Powder Coatings: Major Market Trends And Prediction On The Future Of Coatings
Powder coatings continue to find widespread use across various industrial sectors. While the automotive industry is the largest end user of powder coatings, they have gained attention in other sectors such as agriculture and earthmoving equipment. According to Allied Market Research, the global powder coatings market is estimated to reach $15.0 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2019 to 2026. Growing technological advancements and increase in demand from automotive, furniture, agriculture, construction, and architectural sectors drive the market growth.
Powder coatings offer the utmost performance, cost, and sustainability advantages and emit a negligible amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to their solvent-free formulation. Moreover, these coatings provide fine finishing and appearance and deliver superior durability, gloss retention, and scratch resistance. These benefits and lower operating costs have made them a popular choice among consumers.
Having said that, the popularity of powder coatings lies in their perception as eco-friendly products. Over the years, customers have become more about their choices and the impact of paints & coatings on the environment. What’s more, several companies have set sustainability goals and expect coating manufacturing companies to comply with them. Thus, an array of sustainable raw materials has been developed for powder coatings. Sustainability of a powder coating refers to the use of a product without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Thus, companies look for renewable resources including plant-based feedstock and less use of water during the manufacturing of coatings. For instance, low-temperature cure products demand less energy and ultimately create a small carbon footprint. Similarly, coatings with higher durability, corrosion resistance, and UV durability save energy, material use, and labor, which are important factors in developing sustainable products.
Some companies such as allnex have committed to adhering to sustainability and developed powder coatings from plants. The company has launched a series of polyester resins that use up to 25% pre-consumer recycled PET, which decreases plant-generated waste streams significantly. Mirroring such product launches, several companies in the powder coatings have launched products that are plant-based and require less energy and labor. Over the years, powder coatings manufacturers have been finding new ways to develop reliable low-cure coatings that can be used on wood and expand their business in the furniture and cabinetry market. Thus, the use of powder coatings on wood and fiberboard is one of the major trends in the powder coatings industry.
Major trends in the powder coatings industry:
1. Wood and medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
The demand for a low cure and cost-saving powder coatings has increased significantly over the last few years. Thus, powder coatings for wood and MDF is the next big step in the coatings world to expand business and services. Companies have invested a colossal amount of money in R&D to come up with powder coatings on wood or alternative substrates and would explore opportunities in the same aspect in the future.
2. High output and faster speed powder coatings
Customers want low-cure powders that offer faster line speeds and higher outputs. They are essential in the future not only due to cost effectiveness but also because of the availability of resources. Both companies and customers aim to use materials with lower cure temperatures and low energy consumption. Furthermore, companies have joined forces to develop coating technologies that reduce the stress of the electrical grid. Plating and e-coatings would become important keywords in the future.
3. Powder coatings on aluminum
As the automotive is the largest end use of powder coatings, developing low-cure powder coatings that offer fine finishing to aluminum parts is one of the major trends. Several automotive companies find it difficult in pretreating and coat aluminum correctly. Aluminum is the most difficult material to have a power coat bond. Moreover, if the bonding and pre-treatment agent is not used correctly, there are consequences. Thus, coating companies have focused on launching products with different cure rates and line speeds which will reduce the rework process.
4. Growth of architectural coating
Market experts are witnessing several material trends in the architectural market and coatings for aluminum components. From sunshades for office buildings and perforated panels for parking garages, coatings are essential and needed in different colors. It is important for applicators to know that prefabricated parts are difficult to handle during the coating processes. Moreover, there are challenges while coating tubes with welded endcaps as they require additional curing time and, in rare cases, they trap liquid from pre-treatment process tanks. Materials with different metal thicknesses welded together create challenges while coating as it becomes tricky to cure properly without underbaking or over baking.
5. Anti-microbial coatings
Over the years, there is high demand for nylon coating and demand for thermoplastic coating. Moreover, customers now expect anti-microbial coatings since the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the demand for such powder coatings is in larger quantities and some customers have asked about a conveyor line to accommodate large quantity processes.
Future of powder coatings
The Covid-19 pandemic increased the demand for powder coatings that offer anti-microbial properties and are less toxic to consumers as well as the environment. The pandemic increased the focus on materials that maintain hygienic standards. Some researchers have developed a technique that uses silver ions to kill infectious microbes including the Covid-19 virus. This method involves chemically bonding silver nanoparticles to Ag, Zn, and Cu, which has shown that silver ions offer a 99.99% kill rate of bacteria. Similarly, companies developed special antimicrobial powder coating that can be cured within minutes at 100 to 125°C as it is based on UV cure powder technology. This technology adds antimicrobial production and uses silver ion technology to kill microbes and bacteria. Thus, in the future, powder coatings that offer anti-microbial properties, and a low curing rate while meeting the sustainability standards would gain traction. Moreover, self-cleaning, self-healing paints would gain demand from the automotive sector. As technological innovations are all around us, the dynamics of powder coatings would change rapidly. Even something mundane and simple as powder coatings could become an important topic of scientific discussion. Thus, the future of powder coatings is not only brighter and more colorful but also filled with innovations and scientific discoveries.
By,Allied Market Research