Expo Report: ECS 2009 remains vibrant

By Tim Wright | June 1, 2009

Despite the worldwide economic downturn that has negatively impacted business on an unprecedented scale across the global paint and coatings supply chain, the mood at the European Coatings Show (ECS) 2009 was surprisingly upbeat.

Despite the worldwide economic downturn that has negatively impacted business on an unprecedented scale across the global paint and coatings supply chain, the mood at the European Coatings Show (ECS) 2009 was surprisingly upbeat. While the number of exhibitors and attendees was down from the 2007 show, many of the people Coatings World spoke with felt this created a more focused exhibition with key personnel easier to reach.

Vincentz Network GmbH & Co. KG, organizers of the ECS 2009 which took place from March 31 - April 2 at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, reported total visitor attendance for 2009 was 19,756. While this represents a drop in attendance from the last show in 2007 it is still higher than 2005.

"The European Coatings Show and Congress concentrates the know-how of companies, research institutions, universities and associations in one place," said Friederike Plasswich, head of events division at Vincentz Network. "People especially rely on dependable values at times of crisis. We are proud to offer the industries concerned a platform of proven quality from which they can get fit for the recovery, which will certainly come."

The 806 exhibitors on hand for the ECS 2009 from 42 countries offered the visitors from 90 nations a world-class range of raw materials, laboratory and production equipment, testing and measuring equipment, and services on a net display area of approximately 27,500 m2. In addition, 160 product presentations were given during the three days of the event.

The European Coatings Congress, which started the day before on March 30 was a major highlight and featured 160 top speakers from all over the world. Twenty-six sessions were offered to the 461 congress participants. The European Coatings Award for the best congress paper at the European Coatings Congress 2009 was presented to Dr. Zhen Wen Fu and his colleagues Andrew Hejl and Andrew Swartz from Rohm and Haas, USA, for their paper on "Designed Diffusion Technology: A paradigm shift in film formation."

Exhibitors offer latest advances in coatings technology

At the ECS, Celanese Emulsion Polymers presented a broad portfolio of emulsion technologies. Chief among these was Celanese's vinyl acetate/ethylene (VAE) technology for low VOC, low odor eco-friendly coatings.

According to the company, Mowilith LDM 1871 is the gold standard for matt, interior decorative paints and now Mowilith LDM 1852 is the new standard for satin to semi-gloss coatings," said Stephan Krieger, senior technical service manager for the coatings segment. "These VAE emulsions allow the chemist to formulate a coating without the use of coalescing agents that can add both VOCs and additional cost to their products."

Dolan GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Austria-based Lenzing Plastics GmbH, is a leading global producer of acrylic specialty fibers and was at the ECS to display its range of Dolanit products. In 2008 Dolanit specialty fibers were introduced and are specifically engineered for fiber reinforcement of concrete, mortar, asphalt, fibrocement products and the automotive sector.

At the ECS, the company highlighted the newest addition to the Dolanit product portfolio-Dolanit 18. Designed for factory mortar and cement applications, Dolanit 18 offers improved homogenity, improved workability, crack bridging, reduced shrinkage, improved ductile properties and higher tensile strengths, according to the company. Dolanit 18 improves the properties of mortar products such as screed, flowing screed and repair mortars. Dolanit 18 can also be used in thermal insulation adhesives, bitumen coatings and plaster systems.

Among the many activities for Evonik Industries at this year's ECS, the company announced that a new production plant is on stream in China. MATCH (Methacrylates to China) is the project name under which Evonik is currently installing an integrated methacrylates production facility in Shanghai.

Also at the show, the Business Line Industrial Specialties of Evonik launched a set of new additives that are in compliance with food contact regulations like 2002/72/EC, FDA 175.105 or BfR 14. The set consists of the two defoamers Tego Antifoam 2291 and Tego Antifoam 4-94 as well as the Newtonian PU thickener Tego Rheo 8600.

Evonik's Crosslinkers Business Line launched Vestagon EP-HA 376 and Vestagon EP-SC 5050. In addition, Evonik Specialty Resins have new names: Tego AddBond and Tego VariPlus. Evonik also announced a portfolio expansion in reactive hotmelts. Silikoponec-a silicone epoxy hybrid resin-was also launched. On the color front, Evonik launched Colour Black FW 171 pigment for water-based coating formulations. In addition, new pigment preparations were added to the Inxel line.

DSM NeoResins+ showcased a range of new resin products for joinery, flooring, industrial wood and plastic, metal, can and coil, and adhesive and graphic arts applications at its stand at the 2009 ECS. Highlights included new developments in four product ranges including a new waterborne 2K polyurethane product range based on novel production technology for metal coating applications that are VOC-free and deliver blister-free perfect layers and overall performance comparable to solventborne systems; a new waterborne plastic coating resin for automotive OEM interiors that is future-compliant with OEM specifications; new product additions to their UV portfolio, completing its ability to provide all major types of energy curable oligomers; and new product introductions in the Decovery range for the decorative paints market-the first thixothropic resins with 80% solid content.

DSM Powder Coating Resins launched a new powder coating resin for low temperature curing under the name Uralac EasyCure with Primid crosslinkers. This resin combines a number of properties including excellent flow, non-blooming, durability, lower curing time and lower energy and formulation cost. It was developed to solve two major drawbacks typically associated with low temperature curing powder coating resins-poor appearance and blooming. Curing at a low temperature with Uralac EasyCure addresses this problem of surface appearance by providing improved flow and non-blooming even on darker colors.

At the ECS 2009, Wacker launched its Etonis polymer binders for use in infrastructure projects. Etonis brand polymers are meant to enhance sprayed concrete for applications in mining, tunneling, road and underground construction. As the tunnel is driven, the polymer-modified concrete is sprayed onto the walls primarily to consolidate loose rock. It also provides a barrier against water seepage, and reduces the amount of additives required in the formulation. Since the polymer improves the concrete's adhesion, there is less rebound when it is sprayed onto the tunnel wall. That reduces both material consumption and transportation and disposal costs.

Micro Powders launched their newest product line, AquaKlean at ECS 2009. These products provide excellent scrubability and burnish resistance for architectural interior paints. In addition, these products offer weather and moisture resistance as well as initial and long lasting water beading for exterior stains, sealers, paints and coatings. The line includes AquaKlean 401, which is comprised of a combination of paraffin and polyolefin; AquaKlean 402, which is a combination of paraffin and carnauba; and AquaKlean 403, which is a unique combination of paraffin and polyethylene. AquaKlean products are anionic/nonionic aqueous wax emulsions ideally suited for use in latex emulsion systems and can be easily stirred in using any type of mixing equipment.

According to BYK Chemie Germany, the matting of high-solids and UV coatings essentially depends on the perfect incorporation and dispersion of preferably high levels of silica-based matting agents. However, the use of these high levels of silica-based matting agents produces high viscosities, which in turn create production and application issues. On the other hand, the more perfect the orientation of matting agents in finished coating films, the higher the matting efficiency.

To solve this problem, BYK tailored a new additive based on Controlled Polymerization Technology (CPT)-Disperbyk-2008. Its pigment-affinic groups have been designed in such a way that they work equally well on surface-treated silicas and on untreated silicas. Special binder-compatible groups provide compatibility with many different polymers and monomers, and a special modification achieves excellent stabilization of both the finely dispersed silica particles and the inorganic fillers in the coating. The result is a powerful matting effect that can even be achieved with standard matting agents and at low dosage levels. In addition, the reduction in viscosity provides easier processing properties for matt coatings made with Disperbyk-2008.

Sun Chemical Performance Pigments showcased new technologies that will improve productivity and enhance color offerings for customers in the consumer electronics, industrial, waterborne and architectural coatings markets at the ECS 2009. The ECS was the launch pad for SunGEM, a new industrial effect pigment product line from Sun Chemical that provides ten new shades of high chroma color with excellent opacity and pearlescent luster. SunGEM's newest colors will help industrial designers set new trends and position their products apart from their competition, according to Sun.

Sun Chemical also highlighted an extended natural pearlescent pigment line under the brand name SunMica.Visitors will be introduced to a full range of synthetic micas which provide improved clarity of color combined with increased pearlescent luster and sparkle. The new Sun Chemical pearlescent range offers silver whites, interference colors and the metallic sheen of golds, bronzes and russets. The pigments allow for unique styling and effect opportunities and are available in standard and weather resistant forms.

International Specialty Products (ISP) highlighted its offerings in both biocides and performance additives for a wide range of coatings applications. The highlight of ISP's activities at ECS 2009 was the launch of a new initiative in support of wood coatings manufacturers called Wood Care Technology. The initiative features technology and products to provide protection against virtually every type of wood degradation. Foremost of these new technologies is ISP's SunCare line of lignin protection products. Other new products introduced at ECS include WetCare, an extreme hydrophobicity technology, and Fungitrol 400 G, a free-flowing granular form of the biocide IPBC.

At the 2009 European Coatings Show (ECS), Cognis unveiled its newest solutions for the architectural coatings market. Among the products presented were new "green" defoamers, highly efficient rheology modifiers, "green" dispersing agents, and a natural oil-based coalescent for water-based architectural paints and coatings. These solutions fit in with Cognis' Greenovating concept that was launched at the show supporting paints and coatings manufacturers to satisfy the consumer trend for products that are both sustainable and high performing.

Cognis presented Dehydran SE 1, a polymer emulsion defoamer for high-PVC water-based paints. A new product for high-end paints in Cognis' defoamer range is Dehydran 2293. Cognis' vegetable-oil-based defoamer Foamaster 350 was also presented at the ECS. Cognis introduced two new highly efficient associative thickeners. DSX 3291, an associative thickener for "green" water-based coatings, is a pseudoplastic viscosity builder. DSX 3100 is a highly efficient ICI builder, which allows for reduction of KU-builder such as cellulose ethers. Cognis also presented Hydropalat 216, an efficient and sustainable alternative to polymeric dispersing agents. Other Cognis products promoted at the ECS included three "green" dispersing and wetting agents for pigment pastes and slurries: Hydropalat 1080, Hydropalat 3204 and Hydropalat 7003. Lastly, Cognis also presented Loxanol EFC 300, a VOC-free coalescent (in accordance with 1999/13/EC or 2004/42/EC), based on natural resources.

Rohm and Haas Paper Wins European Coatings Award

This year's European Coatings Award for the best congress paper, which is sponsored by the European Coatings Journal, was presented to Dr. Zhen Wen Fu of Rohm and Haas. He received the prize during the opening ceremony of the European Coatings Congress in Nuremberg. Dr. Fu's winning paper is titled, "Designed Diffusion Technology: A paradigm shift in film formation," and presents a new technology that significantly improves the early property development of waterborne latex coatings while addressing the challenges of the low VOC formulation landscape. The paper presents detailed evidence of this technology with analytical, physical and application data. The paper will be published in its entirety in the June issue of the European Coatings Journal.

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