Balancing Appearance and Performance

By Tim Wright | August 10, 2006

These days coatings manufacturers face growing pressure to deliver more creative formulation solutions with greater performance characteristics to their customers. Durability, regulatory compliance and color choice, though seperate entities, are three elements that must co-exist harmoniously in paint and coatings formulations if they want to find success in today's paint and coatings markets. This is not an option, but rather a requirement. Additionally, in crowded markets, these elements also serve as a means for companies to create differentiatable products.

For this issue of Coatings World, our staff explored both sides of the coin-raw material suppliers and coatings manufacturers-to see how they are pushing the envelope and creating cutting edge solutions that are at the tip of coatings technology.

In "Specialty Coatings," you can read about how manufacturers of optical effect coatings for automotives and energy savings coatings for the home are balancing appearance while maintaining high performance physical properties, especailly when it comes to specialty automotive coatings (page 30).

For "Performance Matters," our annual look at the high-performance and special-effect pigment market, we talked to leading suppliers about the expansion of these more expensive pigments in a variety of coatings end markets (page 26).

You will also find interesting, "Glass Paint Opens Design Possibilities," an article in which Ken Burton, president of Sugar Grove, IL-based Finishes Unlimited discusses the ways glass paint is giving architects, interior designers, contractors and furnishings manufacturers greater design options (page 32).

Also, be sure to read this month's "International Coatings Scene," where our European correspondent, Sean Milmo, reports on the vibrant Middle East coatings market that is being positively impacted by an unprecedented surge in constrution activity in the region.

We hope you enjoy the issue and as always, please e-mail me any suggestions or comments you may have at twright@rodpub.com.

Tim Wright

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