Most new products from coating raw material suppliers are based on ingredients from renewable or sustainable resources. The concept of “green” products, even the color theme, is carried over in a number of stand designs.
The reliance on fossil fuels as sources of raw materials for coatings is shifting to a reliance on natural products, with suppliers also being sensitive to the need to not affect the use of these materials in the human food chain. For example, suppliers that incorporate soya-based ingredients into their raw materials are aware of the effects on the supply of soya ingredients because they are a major source of nutrition for many countries.
Although new products for high-solids are still in demand, an underlying trend is an increasing emphasis on waterborne systems rather than high(er) solids as a means of meeting the more stringent regulations on volatile organic compound (VOC) content in coatings.
Another trend is an increasing number of smart, or functional, coatings developments on display.
One class of “smart coatings” are the self-healing systems that incorporate Bayer MaterialScience products. The systems are functionalized anti-corrosion coatings or topcoats that can “heal” damage autonomously, similar to the self-healing mechanism of the human skin.
Other products for smart coatings are for graffiti resistance.
New perspectives for smart coatings are being found in marine coatings with the use of carbon nanotubes, again from Bayer MaterialScience. The nanotubes allow another approach to providing different properties and additional functions, and their use as coating additives could open up even more intriguing perspectives. The high mechanical strength and electrical conductivity of the particles, in particular, promise novel possibilities for formulating coatings and for improving the strength of structural components while keeping their weight extremely low. Novel epoxy-gel coatings with nanotubes are already significantly improving the scratch-resistance of coatings for ship hulls.