“There is continued migration towards water-borne coatings”

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  • Sep 01,18
Governments around the world, including in India, are setting up regulations to tackle the problem of VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions in coatings.
“There is continued migration towards water-borne coatings”

Governments around the world, including in India, are setting up regulations to tackle the problem of VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions in coatings. This is leading to more widespread adoption of water-borne technologies in architectural as well as industrial paints arena, says Sumeet Sethi, General Manager, Dow Coating Materials. In this interaction with Rakesh Rao, Sumeet Sethi highlights the trends in coating industry and how Dow is providing innovative solutions to enhance the performance of paints.
How is the market for coatings, in general, and industrial coatings, in particular, in India?
We are very excited by the huge potential for more advanced coatings in India, and expect to see major growth in the sector overall, in fact outperforming the rest of EMEAI. We also expect to see continued migration away from solvent-borne coatings towards water-borne, driven by regulations as well as consumer demands for ease of clean-up and reduced odour in architectural coatings in particular.
Industrial coatings are also seeing increased demand for meeting environmental goals, particularly low VOC outputs, which can be supported with water-borne or high solids systems.
Which end-user industries are driving the demand for industrial coating?
They are varied, ranging from road-marking paint to metal and concrete coatings, and from wood coatings to liquid applied sound damping, to name but a few. 
Increased infrastructure demands driven by growth in the economy will see rising demand for longer lasting, higher quality construction – and with that demand for coatings with increased durability and better corrosion resistance, for example.
There are also interesting potential growth areas such as long lasting, high visibility road marking to improve road safety: our FASTRACK binder technology enables production of low-VOC, water-borne road-marking systems which are better for the environment and applicators than solvent-borne alternatives, yet also offer excellent bead retention for night time visibility.  
We are also seeing increasing interest in water-borne systems to improve the environmental profile of industrial wood in joinery and floor applications, for example.
How is Dow supporting the growth of coatings market in India?
We aim to support the market with targeted solutions that help Indian coatings formulators meeting specific demands.  For example, in our architectural coatings portfolio, we offer technologies designed to deliver improved functionality for exterior wall coating applications, which is critical considering extreme weather conditions in the Indian climate.
Also important in India is colour, making colour retention properties of paints vital to formulators. Very bright and very dark colours seem to be a trend in exterior masonry in recent years, meaning specific technology which assures colour retention is key in order to meet market preferences. 
Such demands are supported by technologies such as the DIRTSHIELD portfolio, acrylic-mineral hybrids for effective dirt pick-up resistance, which can be formulated as clear or pigmented systems. Another example is latest generation PRIMAL TX-100, which offers outstanding water whitening resistance and can be formulated as stone paint or masonry coatings.
According to you, how important are sustainable business practices in coating industry, especially in India?
We and our customers have a vital role in improving people’s lives for the better, but we must continue to respect our natural resources if we are going to preserve quality of life for future generations in India and beyond – and with a growing population this is even more crucial.
At Dow Coating Materials, we are playing our part in a number of ways, particularly by advancing and promoting water-borne, low-VOC technology, for example.  In addition, we are responding to changing feedstock dynamics as well as more stringent regulatory and consumer demands by expanding our regional vinyl acrylic capabilities.  This is allowing us to offer a broader palette of alternative technologies for our customers formulating interior wall paints, for example, enabling them to create lower VOC alternatives.
Are you seeing a robust demand for your materials from Indian automotive coating industry?
One particular area of growing interest is for liquid applied sound damping, an incredibly versatile, environmentally-responsible method of reducing noise in vehicles. ACOUSTICRYL specialty water-borne acrylic binders were developed by Dow Coating Materials to offer key advantages over traditional methods such as asphaltic pads, viscoelastic materials and polyurethane foams. With their acrylic chemistry offering inherent good energy absorption behaviour, low odour, solvent-less ACOUSTICRYL resins offer improved sound damping performance at up to 35 per cent lower weight than alternatives – enabling lower fuel consumption when used in vehicles. 
They also eliminate the dust created by bitumen or asphaltic pads, which are traditionally cut and applied to high vibration areas. With high-efficiency processing through airless spray application, the binders have potential to improve manufacturing efficiency and - with the water-borne technology offering minimal VOC emissions – improve health and safety for workers as well as reducing environmental impact at the same time. 
What are the emerging trends in coatings industry? And how do you intend to tap these trends?
There are a number of trends, and two major ones are for multi-functional paints with health benefits, and demands for easy clean, high efficiency paints with ease of application as well as long term durability. 
PRIMAL SF-230 binder with FORMASHIELD technology for interior wall paints is a great example of meeting multi-functional demands with added health benefits: it offers 5 in 1 functionality including formaldehyde abatement, stain resistance, crack-bridging, very good wet scrub for matt to satin paints, as well as ultra low VOC and low ammonia odour.
In architectural coatings, we certainly see a rise in demand for time saving, with fewer coats, faster drying time and low odour coatings, as paint is used either in new developments or in refurbishing rental apartments with quick turnarounds; developments such as EVOQUE pre-composite polymer technology directly address such needs, delivering benefits such as fewer coats, greater durability and longer re-paint intervals. 
With rise in awareness about volatile organic components (VOC) in paints, there is a growing trend towards water-based paints and powder coating. Is this opening up new markets for Dow?
Certainly, and this is where our strength lies. Forty years ago, most of the ingredients found in the market were conventional, solvent-based formulations, and water-borne (latex) paints, mainly used in architectural applications, only accounted for about 30–35 per cent of the total share of available technologies. That is changing dramatically, and India is no exception.
Governments and regulators around the world, including in India, are increasingly focused on setting up standards and regulations to tackle growing air pollution and other health concerns – both indoor and outdoor – as well as other environmental issues such as energy consumption, solvent usage, and emissions of volatile organic compounds. This is leading to more widespread adoption of water-borne technologies not just for domestic use, but in the industrial paints arena too.
Our technologies and innovations are designed to help Indian paints and coatings manufacturers design more sustainable, environmentally responsible solutions. We work in partnership with our customers to create end-use products that are faster and easier to use, resist stains, enhance air quality, offer longer-lasting protection, and use fewer natural resources.
What are your growth plans for Dow Coatings Materials business in India?
We see exciting opportunities in a number of areas, but we excited about three in particular.  FORMASHIELD technology is certainly gaining interest in India, with several of our customers signing up over the past few months. The technology enables removal of formaldehyde from ambient air in buildings, through a process which triggers a chemical reaction between formaldehyde and the binder in paints - transforming the indoor air pollutant into harmless vapour.
We are also seeing new EXP-135ER pure acrylic binder is on its way to commercialisation, with successful trials demonstrating excellent dripping resistance, thixotropic capabilities and minimal brush and sag marks.
Last but not least is new PRIMAL BR-101V binder, an exciting alternative to organic biocides in anti-bacterial coatings. Harnessing the proven benefits of safer, silver ion technology, it not only offers remarkable bacterial resistance, it can also provide alongside excellent long term efficiency and colour stability. A great choice for customers formulating paints for hospitals, schools and other public buildings on the Indian Subcontinent.

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