Send in the Crowds

August 16, 2005

The European Coatings Show remains the paint and coatings industry's top event.

The European Coatings Show remains the paint and coatings industry's top event. This year, the show drew 19,000 attendees to Nrnberg, while 800 took part in six adjoining technical conferences.

With 687 exhibitors and more than 19,000 visitors, the European Coatings Show proved once again to be the global paint and coatings industry's biggest attraction. The numbers topped what had already been a gigantic event (646 exhibitors in 2003 with more than 16,000 attendees).

The growth of this show since its inception in 1991-when it featured 181 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees and was known as Farbe & Lack-is quite a statement in an era when many trade shows, especially in so-called mature industries, are shrinking. Its phenomenal track record has even impressed show organizers.

"Even more astonishing and by no means normal on today's exhibition scene is the growth of some six percent in the number of exhibitors and the display area since the previous event in 2003," said Esther Schwencke, head of the events division at Vincentz Network, which is responsible for the show, along with NrnbergMesse.

In addition, ECS's adjoining technical conferences-led by the 8th Nrnberg Congress-attracted 800 participants eager to learn more about the latest research and developments in coatings technology, as well as inks, adhesives and construction chemicals.


A critical concern for the European paint and coatings industry is no doubt REACH, and that was mirrored at the show in Nrnberg.

There was strong emphasis placed on products that could help deliver improved performance in waterborne, powder, UV and other environmentally friendly systems. In addition, the plenary session at the Nrnberg Congress and Ink Makers Forum focused on the pending legislation, and the European Council of Paint, Printing Ink and Artists' Colours Industry (CEPE) had a special stand on the show floor devoted to REACH.

The REACH "info point" was a success, as the stand received a high number of visitors, according to Jacques Warnon, technical director of CEPE. "A lot of questions were asked about the present status of the REACH regulation," he said. "It was quite useful not only for coating manufacturers but also for lots of raw material suppliers that appeared to know little about REACH. Some people from non-European companies asked if and how they would be affected," Dr. Warnon added.


With the continued focus on lowering VOCs, the winner of this year's European Coatings Award was a perfect choice. The award, which honors the best scientific paper presented at the Nrnberg Congress, was presented to Air Products and Chemicals' Dr. Frederick Walker and his team-Dr. T.J. Lim, Dr. E.C. Galgoci and Dr. K.A. Yoxheimer-for their paper, "Meeting the regulatory challenge: combining novel surfactant technology with waterborne hybrid resin technology for unique high-performance solutions to low VOC coatings requirements."

The award and its 2000 prize are presented to a paper that is deemed innovative, scientific, clearly presented and of wide-reaching interest and industrial relevance. The paper focused on the creation of an NMP-free waterborne urethane acrylate hybrid dispersion that, when combined with added surfactants, leads to a VOC content of less than 100g/l in the paint formulation, and systems based on this deliver properties superior to those with a higher VOC content.

Frederick Walker accepts the European Coatings Award at the opening of the Nrnberg Congress.

Conference Highlights

Attendance at the six adjoining technical conferences was as impressive as the overall attendance level. According to show organizers, 800 participants from 46 countries took part in the following events: 8th Nrnberg Congress, Ink Makers Forum, 5th European Congress on Construction Chemicals, Purchasers' Day, STICK! (a congress on adhesive and sealant raw materials) and the Workshop on Production Technology. More than 150 scientists presented their work on a variety of subjects.

In addition to the European Coatings Award-winning paper-"Meeting the regulatory challenge: combining novel surfactant technology with waterborne hybrid resin technology for unique high-performance solutions to low VOC coatings requirements," by Air Products (see p. 40)-there were several other valuable papers presented during the 8th Nrnberg Congress, which is run with the help of the Paint Research Association (PRA) of the UK.

Papers and presentations addressed real-world situations, such as the use of novel curing methods and materials and purchasing raw materials in the current economic climate.

"A new generation of UV-curable clearcoat" was presented by Nazire Dogan of Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes. In her presentation, she discussed the development of a novel UV-A curing, high-solids clear coating, which can be used for automotive refinishing applications. This photo-activated coating is based on an innovative, patented, two-component curing technology and comprises various specially developed constituents at a VOC-level of 350 g/l at application viscosity. In addition, Dogan said Akzo Nobel is also working on a UV filler for auto refinish.

At the Purchasers' Day forum, Hans Schller of Rembrandtin, Austria, presented "Purchasing of high performance materials." In his presentation Dr. Schller addressed the dramatic raw material price increases paint companies are facing, as well as the different concerns of the paint engineer and the purchaser. He stressed that a detailed analysis of a company's product portfolio is necessary and that purchasers need to have strong cooperation with technicians when looking for alternatives.

Innovation was not just relegated to the conferences. Exhibitors used the European Coatings Show to debut their newest products for coatings formulators. And based on the number of launches announced at the show, the coatings industry in general is bound to reap the rewards in the coming month and years.

2007 Dates

Traditionally run in April, the next European Coatings Show will be held at a time when attendees can really enjoy springtime in Nrnberg. The dates are May 8-10, 2007, with the technical congresses starting on May 7. CW

-Christine Canning Esposito

Photos from ECS

Web Exclusive

News from the ECS Show Floor

Here's a look at just some of the new products on display at the European Coatings Show, as well as what some of the leading suppliers told Coatings World about their businesses.

Ciba was showing several new products, including its Irgacure 2022, an easy-to-use photoinitiator for opaque formulation and UV stabilized/UV cured system, as well as Irgaguard H6000, a new silver-based biocide designed for decorative and industrial paints. The company was also promoting its newest technology in the area of pigment technology, the mirror-like effects of Metasheen pigments.

Degussa had a range of products on display, including several new technologies such as Aerosil R 9200 and Aeroxide Alu C 805. Aerosil R 9200, a new fumed silica grade, can be applied as an active filler to improve the mechanical properties of conventional coating systems. Aerosil R 9200 is being billed as another contribution to the new generation of structure modified fumed silicas. It complements Aerosil R 7200, which can be applied to improve the scratch resistance of UV curing coatings. Aeroxide Alu C provides a new solution to powder coatings. The hydrophobic aluminum oxide ensures excellent free flow properties due to an improved moisture protection as well as stable electrostatic charge of various powder coatings systems.

Byk-Chemie was displaying information on a dozen new products, including new wetting and dispersing additives, such as Disperbyk 194 for aqueous 2K-PU and epoxy systems.

Munich-based Wacker Group presented details on its organofunctional alpha-silanes for the coatings, adhesives and sealants industry, sold under the Geniosil banner. Geniosil silanes are extremely reactive and facilitate much better hydrolysis and condensation of the Si-alkoxy groups than conventional commodity silanes. This turbo effect can be exploited to produce completely novel rapid-cure sealants and adhesives - for example, one-pack adhesives, whose properties could previously only be achieved with difficult-to-process two-pack systems. Adhesives formulated with the silane-modified polyether Geniosil STP-E adhere better than comparable systems, have a high level of chemical resistance and possess exactly the right combination of strength and elasticity needed in many applications.Geniosil STP-E 10 is suitable for sophisticated adhesive formulations in the automotive sector, in container construction and for bonding parquet floors, according to the company. Paints and surface coatings, too, benefit from the improved coating properties, including excellent curing and improved adhesion in automotive coatings.

Having closed the acquisition of Noveon International, promoting its new performance coatings organization-was key for Lubrizol at the European Coatings Show. Company officials were promoting the firm's breadth of products and technologies that coatings manufacturers have relied on, such as its additives, resins and polymers.

"During the coming months, a visible yet seamless change will occur for our customers who have been doing business with us under names like Lubrizol Coating Additives or Carroll Scientific," said Hans-Hugo Bremkamp, general manager, Performance Coatings Group. "We are transferring such company names to the Noveon division, but customers can expect the same or better experience as before."

Cytec Surface Specialties was also promoting its new position in the market as a part of the Cytec Industries stable. Ben Van Assche, president of Cytec Surface Specialties, was on hand in Nrnberg to talk about the company's strengths. "This broad, new offering reflects our strengths across coating resins and additives. Being part of Cytec increases our ability to even better meet the needs of coating manufacturers globally," he said.

Clariant used ECS to debut its newest pigments and pigment preparations for special applications such as leather finishes, crayon and artists colors, including products from Claraint's 70s brands-Permanent, Hostaperm, Novoperm, PV Fast, and Graphtol ranges-which have shown their effectiveness in these applications. Recent additions to the portfolio include two high-performance pigments with the Color Index Pigment Red 254, which are produced based on diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) chemistry. Hostaperm Red D2G 70 and D3G 70 are high-end red pigments with excellent fastness and outstanding color strength and opacity, according to the company

Air Products was showcasing a number of products, including Airflex vinyl acetate/ethylene dispersion technology, which allows for the formulation of solvent-free and low solvent interior decorative paints that offer high scrub resistance.

At BASF, visitors could learn more about their new Paliocrom sparkling red effect pigment, which delivers a very pure shade, good hiding power and unique brilliance never attained in the red color range, according to the company. In combination with other chromatic pigments, Paliocrom sparking red opens up styling possibilities for automotive and industrial coatings.

At Draiswerke's stand, the company was touting its Drais DCP high performance media mills for nanoparticles, which deliver higher energy density, advanced cooling systems, higher re-circulation flow rate and narrower particle size and residence time distribution, among other benefits.

At ECS Eliokem was showcasing its Pliotec resins, which allow companies to formulate waterborne floor coatings that can be used to replace single pack solventborne coatings, and comply with the European Ecolabel on environment. Floor coatings formulated with Pliotec resins offer excellent adhesion on concrete surfaces and have outstanding chemical-, water-, and hardness- and abrasion-resistance, according to the company.

Cognis used ECS to introduce a new marketing-oriented approach to the industry and showcase its latest market-ready concepts and solutions. Among those are the Starfactant range of wetting agents for substrate wetting and defoaming in waterborne formulations; the Versamine LTC and S series of epoxy curing agents, which increase the proportion of solids at lower viscosities in heavy-duty applications; and Edenol EFC-100, an emission-free, non-yellowing, low-odor coalescing agent for use in decorative paint.

Huntsman has launched two new Jefflink products to improve spray coating applications. Jefflink 754 and Jefflink 555 have been designed specifically to give slightly lower reaction times in coating systems for flooring and construction projects.

Rohm and Haas' AFC division in Europe has added to its range of products with Elastene 404 for elsatomeric wall coatings. It combines a huge improvement in dirt pick-up resistance with a breakthrough in the problem of exudation or surfactant leaching, according to the company.

Keim Additec was showcasing its range of water-based wax additives, including its aqueous Ultralube wax additives in emulsions, microdisperion and dipersion formats. The company was also promoting its wax additives for water-based printing inks.

Rhodia was at ECS touting its new aliphatic polyisocyanate Tolonate X FD 90 B, which promotes faster drying coatings with exceptional weathering resistance and sustained flexibility. The products, which have been available in Europe, are now being promoted tp the growing Asia-Pacific market. Tolonate X FD 90 B, according to company officials, offers time savings from 25-50% in drying time, when compared to a standard HDI derivative.