According to a new study by the consulting firm Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney, consumption of five of the leading additives for coatings and inks in 2013 was 1.02 million tons, as supplied, worth $4.66 billion. A 5 percent annual rate of growth is forecast through 2018. Included are rheology modifiers, foam control agents, wetting agents, dispersants, and slip & rub materials.
Rheology modifiers are the largest additive type representing nearly 40 percent of the tons in 2013. A wide variety of rheology modifiers are used depending on a product’s technology and the properties required. Cellulosic, synthetic, and inorganic are the major rheology modifier categories. Dispersants are the second largest additive in volume with one-fifth of the tons. They range from high volume polyacrylic/polycarboxylate types for titanium dioxide and fillers in WB architectural paints to highly specialized polymeric types for specific pigment use.
Foam control additives were third in volume representing 17 percent of the tons in 2013. Products vary from higher performance silicone, surfactant and polymer-based products to the widely used mineral oil type products. Slip/rub materials were 13 percent of the volume. Silicone and wax products are used for slip/rub. In contrast to the other additive types where inks take less than 10 percent of the volume, about one-third of the slip/rub additives were used in inks.
Wetting agents were 11 percent of the additive tons. They range from high volume alkoxylated surfactants to more specialized silicone, acrylic, acetylenic glycol derivatives and fluorosurfactants. In the alkoxylated surfactant category alkyl phenol ethoxylates continue to lose out to other products owing to environmental concerns.