Aesthetics and efficiency

By Tim Wright | June 13, 2006

The industrial coatings market represents a wide and varied array of industries. From OEM to construction applications, industrial coatings provide vital functions such as corrosion control of steel while intumescent coatings provide fire resistance for building structures.

However varied, in all applictions industrial coatings are depended upon to handle the worst conditions and help maintain the operational integrity of common objects we encounter on a daily basis, from household appliances to the bridges we cross on our morning commutes. The right coatings can endure severe temperatures, moisture and humidity, fumes, chemicals and abrasion.

The importance of industrial coatings cannot be understated. When a coating cracks, peels or blisters, it jeopardizes the underlying substrate, exposing it to degradation. Industrial coatings enhance the properties of a substrate and increase its service life, decreasing the risk of premature failure coupled with steep financial consequences.

It isn't easy being an industrial coatings manufacturer today. Intense competition, rising energy costs and raw material prices, offshore competition and keeping product portfolios up to date with the latest alternative technologies are all issues that have impacted everyone's bottom line. But companies are working hard to survive.

This month for our Industrial Coatings feature, Coatings World discussed these trends with industrial coatings manufacturers. Aesthetics and efficiency are two buzz words indicating the direction this market is heading. Because coatings manufacturers are under pressure to meet EPA and other regulatory restrictions, they're aggressively seeking new formulations and a wider range of applications for environmentally compliant products. And while industrial coatings have traditionally been defined by their protective, rather than their aesthetic, properties, this is changing as companies seek to offer designers and architects a broader palette of colors to differentiate from the competition.

Also in this issue, we invite you to explore China's emerging coil coatings market. The article offers a broad overview of this market's history and rapid development over the past several years.

Inside you will also find the latest on what metallic pigment manufacturers are up to, as well as coverage of e|5: UV & EB Technology Conference & Expo and CPMA's annual conference.

Tim Wright

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