According to Allied Market Research analysts, the demand for powder coatings has increased owing to growing technological advancements and increasing demand from applications, namely, architectural; appliances; automotive; furniture; agriculture, construction, and earthmoving equipment (ACE) and general industrial. This trend is expected to continue as it is a volatile organic compound (VOC) and solvent-free. Strict environmental regulations also boost the growth of this market. The market has witnessed moderate growth during the past few years and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent, in terms of volume, during the analysis period.
Significant drivers of the market include increasing adoption of powder coatings over liquid coatings, supporting environmental regulations, increasing demand for appliances, booming construction industry and rapid economic growth in emerging countries. However, difficulty in the application of thin coats is expected to impede this growth, analysts noted.
“Globally the market for powder coatings has grown in the mid-single digits in 2016 with the bulk of that growth outside of North America,” said Dan Szczepanik, director of marketing – transportation segments, Sherwin-Williams. “Some segments have grown at higher rates such as office and outdoor metal furniture followed by increased adoption of powder in automotive segments, especially in under body/under hood applications.”
“Historically in the global industrial coatings market, powder utilization is slightly north of 10 percent,” Szczepanik added. “That leaves a lot of room to grow and take share from liquid as global environmental regulations start to take hold.”
“The global powder coatings market grew by 3-4 percent in 2016, at a typical rate of +1-2 percent over the global GDP,” said Michael Cash, senior vice president and president, industrial coatings, at Axalta Coating Systems. “As with the past three years, we found 2016 to be very encouraging in regards to the powder market. Customers continue to seek new and sustainable solutions, and we’ve found opportunities to meet their efficiency, durability and environmental goals by converting liquid applications to powder with innovative technologies like brighter metallic architectural coatings in our Alesta family and more durable, corrosion resistant products for metal parts in the transportation industry.”
According to Allied Market Research, Asia-Pacific accounted for more than half of the total powder coatings market in 2015 and is expected to maintain its lead position throughout the forecast period. This is attributable to the increasing domestic production of automotive, appliances, and growing construction industry. In Asia-Pacific, China is the fastest growing country for the consumption of powder coatings and is expected to continue this dominance during the forecast period in terms of both, volume and revenue.
In North America, the biggest opportunity for growth in powder coatings is the architectural market, where powder coatings technology continues to lag behind other regions in percentage of use for aluminum extrusions. “Globally, more and more metal parts for automotive, truck, and trailer parts are using powder coatings as their technology of choice due to its durability and efficiency,” Cash noted. “Even within automotive OEM plants, the technology continues to play a role as a durable primer for car chassis. Beyond these markets, the agricultural, construction and earth-moving equipment markets have historically been strong consumers of powder coatings due to the durability of the coating; and we’ve seen increased product consumption in this segment in recent years. As brighter metallic colors have been further developed within powder coatings, and the cure temperatures lowered, we’ve also noticed increased powder use by consumer electronics manufacturers.”
Jack Bostock, vice president of sales and marketing at TCI Powder Coatings, noted that all of its core segments offer opportunity for growth. “However, we believe that the next frontier and an emerging segment is that of heat sensitive substrates such as wood, plastics and pultrusions. Raw material suppliers and coatings suppliers are working to drive innovations for these substrates.”
Key advantages of using powder coatings
For powder coatings, the most significant advantage is it’s environmentally-responsible technology, with zero VOCs and no targeted HAPs emitted. “It is also a very cost effective coating as the transfer-efficiency is high, and the product can be easily reclaimed, reducing waste and improving jobber productivity. In addition, the durability of the coating on metal and aluminum is exceptionally good,” said Cash. “Historically, the gaps between powder and liquid have been the ability to match bright metallic colors and the ability to cure at lower temperatures – enabling coating on plastics and wood surfaces. Our global technology teams continue to work diligently to eliminate these barriers, making great strides in the past 18 months with brighter metallic coatings as featured in our Star Collection and Timeless Collection, and by continuing to drive the cure temperatures down below 150°C (302°F).”
Bostock of TCI, noted that powder coatings provide end-users with reclaimable, solvent-less coatings technology. “This results in better transfer efficiency and material utilization, as we as a more durable coating. Powder is an environmentally responsible and sustainable finishing choice.”
According to Szczepanik, powder coatings possess advantages for employees, the environment, bottom lines and long-term performance. “Powder provides advantages to nearly every touch point in the life cycle of a coating,” he explained. “For employees, this means not dealing with VOCs and HAPs. Applicators also enjoy very low flammability levels with powder. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed is a NIOSH dust mask, not the extensive PPE list for liquid. Plus, it is much easier to handle as there is no mixing involved and simpler to apply versus liquid paint. Next is the minimal environmental impact powder leaves behind – no VOCs to risk air and water quality. Waste is able to go into landfills and not in a hazardous waste stream. No solvent is needed for clean up. When profits are on the line, powder is cost effective. This includes lower insurance costs from low flammability, overspray can be collected and reused, one pass application, less permitting required all equal cost savings. On top of these three you can add better performance. When coupled with a quality pretreatment, powder can excel in corrosion resistance, flexibility and durability.”
Among its latest offerings Sherwin-Williams is highlighting Powdura OneCure. “Imagine excellent edge coverage that leads to improved corrosion resistance,” said Szczepanik. “Applying different chemistries over one another to optimize primer performance and topcoat performance. Achieving an ‘inter-locking’ of the primer and topcoat to increase durability. Doing all of this dry on dry and only requiring one single bake. This translates to increased performance and decreased costs for the end user. We see this as a real win-win.”
Sherwin-Williams said it is also pushing the edge of innovation guided by customer needs, such as widening the use of powder coatings on non-traditional substrates, and allowing customers to save time and money by lowering energy consumption and speeding line application.
At this year’s Fabtech Expo, TCI launched its TruIllusion line of smooth, reflective finishes. “This product line was developed based on feedback from the automotive, appliance, architectural, and recreational equipment segments and their need for improvements in color styling, durability and appearance,” said Bostock. “Extreme exterior durability is a must have for powder suppliers, so we aim to provide necessary products within several industries. Our Product Development team is focused on creating innovative products in the areas of anti-corrosion, edge coverage, thin film, low cure response, appearance, styling, improved application and transfer efficiency.”
Axalta has a dedicated global powder R&D team that has brought an accelerated flow of new products to market in the last 18 months. These products include Nap-Gard high-heat resistant coatings for the exterior of oil and gas pipelines, high temp- and very high temp-resistant powder coatings for the interior of pipelines to replace traditional liquid coatings and ultra-durable primer and topcoat systems to meet the highest standards of the top global agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers.
“We’ve developed powder coatings with significant durability for transportation parts such as one and two coat Alesta systems for coil springs, ultra-smooth Vacuprime PVD primer for automotive wheel applications, and a primer system for automotive car bodies,” Cash said. “In addition, we’ve launched new metallic and effects ranges like Alesta Illusion in North America and The Timeless Collection from Alesta in Europe, designed to appeal to the evolving tastes of global architects.”
“We are fortunate to have an incredible base of more than 12,000 customers globally, who challenge us daily to bring new aesthetics and functionalities to their customers,” Cash said. “This partnership with our customers has resulted in new innovations, like the development of our next generation architectural coatings which will meet and exceed AAMA 2605 requirements and include a full range of metallic colors. At the end of the year and beginning in 2017, we expect to launch the latest technology in two coat, one bake systems for heavy equipment, high-corrosion-resistant Abcite thermoplastic technology for fencing systems in extreme environments, Nap-Gard rebar coatings designed for application at line speeds greater than 50 feet per minute, anti-skid weatherable coatings designed for decks, steps and wet zones and insulating powders for electrical components and wiring. This is just a small preview of the future innovations we have planned with the help and support of our customers and the drive and talent of our powder R&D team.”
AkzoNobel has broken ground on its new powder coatings plant in Mumbai, India. The investment of €9 million will allow the company to increase capacity in the region, which forms an important part of its organic growth plans.
The new facility will complement AkzoNobel’s existing plant in Bangalore, which is focused on supplying the south and east of the country. The Mumbai factory will also produce several lines new to the Indian market, including bonded metallic powders and localized products for markets such as pipe and re-bar coatings.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Conrad Keijzer, Executive Committee Member responsible for Performance Coatings, said: “As the largest powder coatings company in the world, we regard India as being one of our of most important strategic markets. Establishing the new facility in one of the world’s fastest growing economics will give us additional momentum for our ambitious growth plans in the country.”
Added Simon Parker, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business: “Demand for powder coatings has been growing at double-digit rates in India and this facility will position us well to capture that growth. “We will also be adding new product lines, which will bring us closer to our customers in the north and west of India.”
Start-up of the new Mumbai facility is scheduled for late 2017.