There is no doubt that the Chinese paint and coatings industry is the strongest growth market in the world. It is the second-largest producer of coatings worldwide, and it likely will surpass the U.S. in coatings production in the near future. That should be clear from the interest from the global coatings community as more than 50 leading foreign coatings manufacturers have operations in China. It is already the world's largest producer of powder coatings, while the country's automotive OEM, wood coatings, architectural paints and functional coatings businesses are flourishing.
As a result, it is understandable why CHINACOAT (The China Int'l Exhibition for Coatings, Printing Inks and Adhesives) has become one of the leading coatings show worldwide. Organized by Hong Kong-based Sinostar International Ltd., CHINACOAT 2009 returned to the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)-the show alternates between Shanghai and Guangzhou-from Nov. 18-20.
CHINACOAT 2009 was as strong as in past years, which is not an easy accomplishment at a time when other trade shows are slumping due to the global recession. Over thecourse of the three-day event 24,369 visitors attended the exhibition. Domestic China visitors accounted for 21,271 of the visitors while overseas visitors made up the remaining3,098. There were 655 direct exhibitors on hand from 30 countries including 453 Chinese producers of raw materials and equipment. The total number of new exhibitors was 191.
Raymond Ho, director of Sinostar International, said the show's continued growth proves just how strong the Chinese coatings industry remains.
"With the worldwide recession still lingering on, our initial thoughts were not optimistic," said Mr. Ho. "But now I can proudly announce that the total number of exhibitors almost equals last year's figures."
CHINACOAT represents more than just the exhibition floor. CHINACOAT 2009 featured a wide range of learning opportunities, including the 7th CHINACOAT Conference and two specialized seminars-"Design & Optimization of Coatings/Inks Formulations" and "Fundamental Principles of Coatings & Adhesives Formulation." There were two National Presentations as well, focusing on the paint markets of Thailand and the Philippines, as well as the New-Tech Corner. These all combined to provide coatings professionals with the best possible education on what is occurring in the industry.
"Our 7th CHINACOAT Conference on Automotive Finishes focused on durability and ecology; speakers from Thailand and Philippines provided an overview of their national coatings business and our New-Tech Corner explored hygienic coatings and functional additives," Mr. Ho said. "This, plus the workshops and product-based seminars, proved that the show will continue to strive to maintain our foremost aim: productive technology transfer."
The 7th CHINACOAT Conference
Automotive finishes are a critical part of the coatings industry, and as such, were a perfect topic for The 7th CHINACOAT Conference, which was held Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 at the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel, Pudong.
"Automotive Finishes: Focusing on the Key Aspects of Durability & Ecology" showcased the growth of the Chinese automotive and automotive coatings industry.It was noted that China has more car brands than the U.S., and there has been stunning growth in ownership of vehicles, growing from 25 million at the end of 2005 to nearly 45 million at the end of 2008. As a result, OEM coatings output is growing dramatically.
Mr. Dip Dasgupta, chairman, DD Technology Forum, UK, and chair of The 7th CHINACOAT Conference, spoke of the growth of the automotive coatings market in China, and its selection as the topic for the CHINACOAT Conference.
"China's automobile industry is experiencing a phenomenal growth," Mr. Dasgupta said. "The Chinese car market overtook Japan in 2007 and now I understand that it has just moved past the U.S. So the selection of this theme has been very appropriate. OEM coatings output, currently over 180,000 tons is set to reach 300,000 by 2010."
There are critical needs for automotive coatings. Quality and durability are essential, and sustainability and environmental concerns are equally important.
During a ceremony held by DSM NeoResins and Sinostar at the 7th CHINACOAT Conference to award the best paper presented in waterborne technology throughout the conference, Dr. Jianqing Hu of the South China University of Technology, accepted the award for the paper, "Self-Stratifying Complex Cathodic Electrodeposition."
Among the highlights Mr. Dasgupta pointed to were talks on cathodic electrodeposition using self-crosslinked acrylic and epoxy resins, stable polyester polyols using bio-based technology, surface modified silica nano-particles for improving scratch resistance and improving hardness while maintaining flexibility.
Mr. Dasgupta said that the importance and growth of the annual CHINACOAT Conference has been phenomenal. "The bilingual CHINACOAT conferences are designed to improve liaison and technology transfer between China and the rest of the world," Mr. Dasgupta said. "Today, China no longer offers only boundless reserves of cheap labor, but also its appetite for high-tech systems continues unabated. After 25 years of organizing technical conferences all over the world, my last seven years with Sinostar have been a steady and enjoyable learning curve."
Next year's conference, "Architectural Coatings for a Sustainable World," scheduled for Nov. 13-14, 2010, promises to be its equal. "This conference will cover a range of new developments in the architectural coatings market, with particular emphasis on environmental sustainability," said Mr. Dasgupta. "It will bring together the major players in this market to discuss the future direction of the market and in particular the impact of current concern about environmental sustainability.
CHINACOAT 2009 Surpasses Exhibitors' Expectations
For exhibitors, CHINACOAT 2009 presented an excellent opportunity to showcase the ways their companies can help the Chinese coatings industry continue to prosper. The vibrant nature of CHINACOAT is a clear indication of the health of the Chinese coatings industry. The exhibition's ability to bring together so many coatings industry leaders is one of the keys to its success every year, and CHINACOAT 2009 was no different.
"At CHINACOAT you see all the important technical and purchasing people in one place," said Chuck Hoover Jr. of Hoover Corp. "There is definitely major interest in technology transfer in China. This is ground zero for global trade. Ideas and technology come to China and are transferred throughout the world."
"There was good quality traffic on the show floor throughout the entire three days of the exhibition," said Joon Choo, vice president, Shamrock Technologies. "This may have to do with the fact that as travel budgets are being slashed, only key people are attending these types of shows. I am extremely pleased with how the show went in terms of both quality of attendees and traffic. I was also pleased with the organization and the size and layout of our booth. There was plenty of room to sit down and talk with people one on one. I don't know what next year's CHINACOAT will be like in terms of attendance but for Shamrock, we will definitely be there."
Perstorp's Per-Erik Velin, vice president specialty polyols, agreed that CHINACOAT 2009 was very busy. "Our booth was extremely active with many customers. If this trend continues, CHINACOAT will be even busier next year.
"Of course this has been a tough year," said Velin, regarding the recession's impact on business. "But next year we expect improvements. In quarters three and four we have seen a rebound, although we don't expect to come back to pre-recession levels. Over the last couple of months we have gained stable ground."
On returning to CHINACOAT 2009, Holly Seese, global marketing communication manager, Celanese, said, "We had great expectations being back in Shanghai this year and the exhibition exceeded them. We held many meetings and my team and I were very excited during the entire show. CHINACOAT has truly turned into a global show."
The CHINACOAT 2009 show floor was very busy during the three-day exhibition.
For Birgit Genn, head of global marketing and business development, Heubach Group, CHINACOAT 2009 was a special show. "We introduced our Heubach Hangzhou location, which is two hours west of Shanghai," said Genn. "From a product perspective, we are focusing on environmentally friendly products, such as lead-chromate replacements and IR pigments to reduce heat. This was a hot topic during the show. Hopefully next year's CHINACOAT 2010 will be attended like this year's exhibition."
"We did good business and also received a lot of questions from people not just regarding prices but also higher level technical questions," said Jiro Suezawa, director, specialty chemicals division, general manager, performance materials, Kyowa Hakko Chemical. "The show brought together many foreigners from outside of China. We had visitors from Sri Lanka and Greece, to name a few places. The show has particularly attracted people from all over Asia and India, which is a good thing."
Exhibitors Highlight Green Technology at CHINACOAT 2009
Aside from the recession's impact on China's economy and its coatings industry in particular, the largest trend in the paint and coatings industry is the growing consumer enthusiasm for environmentally friendly paints. "In recent years we have seen the eco-trend continue to accelerate and we are working with many companies to help them develop low odor, low VOC paints to meet this need as well as meeting tight VOC requirements," said Kevin Wu, commercial director for Celanese Emulsion Polymers, Asia.
Joon Choo, vice president, Shamrock Technologies, added, "the continued pressure to develop and adopt green technologies and environmental friendly formulations is helping to keep development efforts alive."
Munzing's Mathew Chen concurred that the continued development of environmentally friendly products will be the "major trend impacting the future of China's paint and coatings industry, especially as China's local paint and coating industry has become more focused on the environment's protection."
"As a result of environmental issues, VOC regulations and the trend toward healthier products, the quality of coatings being developed for the Chinese market is progressing rapidly based on Western technology," said Kyowa Hakko's Mr. Suezawa.
At CHINACOAT 2009 Kyowa Hakko featured its functional monomers, diacetone acrylamide and adipic dihydrazide, all of which are used in waterborne resins to create products that will crosslink at ambient temperature. In addition, latex resins incorporating the firm's monomers used to create dried films with improved solvent and block resistance were highlighted. Lastly, synthetic branched fatty acids used in short oil alkyds to improve color and film hardness compared to natural linear acids were also featured at Kyowa Hakko's booth.
Celanese Emulsion Polymers featured its EcoVAE line of emulsions designed for eco-friendly paints. These products each meet the 'EcoVAE criteria checklist' for an emulsion with a vinyl acetate/ethylene base, are APE-free, has a low residual monomer level and can be formulated into low VOC coatings.
Shamrock is one company that has always been at the forefront of recycling technologies when it comes to specialty additives. "Our focus this year was on the products that are the fruit of continued efforts to improve further our core technologies in fluoropolymer reprocessing for reuse," said Mr. Choo. Specifically, Shamrock highlighted the MicroFLON series, which is based on 100% recycled polymer.
Munzing launched new technology at CHINACOAT 2009 including a product range for white and black pigment grinding for multi-systems based specifically on the needs and characteristics expressed by its customers in China and the greater Asia Pacific region.
Perstorp showcased a variety of products including: Tolonate aliphatic polyisocyanates, which are used to formulate high-performance polyurethane coatings, with exceptional durability, outstanding chemical resistance and mechanical properties; Based on a unique patented technology, the Easaqua grades are self-emulsifiable polyisocyanates, used as cross linkers of effective environmentally-friendly waterborne polyurethane alternatives to conventional solvent-based coatings; Environmentally friendly polyol solutions such as Capa polycaprolactones, which reduce the need for solvents due to their low viscosity, while bringing hydrolysis resistance and flexibility at low temperature; Boltorn W 3000 and U 3000 are high solids solutions where Perstorp has helped customers reduce solvent contents in alkyds, while maintaining coating performance; and NX 795, a non-VOC high-performing coalescing agent for waterborne latex paints.
Heubach highlighted new additions to its range of TICO pigments. Colored pigments for coil coatings must satisfy demanding requirements such as very good resistance to temperature, weatherability and hiding power. Heubach's lead-free TICO pigments comprise excellent processing characteristics, outstanding fastness properties and full color saturation. The product portfolio was recently expanded with four uniquely designed grades to meet the requirements for coil coatings: TICO Yellow 590; TICO Yellow 630; TICO Orange 635; and TICO Red 645.