2010: A Coatings Odyssey

By Tim Wright | February 1, 2010

Paint and coatings play a vital role in sustaining the world around us whether most people realize it or not. Let's take the issue of corrosion for example. From the nuts and bolts used to hold our cars together to the bridges that span entire bodies of water, corrosion control is a key factor in holding together the fabric of the world we know. Without corrosion control infrastructure would crumble and transportation cease.

The kind of corrosion that can bring down entire bridges takes many years to build up. The naked eye is not be able to see the war corrosion wages on all types of surfaces. Eventually, the effects of corrosion are visible. We've all seen the build up of rust on bridges, weathered buildings, ship hulls and the undersides of cars, for example. Beyond being an eyesore, the cost of corrosion is far more reaching-actually, into the billions of dollars per year region. The damaging effects of corrosion in the U.S. alone is estimated to be a staggering $280 billion.

Kansas City, MO-based Tnemec Company is one coatings manufacturer at the forefront of the battle against corrosion. Turn to page 36 to read a case study about Tnemec's role in the repair of Boston's Tobin Bridge and visit them on the web at www.tnemec.com for more information.

While paint and coatings manufacturers play an important role in protecting and beautifying our world and property, raw material suppliers play an even more pivotal part because they design the technology that makes the paint function.

One raw material supplier that has been pushing the boundaries of coatings technology into the next frontier is Austin, TX-based Reactive Surfaces Ltd. (RSL). The company is gaining a lot of attention in the industry for its bioengineered additives. In fact, two years ago in Charlotte, NC, RSL won the first ever American Coatings Award at the American Coatings Show.

For this issue, Coatings World teamed up with RSL's president and founder, Steve McDaniel and The Chemark Consulting Group's managing partner, Phil Phillips-familiar to readers of Coatings World as our regular "Business Corner" columnist and industry guru. In the first of a three-part series, McDaniel and Phillips discuss key issues and trends impacting today's coatings industry as well as the technology that will lead it into hopefully a future of profitable growth. Turn to page 30 to read"Functional Additives: A Platform for Revitalizing the Paint and Coatings Industry."

According to McDaniel and Phillips, commoditization threatens future growth of the paint and coatings industry, leaving formulators to find other means of differentiation. The need for innovation is imperative, the authors argue and the research and development of functional, bio-based additives are leading to the creation of high value, high performing ingredients that can help revitalize the industry.
Tim Wright

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