The nirvana for resins and coatings producers is to create formulations that have the highest performance levels with the lowest environmental impact, and are cost neutral. Although performance is still the key criteria there is now a transitioning towards sustainable coatings if there is no trade off, and no significant cost penalty for switching. The future driver for the segment, according to MarketsandMarkets, is the combination of high performance + sustainability, in other words coatings that offer sustainable performance.
Protective and functional advances
The drive for sustainable performance coatings not only includes switching to renewables but is a host of other factors that impact the performance, environmental result or the cost balance of choosing one component versus another. This can include for example reducing waste, better protection, longer service life and a lower total cost of ownership.
Sustainable performance includes technological breakthroughs such as thinner coatings that achieve the same final functional result but use less material and the shift to new waterborne technologies that are eliminating solvents in paints without compromising performance. UV curing is yet another area of sustainable performance where technology eliminates harmful solvents and speeds up curing thereby lowering the amount of energy required in processing. These solutions provide performance, cost and environmental benefits that are attractive to producers and brand owners.
There is no doubt that the increasing global demand from consumers, users and society (legislation) for sustainable performance coatings will eventually drive all formulators to look to switch to new, more sustainable solutions. The advantages of switching will need to be balanced against the cost and performance impact but what is inevitable is that all resins and coatings formulators and producers will have to switch sooner or later.
David Löf, Technical Market Development Manager at Perstorp with many years of experience in the Coatings industry gives his reflections: “For many coating applications, supporting technologies exist for achieving high performance, sustainable and cost efficient solutions. However, the solutions will first appear when new ideas from new and different fields are merged into the same applications. That demands some thinking outside the box and some investment in new projects and people who dare to take some risks and allowing tests in research, by investing in non-conventional research ideas.
Only conservatism within the industries can prevent the promising future we are facing for sustainable technology coating solutions. Compared to 10 years back in time I do believe that today, down-stream customers are ready. The upcoming R&D generation are not only curious but also concerned about the global environment and are eager to find solutions to contribute to a sustainable society. The solutions are out there and we just need to grab them”.
You can find out more about how Perstorp is responding to the challenges of sustainable performance coatings, and our future plans at the European Coatings Show. Just click this link for more information.