The industrial coatings market performed relatively well over the past year.
“Like most aspects of the coatings business, we experienced a dip in demand for industrial coatings,” said Jeff Spillane, senior product manager, Complementary Coatings Corp. “A positive feature of the industrial business, however, is that the coatings are typically used for protection and durability and less for aesthetics. This has kept the demand for industrial coatings higher versus architectural coatings.”
“Despite the difficult financial situation in many areas of the world, the market for industrial coatings performed reasonably well overall due to the fact that there are still segments and markets that are experiencing high growth,” said Dimitris Likouressis, group marketing manager at Hempel. “As the Hempel Group has a global presence, it is in a position to minimize the risks from underperforming markets and to explore emerging market opportunities.”
Hempel reports that it is experiencing significant growth, inline with its ambitious 2011-2015 strategy. “With well selected acquisitions and organic growth, Hempel will maintain its position as one of the key players in the protective coatings market, focusing on innovative solutions generated by its ten R&D centers around the world,” Likouressis said.
The industrial coatings market is comprised of a number of diverse segments, such as onshore oil and gas, commercial architecture, general industrial and industrial maintenance. Industrial coatings manufacturers are reporting that the oil and gas and general maintenance segments are driving growth.
According to Likouressis,the oil and gas segment is maintaining very attractive growth. “This is due to all the investment in deepwater exploration and production that is taking place these days, as well as projects related to natural gas, both conventional and unconventional,” he said. “Renewable energy still represents a small part of the global energy portfolio, but it has a positive outlook, despite the obstacles that it faces. Mining and metal processing, water/waste water and other infrastructure segments will also continue to remain attractive in terms of value.”
“The industrial maintenance business has offered greater opportunity,” said Spillane. “It accounts for a large portion of the overall business and at favorable margins. New projects or major rehabs are larger in terms of gallonage, but they are harder to secure, have lower margins and show greater lag time in payment.”
Compliance and performance
In recent years, there has been a big shift in the types of products being used for industrial applications. While the products must be highly durable and offer the best substrate protection, they must also comply with environmental legislation.
“The protection of the environment is and should remain a key element in the coatings industry, and not only when legislation is leading the way,” said Likouressis. “The challenge for coating manufacturers is to develop innovative solutions that don’t harm the environment, yet also offer the right value to end-users.
“Water-based coatings are definitely interesting. Hempel was successful in introducing water-based coatings to the very competitive container market, for example,” said Likouressis.“However, we expect to see more and more solvent-free products before the use of water-based products scales up.”
VOC regulations have had an impact on the industrial coatings market. “The Corotech portfolio is still a complete line and we have worked very hard to ensure all our coatings are compliant without sacrificing performance,” said Spillane. “There has been some growth in waterborne products but we are also moving to higher solids to control VOCs.”
Complementary Coatings has added a number of new products to its Corotech line.
“We have developed the Corotech line over the last two years by consolidating the Coronado and Insl-x industrial brands,” said Spillane. “As a result, we have experienced excellent acceptance and growth of the line. We continue to improve and expand the portfolio and will stay ahead of the ever-changing VOC regulations.”
Corotech V341 Pre-Catalyzed Waterborne Epoxy is an extremely durable, easy to use, single component epoxy offering many of the high performance characteristics expected from the traditional two-component epoxies without the odor, pre-mixing, pot life and application difficulties inherent in these products, according to Complementary Coatings. This product is well suited for use in moderately severe exposures and high traffic areas subject to frequent cleaning. It is ideal for use in high traffic areas of commercial kitchens, cafeterias and bathrooms in facilities such as hospitals, schools and processing plants. It provides superior adhesion and abrasion resistance on a wide variety of substrates and can be used on most interior applications where maximum durability is required.
Corotech V156 Moisture Tolerant Quick Set Epoxy Clear Sealer is a two-component, fast dry, waterborne polyamide hybrid formulated to provide superior chemical, abrasion and impact resistance when used on concrete floors. This product can be used as a stand-alone clear finish (two coats) or as a basecoat for high performance floor systems. The highly cross-linked film provides years of service in industrial and commercial applications and is particularly suited for use on concrete floors subjected to severe service conditions. The waterborne formulation produces lower odor than solvent-based epoxies, so this product may be applied in occupied areas, and is more user friendly than solvent-based polyamide epoxies.
Corotech V240 Hammertone Alkyd Urethane Enamel is formulated as a heavy duty, industrial enamel finish for interior or exterior surfaces. Its rust-preventive properties make it an ideal coating for all metal substrates. The surface wetting characteristics inherent in this product allows for application over marginally prepared surfaces. The Hammertone finish offers a pleasing affect and the protection of a direct-to-metal product. The urethane modification far surpasses the performance of straight alkyd formulations in exterior exposures. This product can be applied to non-ferrous metals such as galvanized metal or aluminum. This product is suitable for use in USDA inspected facilities.
As oil and gas companies are drilling deeper and deeper, they need to be able to handle high temperature mixtures of crude oil and water in their crude oil tanks. Hempel's Hempadur 35900 is a high-performance phenolic epoxy that has superior performance at high temperatures. According to Hempel, the product has passed the strict requirements of the latest NORSOK rev. 6, as well as the pre-qualification tests of the biggest oil and gas companies.
“Not only is this product specified up to 93°C/200°F, it’s also solvent-free, which is very much appreciated in the construction and maintenance of storage tanks, especially as this area often has strict environmental legislation,” said Likouressis.
Hempel is strong in renewables, especially wind energy, and recently launched a high-performing system for wind blades. “The coating system is extremely flexible and is specially designed to withstand the movements of a blade during operation,” said Likouressis. “It also provides excellent impact, erosion and weather resistance. The system—Hempel's Blade Primer 47400 and Blade 57620—is produced in all the key wind regions around the world. In combination with Hempel’s highly qualified teams of coating advisors, this system represents a safe solution for wind turbine manufacturers and blade producers.”
BASF offers a number of products to help industrial coatings manufacturers offer safe and durable products.
“Some companies see extra value in solvent-based coatings in terms of appearance and performance, and will continue to use them while managing the health and safety requirements,” said Gregory Turco, technical manager, BASF Resins. “High solids and 100 percent solids technologies have continued to improve, and make long-term solvent use more-and-more practical.”
“BASF is committed to the coatings industry,” Turco added. “We continue to invest in new polymers as well as new coatings additives and better pigments. In the polymer area, we expect to introduce products for metal, wood and concrete during 2012.”
BASF now produces the Sovermol line of polyols for urethane coatings. “This is a high performance line of very high solids products with good toughness, weatherability and versatility,” said Turco. “We expect our customers will like these products when they become more familiar with them. “
Other products include Joncryl RPD-950 and Joncryl RPD-980 super-fast curing polyols for urethane coatings. Joncryl RPD-950 is for automotive refinish and it is dry-to-buffing in just 30 minutes. Joncryl RPD-980 takes the same technology into an industrial maintenance vehicle, and it provides superfast return to service for active plant environments.
JoncrylOH 8313 and Basonat LR9056 are waterborne polyol and isocyanate combinations that BASF recently introduced. These provide excellent weatherability and chemical resistance.
Acronal PRO 80 is an advanced metal primer resin suitable for heavy duty environments like bridges or for industrial metal products. It supports the use of chrome-free anti-corrosive pigments, and achieves top-tier anti-rust performance.
The industrial coatings market has yet to return to pre-recession levels of growth, but certain areas such as the oil and gas segments offer good opportunities.
By Kerry Pianoforte, Associate Editor
Published June 5, 2012