The 44th Annual Waterborne Symposium

By Kerry Pianoforte, Editor | March 17, 2017

This annual event featured 47 presentations on a variety of topics related to surface coatings.

The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) held its 44th Annual International Waterborne, High-Solids and Powder Coatings Symposium February 19-24 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Waterborne Symposium is a technical forum for environmentally friendly coatings technologies. Proceeds from the symposium are used by USM for various elements of academic program development including junior faculty development, graduate student stipends, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and especially scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in Polymer Science. Most of these students enter the coatings or related polymer industries upon graduation. These scholarships are key to USM’s efforts to recruit the highest-achieving students into their Polymer program.

This year’s event had 400 registered attendees and featured 47 talks organized into seven sessions related to various aspects of surface coatings: waterborne, additives, polymerization, general, high solids and powder coatings.

“This year’s Symposium looks to have more than 400 attendees, 47 presentations, 29 booths at the technical session and 26 student papers,” noted Dr. James Rawlins, USM professor and Symposium moderator. 

Plenary Speaker from Dow, Keynote Address from PPG

The opening session commenced with plenary speaker, Sarah Eckersley, global director of R&D, TS&D Coatings, Monomers and Plastic Additives at the Dow Chemical Company, who presented a talk entitled “If We Build It, Will They Come?”.

Eckersley talked about making technologies relevant and the intersection of technology and the marketplace.

“As technical professionals, we usually operate under the assumption that technological advantages drive technology adoption,” she said. “We believe that if we build it, they will come – assuming that the cost is in line with the benefit. “Many of us have been disappointed by lukewarm marketplace acceptance of our big ideas. We have learned the hard way that reality is more complicated.”

Eckersley noted that larger societal and market drivers influence both technology adoption and abandonment. She noted that the viral consumer can drive change based on science or pseudo-science and the evolving regulatory environment both constrains and spurs creativity. Her presentation looked at technology adoption in the coatings industry historically and made connections with larger market drivers. Analyzing this data can help coatings suppliers and manufacturers anticipate what consumers want them to build.

The plenary lecture was followed by keynote speaker, Jane Valenta, vice president of technical, global architectural coatings at PPG Industries, who presented “Innovation in Coatings Applications: A Product Life Cycle Approach to Sustainability.”

“Thinking end-to-end is essential in managing the life cycle sustainability of coating products,” said Valenta. “Innovation in coating applications is as critical as innovation in product performance.”

As sustainability becomes more and more important in the coatings industry, there is an end-to-end life cycle approach to product management. The end-to-end approach considers a wider range of activities compared to conventional approach and requires partnerships across the value chain for successful innovation in products, applications and know-how.

“Partnerships across the value chain have enabled PPG to provide products with reduced total environmental impact,” she noted. “Today, as the application method becomes more complex and demanding, collaboration and innovation across the value chain are essential to assess and improve the life cycle sustainability of coating products. To provide products with reduced environmental impact, the focus has been on our own manufacturing and logistics operations, but also on partnering with applicators, equipment vendors and suppliers to innovate.”

Valenta noted the commercialization of Envirobase that drove the conversion from solvent to water in the automotive refinish market the commercialization of both B1:B2 Compact Process and Enviro-Prime Epic that reduced energy and water consumption for automotive applications, the introduction of HOBA Pureair coating for the packaging industry, the introduction of Powercron Advantedge for the industrial coatings market and some ongoing innovation efforts to reduce the full life cycle environmental impact of PPG’s products.

Expert Coatings Panel Discussion

Following the keynote speech, Dale Pritchett, publisher of Coatings World, moderated a panel discussion. This year’s panel was titled “Look Beyond the Surface: How Polymers Define Inks, Coatings and Personal Care.”

“The Expert Panel discussion sponsored by Coatings World at the 2017 Waterborne Symposium was a unique event,” said Pritchett. “Three technical scientists were on the panel representing the ink market, the coatings market and the cosmetic market.  These three different industries are bound by the same surface chemistry. The panels were Dr. Juanita M.

Parris, global  director  of  R&D  for  Material  and  Analytical  Science at Sun Chemical Corporation; Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief manager, product development at Asian Paints Limited and Dr. XianZhi (Joe) Zhou a global applied research leader at L’Oreal. Attendees and students in the audience were able to hear first-hand what challenges they face in their respective markets in bringing their customers needs into commercial viable products.”

This year’s panel focused on the similarities of waterborne technologies being utilized in the coatings, inks and personal care sectors. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from experts in these industries regarding the technology that is driving the market. Parris’ discussion was on polymer Innovation needs;  Jain of Asian Paints presented  on coatings research outlook in today’s environment” and Zhou’s presentation was an overview of the chemistry L’Oreal utlizes to develop nail polish and the moved to more water-based technologies. The panel concluded with an interactive questions and answer session with the audience.

Sidney Lauren Memorial Lecture

The sixth annual Sidney Lauren Memorial Lecture was presented by Yoan Simon of the University of Southern Mississippi, who presented “Adding a Bit of Color and Energy via Light Upconversion.”

Light upconversion (UC) by means of triplet‐triplet annihilation (TTA) is an interesting photophysical process that is promising for a whole host of applications ranging from solar harvesting to imaging. While this phenomenon was discovered over 50 years ago in solution, its development in solids is more recent. TTA‐UC is predicated on the use of chromophore pairs with finely tuned electronic levels. This contribution will give an overview of our latest achievements in the field for the development of polymeric materials facilitating efficient TTA‐UC. A few systems will be discussed including rubbery and glassy polymer blends, and copolymers with suitable chromophore pairs, upconverting (nano)particles, gels, and nanostructured materials. The data exposed will serve to depict the structure‐property relationships of upconverting polymeric materials and outline global design principles.

Technology Showcase

In addition to the main technical program, the Waterborne Symposium also included a three-day Technology Showcase. Now in its 20th year, the sold-out showcase had 29 exhibitors who focused on emerging technologies, new materials, innovative services and equipment.

Student Poster Sessions/Awards

This year the Waterborne Symposium presented the Siltech Best Paper Innovation Award, the SSCT Best Student Paper Award and the Eastman Student Poster Awards.
USM students presented their research during the Poster Session. This year’s session included 26 student posters.

The Eastman Student Poster Award Undergraduate Recipients are  William Blake Martin – Patton Research Group, Kaden Stevens – Lott Research Group and Sarah Swilley– Patton Research Group.

The Eastman Student Poster Award Graduate Recipients are Vivek Vasagar – Nazarenko Research Group and Beibei Chen – Nazarenko Research Group.

The Siltech Innovation Award was given to Donald Campbell, product development chemist, BASF Corporation , Automotive Coatings for “Thermal Yellowing and Photo-Bleaching of Automotive Topcoats.”

The 2018 Waterborne Symposium will be held February 4-8 at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.

2018 Call For Papers

The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi has issued a call for papers for presentation at the 45th Annual International Waterborne Symposium, February 4-8, 2018 in New Orleans. Papers should relate to new and emerging technologies related to materials, processes, production, characterization, application and markets in the field of surface coatings. All papers should be original and represent recent advances in coatings science and related disciplines. Title, abstract and author’s names (speaker’s name underlined) should be submitted by mail, fax or e-mail no later than Aug. 15 to School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, The University of Southern Mississippi, Box 10063, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0063; 601-266-4475; Fax: 601- 266-6265; E-mail: waterborne@usm.edu; Web: www.psrc.usm.edu/waterborne.