Despite the worldwide economic downturn and predictions that China's double-digit GDP growth rate will slow to around eight percent this year, CHINACOAT 2008 continued to enjoy the success that has made it one of the world's largest exhibitions dedicated to paint and coatings. The success of the coatings industry in China remains an important story, particularly as other regions see little or no expansion, particularly North America and Western Europe. According to Raymond Ho, director of Sinostar International Ltd., organizers of CHINACOAT 2008, China today is the world's second largest paint producer (5.08 million tons in 2006). The total growth from 2002 to 2006 was a phenomenal 120%. China is also the largest consumer of coatings in Asia with 4.5 million tons worth $11.6 billion.
It should come as no surprise then that all of the leading coatings manufacturers have at least one manufacturing facility in China; Akzo Nobel, the largest coatings manufacturer, lists 52 production sites in China, most recently opening a new site for the manufacture and sale of protective coatings in Suzhou, China, about 80 kilometers west of Shanghai, in August. In late September, PPG Industries acquired the automotive refinish coatings business of the Bonny Coating-Made Co., Ltd., in Guangzhou, China. The business will operate as an indirect subsidiary of PPG.
It is understandable that Chinese coatings industry professionals are very interested in seeing what is new in the industry, and that is the goal of CHINACOAT, the annual coatings show organized by Sinostar International.
From Nov. 26-28 the global coatings community descended on Guangzhou for CHINACOAT 2008. With 742 exhibitors from 30 countries/regions on hand to greet the 2,367 international visitors along with the 21,488 domestic visitors, the popularity of CHINACOAT progresses uninterrupted.
While Ho said it is difficult to pinpoint all the factors in the show's continual growth, a combination of the emerging market and its size, new technology, environmental consideration and the need to cope with the ever changing market environments must be included as major factors in making CHINACOAT the most popular coatings show in the world.
"Quality visitors from mainland China and the Asia-Pacific rim are the highest ever in spite of global economy down-sizing," Ho added.
Ho noted that there were plenty of highlights at this year's CHINACOAT. "Apart from industry players, both national and multi-national, showcasing their latest technology for the coatings manufacturers, we held our 6th Conference on Wood Coatings: Formulating for a Sustainable Future," Ho said. "There was also our Technology Corner Forums, aiming to explore Hybrid Resins & UV Coatings and Inks; National Presentations from Japan and Australia; and a series of more than 40 product-based technical seminars presented mainly by the multi-national raw material suppliers."
Wood coatings conference is a success
The 6th CHINACOAT Conference, "Wood Coatings: Formulating for a Sustainable Future," was well attended with 125 delegates on hand.
Growth in the Chinese coatings industry is occurring across the board, and the wood coatings market is certainly no exception. Dasgupta estimates that the market size for wood coatings in China was $1.68 billion in 2005 and can reach $3.58 billion in 2012. With that in mind, the 6th CHINACOAT Conference examined key issues relevant to the wood coatings market.
During a ceremony held by DSM and Sinostar to award the best paper presented in waterborne coatings throughout the conference, conference chair Dip Dasgupta selected University of Leeds Professor Long Lin and Jianqing Hu of South China University of Technology. Shown in the center picture from left to right are Robert Peels, strategy and communications directory, DSM NeoResins, Lin, Hu and Fred Buckmann, program manager of UV diversifiation, DSM NeoResins.
Dr. Guido Hora, a senior research scientist and head of the department for surface technology at the Fraunhofer Institute of Wood Research/Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut in Germany, presented the keynote address, "New Generation of Wood Coatings in a Changing World."
According to Hora, the global wood coatings market will show a steady growth over the next five to eight years. The annual growth rate will depend on market dynamics in specific regions, environmental legislation, customer-demands for superior products and consumer consciousness on health and safety issues. For example, as a direct result of the new VOC regulations in Europe since January 2007, a marked shift to radiation curable, powder and waterborne coatings can be noticed in all regions. The market demand for new generation wood coatings will also be boosted by the greater ease of use, more functionality and easier cleanup.
During the 2008 CCJ Best Paper Award Ceremony, Sinostar selected the best paper published in CCJ in 2008. Raymond Ho, director of Sinostar International presented the award to Teng Su for his paper, "Novel Waterborne Polyurethaneurea Containing Fluorinated Siloxane Units in Hard or Soft Segments."
Exhibitors display new technology
With further growth in the coatings industry uncertain due to the global economic climate there is an increasing emphasis on quality and environmental solutions to help keep sales buoyant. Raw materials suppliers are offering new solutions and these were prominently on display at CHINACOAT 2008.
Waterborne technologies have taken big steps in recent months in China and it is anticipated to take even greater strides in months ahead, according to Cytec's John Strickland, business director. "The performance and ease of application of waterborne products are established and will be greatly welcomed in China and across all Asian countries over the next five years," he said. "In order to bring the benefits of local supply to our customers, Cytec's radcure UV/EB curable resins product line had established their oligomer facility in Fengxian. This facility had commenced operation in 2008 in line with our long-term strategic growth plans in Asia."
During CHINACOAT, Cytec's Surface Specialties business unit presented their latest developments in liquid coating resins and additives, radcure UV/EB curable resins and additives, and powder coating resins and additives. The newest liquid coating resins and additives included waterborne and high solid resins for protective coatings under the Beckopox, Resydrol, Macrynal and Additol brand names. New radcure UV/EB curable resins and additives were launched under the Ebercryl and Ucecoat portfolios. For powder coating resins the latest Crylcoat new generation resins were also introduced.
The two most important trends for the Chinese coating industry-as they are in other regions of the world-are environmental friendliness and performance of paints, according to Kevin Wu, commercial director for Celanese Emulsion Polymers, Asia. "The Chinese coatings industry has recently faced tighter VOC regulations. In addition, consumers are becoming more ecologically aware," he said.
Celanese Emulsion Polymers was on hand at CHINACOAT 2008 to launch its EcoVAE emulsions for low odor, low VOC interior decorative paints to the Asian region. Emulsions designed for the interior decorative paint segment include EcoVAE 1603, a universal binder for matt to satin paints; EcoVAE 1608 to formulate freeze/thaw stable coatings; and EcoVAE 1630 for semi-gloss coatings. All EcoVAE emulsions are synthesized to be APEO-free and offer specific advances for interior paints in wet scrub resistance.
"With increased environmental awareness by Chinese consumers, paint manufacturers are looking for ways to remove solvents that cause odor and VOCs from formulations and making their products 'greener,'" he said. "EcoVAE and Celanese can help paint manufacturers meet strict new VOC regulations and capitalize on this important consumer marketing trend."