‘greener’ with sustainability and environmentally friendly coatings. Low VOCs and finding solutions within the natural world and using them to produce less harmful raw materials rather than use of chemicals, are the main criteria. We have learnt from marine and land, how we can produce natural products based on sea and land creatures. Some adhesives are produced based on the gecko’s ability to ’stick’ to anything and water resistant paints have been researched by looking and testing the properties of, say the lotus leaf. With global warming there is the need to harness the natural properties, without harming the planet.

The advent of smart coatings has become a prominent and well proven application, whether used in the automotive, aerospace or even space research. Scratch resistant and intumescent coatings were more and more at the fore but they are now commonplace and are widely used in major construction projects.

With more advanced computer programmes, the choice in colors and hues has accelerated incredibly during the past few years. This is where exhibitions come into their own, as people can see and touch the new products, with their different textures. 

As the coatings market is very niche and relies on research and development, the need to invest in this area is paramount. There are several universities, which specialize in studying new formulas and PPCJ has reported on such results, with some findings being discovered by accident!

There is more collaboration between companies and universities to come up with reliable and workable results but the cost of such can be very high and some smaller enterprises would be unable to fund such agreements.

Being greener and more sustainable will continue to be a major concern within the coatings arena. ‘Cool' paints for buildings have been another ‘new’ addition since my joining the industry, again proving to be an environmentally friendly innovation.

Renewable resources are also very much to the fore. More and more companies are looking to produce resins etc that are from renewable sources. Also, REACH is very much uppermost on many companies agendas, as the May 2018 deadline is fast approaching. Also low CO2 emissions take center stage with some large coating producers being major advocates of this.  

- Sue Tyler

 

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