Certain key segments, such as architectural coatings, performed well, which helped drive the market, however other areas remained weak, according to suppliers Coatings World spoke with in December 2003.
"We are starting to see some slow economic recovery in the additives market," said Paul Elias, business director, specialty products, Sartomer. "Actually, in the third quarter, we saw an increase in activity, and so far the fourth quarter looks like it will continue the trend."
"We have seen recent strength in the architectural coatings market and look forward to continued market growth in 2004," said David E. Faherty, Jr., vice president of sales and marketing at Troy. "However, segments of the industrial coatings market remain comparatively weaker."
Because of the global nature of the additives business and the broad number of applications that these products are used in, the market is less vulnerable to the economic cycle, noted Rich Krawiec, product manager, Eastman. "In the second half of 2003, this area has shown increasing business activity in all regions of the world," he added.
"The business has become stronger as compared to last year," agreed Sarah Kaspars, new business development, coatings line, coatings effect business segment, Ciba Specialty Chemicals. "We are finding new opportunities for our products and developing new technologies to meet customer needs."
Additives suppliers have had to tweak their offerings in response to a number of factors. The number one factor affecting the market is increasingly strict environmental legislation, creating a great demand for additives that can be used in low or no VOC coatings.
"As the regulations affecting the coatings industry grow, formulators are looking for any method that will facilitate highly effective systems that are compliant," said Christopher J. Bradford, global marketing manager–aqueous coatings, Elementis Specialties. "There is a greater push for additives at low or no VOC and a greater need for additives that are effective in lower VOC waterborne coatings or higher solids, super solids solventborne coatings."
As environmental regulations continue to tighten there "remains strong interest in additives that help coatings formulators respond to the drive to reduce VOCs," said Andrew Grantham, marketing manager, Avecia Additives.
"As coatings technologies have diversified, away from conventional solids solvent-based systems towards lower VOC technologies such as water-based, high solids, radiation cured and powder coatings, additives have been developed to meet the differing needs of these systems," added Grantham.
There are a multitude of factors to consider when choosing an additive–performance, use levels, the effect on final product shelf life, and pricing need to be considered. "Additives, although typically used in small amounts, can have a large effect on the final product," said Lujean Burak, manager, technical communications, Sartomer. "Product stability as well as rheology, gloss, solubility and settling of the additives are all considerations."
In response to market needs for products that optimize surface properties and meet stringent environmental standards, Troy has recently launched a line of low and zero VOC Troykyd brand anti-foam/defoamers and Troysperse solvent-free, high performance dispersant. These products offer low VOC levels, safe handling characteristics, optimized control of surface properties, and broad compatibility to enable customers to use fewer products, according to the company.
"As VOC limits fall, we are positioning our development of new products accordingly," said Stewart Williams, additives market manager, architectural and functional coatings, Rohm and Haas. "Hence, new products like Acrysol RM-5000, RM-6000 and RM-7 are solvent-free." Acrysol RM-5000 and Acrysol RM-600 are nonionic thickeners designed to deliver enamel like flow and great efficiency. According to Williams, in many formulations, these products deliver upwards of 20% improvement in efficiency to deliver high shear viscosity. Rohm and Haas' Acrysol RM-7 offers improved flow and efficiency in a broad cross-section of latex formulations. All have broad utility in water-based formulations from traditional house paints to industrial maintenance applications to other aqueous applications, Williams noted.
"The industry has seen a migration toward aqueous and low VOC coatings," said Robert Miller, manager paint coatings lab at Troy. "The demand on additives suppliers and their customers has been to enhance surface performance as solvent is replaced. Troy has developed new products that help manufacturers meet performance standards for wetting, surface smoothness, defoaming, drying and surface tension. The wetting of difficult-to-coat and contaminated substrates has been a focus in the conversion to aqueous coatings."
Although the primary consideration when choosing an additive is its effectiveness in delivering the desired property for a particular formulation, coatings manufacturers are now demanding that their additives provide more than one benefit. Now more than ever versatility is key when selecting an additive.
According to Bradford of Elementis, formulations are becoming very application specific. "The specific needs of that market or application are pushing the boundaries of the additive market," he said. "This has resulted in formulators relying on additive suppliers to develop tailored solutions that are very specific to the actual market and application."
"It is a benefit to the manufacturers to select additives that have the ability to be used across a wide range of different coatings," said Jim McDonnell, business director for decorative coatings and adhesives, Rhodia. "In addition, some additives are less affected by variations in coating production, such as dosage levels, processing temperatures and order of addition which ensures product quality and consistency."
When searching for an additive, "additives that improve efficiency in manufacturing and enhance properties in application prove successful in a formulator's evaluations," said Miller of Troy. "Consolidation is another concern in today's market. Additives that can do multiple tasks or function across a wider range of systems are valuable to coatings manufacturers."
"Great care must be taken in choosing an additive that does not cause detrimental effects on other properties," cautioned Krawiec of Eastman. "An additional consideration is whether an additive can provide more than one benefit in a formula. Fewer formula components help minimize the number of raw materials in inventory and reduces the potential for error in manufacturing."
Additive suppliers are developing products that are more effective in enhancing user productivity, reducing defect rates and lowering total raw material usage.
Sartomer's latest offerings include CD586, a white, waxy solid monomer that melts at approximately 31°C. An acrylic ester composed of approximately 95%, C18 was developed by Sartomer to cure with the use of free radical polymerization for textile and release coating applications. CD586 can be used in coatings as an additive to provide hydrophobic properties and lower viscosity, or it can act as a bubble breaker. Use levels as an additive range from five to 20% by weight. It is flexible and offers impact resistance and low shrinkage, as well as water and weathering resistance.
Sartomer's SR535 is a low volatility, fast-curing monomer for use in polymerization. It contains a pendant hydroxyl group, which aids in adhesion and reversion resistance in sulfur-cured elastomers. This product was developed to provide abrasion, hear, water and chemical resistance in applications such as coatings, elastomers, electronics, solder masks, inks and sealants.
Troykyd D734 and D740 are low VOC, high performance anti-foam/defoamer products, offering excellent bubble-break performance and elimination of microfoam. In addition, they maintain high gloss and film clarity. Troykyd D726 is a low VOC, high robust, general purpose defoamer that can effectively replace multiple defoamers in applications that range from flat to gloss coatings. Troykyd D726 eliminates pinholes, craters and microfoam and is effective in both process and application defoaming. Troysperse 200SF is a new solvent-free dispersant that offers dispersion of difficult pigments, such as organics and carbon black. The product achieves new levels of dispersion capability in a wide range of systems, requiring no additional dispersants or wetting agents in the grind stage. It is effective in solvent and solvent-free coatings, according to the company.
Micro Powders recently launched Micromatte 1213UVW matting additives for waterborne and UV coating systems. The product is easily incorporated into micronized wax.
Rhodia also offers several environmentally-friendly additives for the coatings industry including Rhodoline DF defoamers which are VOC- and APE-free. Effective in many applications, these defoamers help coatings manufacturers meet environmental regulations without sacrificing performance, according to the company. Rhodia has also introduced adhesion promoting monomers for water-based coatings designed to improve adhesion to metal surfaces. Sipomer PAM 100 and 200 are highly reactive radically polymerizable monomers designed for water- and solventborne resins. Either product can be incorporated into various polymer systems, including acrylic, vinyl, styrenic and acrylamide and their combinations. These products offer excellent adhesion to glass and a broad range of metal substrates, greater formulation compatibility and improved freeze/thaw and mechanical stability in latex, according to the company.
Avecia Additives has launched six new products over the past year including five hyperdispersants for improving flow and a thickener for water-based coatings under the Solthix A100 name. The five new hyperdispersants, which are products for solventless systems, include Solsperse 39000 for UV-cured coatings and Solplus L300 for powder coatings. Solplus K200 and Solplus K210 can be used for dispersing pigment into plasticizers. They have been optimized for their specific applications to make the pigment dispersing process more efficient and improve the flow and application properties of the final coating, according to the company.
The latest offerings from Eastman include CP 730-1 and AP-550-1 to promote adhesion to difficult to bond to substrates as PP and TPO. This new generation of products gives superior adhesion along with excellent resistance to organic solvents such as gasoline, according to the company. As a complement to CP-730-1, AP-550-1 is a non-chlorinated adhesion promoter.
Ciba has launched a number of new additives this year including Lignostab 1198, a new wood photo-stabilization additive that inhibits lignin photo-oxidation. Lignostab 1198 is an easy to apply, water-soluble radical scavenger that provides outstanding protection of natural and tinted or stained wood and improves durability of wood substrates coated with clear and transparent pigmented finishes.
Also from Ciba is Tinuvin 405, a UV absorber designed for powder coatings. Recommended for catalyzed acrylic or polyester resins, its low melting temperature also makes it ideal for glycidyl methylacrylate type powder coatings, according to the company. Applications include automotive powder clearcoats, powder coatings for plastics and wood and high performance industrial coatings.
New from Elementis Specialties are Thixatrol Max and Dapro W-96LV. Thixatrol Max was designed to significantly reduce problems usually associated with intercoat adhesion and promotes a broad compatibility while maintaining extensive tolerance within solvent based formulations. Dapro W-96LV is an ultra low VOC interfacial tension modifier designed to be effective eliminating film defects in ultra-low VOC water based coatings.
ISP recently launched Fungitrol 720 and Fungitrol 820. These additives feature no VOC and are low odor and color stable, and have a high flash point. They are universally compatible with non-aqueous and aqueous systems, according to the firm.
ISP has also introduced a new line of Nuosept sanitizers specifically targeting manufacturing hygiene applications. The new line includes three new products–Nuosept 210, 211 and 220–for use in good manufacturing plant hygiene practice.
Shamrock Technologies has recently introduced a new water dispersion of PTFE modified polyethylene for the water-based coil coating market. This new dispersion is ideal for a direct to metal coil primer which may be required to have transit abrasion, fabrication benefits, salt spray resistance and intercoat adhesion, according to the company.
Innovation Drives Growth
To keep up with the ever-changing coatings industry, additive suppliers are counting on these new versatile products to drive growth in the future.
"As new technologies continue to emerge at a rapid pace, raw material suppliers continue to work to develop high performance additives that meet the new, increasingly demanding requirements of these technologies," said Burak of Sartomer. "Thanks to this push, there are now more raw material available to change rheology, gloss characteristics, flow, leveling and more."