From regulatory shifts to consumer demands, various factors are driving change in industrial and protective coatings. We count down the top trends of 2022 that coating formulators are innovating towards.
1. Improved durability
Asset owners and OEMs are seeking improved durability and weatherability for a variety of applications and environments. Downstream customers are looking for solutions that minimize maintenance costs by lasting longer over time and demonstrating resistance to high-stress factors like chemicals, corrosion, and the environment. Not only do they need to maintain that “fresh from the can” look, they must maintain performance.
As applicator and consumer awareness of health and environmental issues continues to rise, there is an increased global pressure driving the industry to incorporate sustainability initiatives and environmentally friendly alternatives. These efforts can be translated into many different aspects in industrial and protective coatings to deliver sustainability without compromise.
When considering the overall environmental impact of coatings, the removal of fluoropolymers, using more powder and waterborne coating solutions, and eliminating parachlorobenzotrifluorides (PCBTF) are key to creating a sustainable future. Finding human and environmentally friendly solutions starts with coating ingredient suppliers. Innovative sustainable solutions will result in a better end-of-life story.
The durability of the formulation also contributes to its sustainability. The longer a coating can stand up to weathering and corrosion, the less often the product is applied or has to be replaced. This ultimately reduces waste and manufacturing impacts.
3. Increased efficiency
Next-gen innovations are allowing industrial and protective coatings to be more easily applied to minimize surface preparation, allow fewer coats, and enable faster return to service. Adopting these innovations can bring hesitation in the industry, so new materials in formulations must demonstrate meaningful differential performance and be rigorously tested. Finding a strategic partner who can deliver on these advancements without increasing costs is key to long-term success.
4. Direct to metal
With supply chain disruptions, sustainability and regulatory pressures mounting, and the increased demand for improved performance, direct-to-metal coatings can solve many of today’s market challenges. Direct-to-metal solutions are designed to provide the performance of traditional primer-to-topcoat systems with only one coat application. This enhancement not only increases efficiency and provides cost savings but also it contributes to sustainability initiatives by utilizing less materials and energy. With these benefits, it’s no wonder that direct-to-metal coatings are one of the fastest-growing trends in the market.
5. Cost savings
Coating manufacturers have been under increasing pressure to improve economic and operational efficiency while quickly driving technical advances to adhere to stricter regulations. This strain was further impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, causing the industry to take additional measures to remain cost competitive. Today, coating manufacturers are responding to more challenges and disruptions than ever before, including supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, and lead times. Despite these hurdles, the market demand continues to increase—forcing coating manufacturers to find ways to save on labor, raw materials, and production costs with the goal of doing more with less.
6. Industry collaboration
Finding ways to incorporate the aforementioned trends—such as improved efficiencies and durability—can lead to desired savings, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Strategic partnerships with chemical ingredient suppliers can not only deliver the latest information in chemical advancements but provide key market insights to help design and deliver proactive approaches to stay ahead of consumer and brand needs while assisting in minimizing costs.
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