The Powder Coatings Market

By Kerry Pianoforte, Editor | December 20, 2012

The powder coating industry is mature in the regions and markets where penetration has occurred, but there are a number of new applications and new regions where powder has strong growth potential.

Although growth in the powder coatings market remains sluggish, there are certain regions and niche markets that offer healthy growth potential.

“North America has fairly good growth for powder coatings in 2012, which is reflected in industry numbers and trends,” said Bob Cregg, senior marketing director - general finishing and electronics, The Sherwin-Williams Company, Product Finishes Division. “The Europe market for powder wasn’t as strong as it has been in years past, again reflecting much of the ongoing economic uncertainty. However, I do think there are areas and pockets of opportunities of growth across the region as we consider 2013. Asia certainly had a down year in 2012 if looking at the region with the exception of yearly high double digit growth. While I think the market did grow some in 2012, it was both far from typical growth and off from predictions for the region.”

Olaf Conreur, global marketing manager for Jotun Powder Coatings shared that the current year witnessed growth that was slightly slower as compared to previous years, “Market growth for the period of 2010 to 2015 has been predicted to progress at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around four to five percent per annum,” he said. “However, the growth that we experienced in 2011 and this year, remained slower than the other years. Despite this, the market in general is healthy and continues to grow and we are doing well compared to the market.”

Environmental Regulations
Powder coatings does not require solvents and releases relatively small amounts of VOC during cure. As a result, powder coatings has always benefited from environmental regulations.

“Stricter environmental regulations have definitely been one of they key drivers in North America for the growth in the powder coatings industry, going back to the mid-1980s,” said Cregg. “Over the last five years, there has been a continuing push in several regional governmental areas towards reducing and eliminating VOCs - continuing to drive interest and adoption of powder coating as a finishing product.”

Jotun continues to be a strategic player in the move to protect and preserve the environment—remaining true to its commitment to develop products that leave less of a carbon footprint and are highly eco-friendly. “The presence of highly stringent environmental regulations is a favorable advantage for powder coatings, mainly because these products are VOC free, recyclable and easy and safe to dispose of,” Conreur added. “All of our latest innovations and technologies are developed with the ultimate aim of compliance with these set environmental standards, which in turn, is part of our Jotun GreenSteps program that looks towards giving our customers more sustainable solutions.”
From a regional standpoint, Asia continues to represent the best area for growth. Conreur explained the company’s current global expansion initiatives, “Asia is growing a lot. In fact, we have just built a factory in China,” he said. “We are also putting strong focus on the Middle East and emerging markets like Russia—with a new factory up for completion by 2014. This new factory is expected to help address the growing demand for powder coatings across the Russian market.”

Conreur revealed the company’s main strategy, “Simply put, sustainability is Jotun Powder Coating’s main focus, which is evident in our continuing move to offer products that integrate both sustainability and our efforts to address the market needs. An example of this facet is our current call of action to push for more TGIC free solutions.”

“There is no question that Asia still offers significant opportunities for growth,” said Cregg. Opportunities in Eastern Europe appear to be expanding, as are opportunities in Latin and Central America. During the past ten years we saw a number of companies move their manufacturing to Asia, and we’re now seeing some of that coming back into Mexico and even some into South and North America.”

According to Cregg, in terms of growth, a lot is going to depend on what happens with the global economy over that next 12 to 18 months. “There are certainly strong opportunities in certain regions of the globe,” he added.

“There also appear to be growth in new applications where powder typically hasn’t been seen before. Powder Coating Institute, a North American industry consortium, published a study in 2011 highlighting new markets for powder coatings, including tremendous opportunities for growth outside of your typical metal binding and coating areas. Alternative substrates and many new alternative areas where powder could become a preference where it wasn’t considered in the past, are great opportunities out there for powder to penetrate into areas that it typically hasn’t been associated with.”

“Many people look at powder coatings as a mature market, especially in some areas of the globe, like Europe,” said Cregg. “The reality is powder is mature in the regions and markets where penetration has occurred, but there are a number of new applications and new regions where powder has strong growth potential.”

New Products
Powder coating development at Sherwin-Williams mirrors end-user interest for higher performance powder coatings, including ongoing advances in UV resistance and corrosion protection. “We also continue to to investigate both lowering the cure temperature and shortening the cure time,” said Cregg. “As opportunities expand beyond the traditional, we are developing new technologies and modifying existing ones to ensure we have the coatings that will meet the need of these new end-use applications.”

According to Conreur, the company has recently launched three new products that are part of the Reveal range; ‘Reveal Smooth,’ ‘Reveal Tempo’ and ‘Reveal Folio.’
‘Reveal Smooth’ is an eco-friendly premium MDF powder coating solution that is being positioned as the smoothest of its kind for the MDF segment. The product is not only environmentally friendly but is also a cost effective alternative solution to established technologies such as liquid paints. ‘Reveal Smooth’ offers high consistency in appearance and offers outstanding scratch resistance. Using the product is simple and easy as it does not require vinyl foils or edge banding to lift. ‘Reveal Smooth’ is being offered in dynamic and custom-made colors that can be used to coat home and office furniture, retail displays, shelving and cabinets for the bathroom and kitchen.
Meanwhile, ‘Reveal Tempo’ is a new generation low temperature curing product. The powder coating can cure at temperatures as low as 130°C/20min, 140˚C-10min, 160˚C-5min,and as high as 180°C/3min, which drives in an increase in productivity, reduction in energy costs and has a unique ability to coat more heat sensitive objects. The product has been developed for both wet and dry applications, allowing it to be used for a wide range of applications ranging from appliances to fixtures and furniture.

Lastly, ‘Reveal Folio’ is an easy-to-apply thin film coating that has been specially designed and formulated for the manufacturing industry, offering superior mileage and low carbon footprint. The coating offers the same level of hiding as a standard powder product but at a much lower thickness.  Conreur added ”we believe that the value of this product has been misunderstood. The fact that you need much less raw materials to coat a similar surface makes Reveal Folio a very sustainable solution, and we hope, even though thin film is not really a new technology, to reposition it to its real value in the market.” ‘Reveal Folio’ is available for hot, wet and dry environments in shades of white and light colors and is highly recommended for refrigerators, kitchen freezers, box freezers, microwave ovens, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, drying machines, heating panels, heating radiators, ventilators, inverters, air conditioners and shelving units. ‘Reveal Folio’ and ‘Reveal Tempo’ are classified as ‘Jotun GreenSteps’ products.

AkzoNobel Powder Coatings has launched the new Interpon F 2013 trend range, featuring colors chosen specifically for indoor and outdoor furniture.Based on the five trends that experts believe are shaping the world today, the new
Interpon F trend range provides the trend colors that will be seen in 2013 in the furniture industry.
The 2013 collection features 15 colors chosen for the interior furniture market and 15 colors that have been selected specifically for exterior furniture. The trend range is the complement to the standard Interpon color ranges and every shade is available in high quality, sustainable powder coatings.
“Furniture is at the heart of our everyday lives – in our homes, our offices, our gardens and public spaces. We know color is extremely important to furniture designers – it’s what gives a piece its personality and definition,” said international color expert and AkzoNobel Powder Coatings furniture manager, Per Nimer, “Designers can benefit from the superior performance and protection Interpon F powder coatings bring to their products, whilst ensuring their designs are in tune with the latest color fashions.“
The  2013 trend range is taken from the AkzoNobel Colour futures collection. Once a year, the AkzoNobel Aesthetic Center meet with an international group of creative specialists from the fields of color, design, architecture and fashion – experts with their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends and color – to discuss and develop the hues that will be key for the following year.
This year the five key trends are ‘Home Factory,’ ‘Collective Passion,’ ‘Switching Off,’ ‘Art of Understanding’ and ‘Visual Solace’.

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