Industrial sector seeks `smarter’ coatings

Industrial sector seeks `smarter’ coatings

Driving advances in water-borne coatings

Dow Coating Materials is at the forefront of driving innovations aimed to help paint and coatings manufacturers in the Middle East design more sustainable solutions

March 2019

Forty years ago, most paints were solvent-borne, containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which can be highly hazardous to health and the environment. In the decorative paints sector alone, water-borne coatings now comprise 80 per cent of global demand. This, coupled with mega trends such as rapid urbanisation, more attention to health care and wellness - alongside limited natural resources - is driving development of tomorrow’s coatings, today.

At the same time, Middle East consumers are increasingly demanding more from their paints - meaning manufacturers of architectural coatings need to respond with products that are faster and easier to use, resist stains, offer longer-lasting protection, use fewer natural resources – and even enhance air quality, said Khaled Abou Ghoneim, technical leader, Dow Coating Materials Middle East & Africa.

However, it’s not just in the architectural sector that water-borne formulations are seeing major advances. Governments and regulators around the world, including in the Middle East, are increasingly focused on setting up standards to tackle growing air pollution and other health concerns – both indoor and outdoor – as well as environmental issues such as energy consumption, solvent usage, and emissions of VOCs. This is leading to more widespread adoption of water-borne paint technologies in industrial sectors too, as well as development of ‘smarter’ coatings that can deliver additional benefits.

“Dow Coating Materials – a business unit of DowDuPont’s Materials Science Division – is at the forefront of that change, driving technologies and innovations that are designed to help paint and coatings manufacturers in the Middle East design more sustainable, environmentally-responsible solutions, inside as well as outside,” Ghoneim said.



One example, he said, is Formashield Formaldehyde Abatement Technology, which is designed to help improve the quality of indoor air. “Tightening the building envelope is an effective upgrade that lowers heating and cooling costs, but this can have unintended consequences on Indoor Air Quality, including a build-up of harmful formaldehyde emissions emanating from common household items,” Ghoneim said. 

Ghoneim: Middle East is demanding

Ghoneim: Middle East is demanding

Formashield Technology removes formaldehyde from indoor air when it makes contact with painted walls, extracting carbon and hydrogen and converting them to harmless water vapour. Formaldehyde breakdown is irreversible, and the removal is permanent. Dow is working with manufacturers using the technology in the form of binders such as Primal SF-230 to create functional coatings that can not only help purify indoor air, but deliver additional benefits such as low odour, stain resistance, crack bridging and self-disinfecting capabilities.



Architectural coatings are not only being created to offer health or environmental benefits, there is also demand for improved properties such as higher durability, dirt pick up resistance and colour retention, particularly in exterior applications.

Dow is aiming to meet this demand with the Dirtshield portfolio: binders, pacifying polymers, rheology modifiers and dispersants that improve dirt pick up resistance via tailored, formulated options that bring out the best in each other. “These include self-film forming binders which contribute to film performance, affecting amount of dirt pick up; thickeners which can mask roughness of substrates, leaving less space for dirt to settle; additives which support dispersal of key raw materials designed to minimise dirt pick up; and thickeners with intrinsic water resistance, reinforcing overall durability,” Ghoneim explained.

In addition, latest generation Primal TX-100 Binder offers outstanding water whitening resistance and can be formulated as stone paint or masonry coatings. The pure acrylic emulsion for premium exterior wall coatings offers alkali resistance as well as outstanding mechanical stability and adhesion strength, along with long term colour retention, he added.



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, Ghoneim said. At the same time, increased infrastructure demands driven by economic growth results in rising need for longer lasting, higher quality construction – and along with that demands for coatings with increased durability and better corrosion resistance, for example.

A key growth area is high visibility, durable road marking: Fastrack Binder Technology from Dow 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 bead retention for night time visibility. 

“Another example is 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 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,” Ghoneim said.



In traditional metal coatings, solvent-borne and alkyd coatings are a major source of VOC emissions, meaning that applications such as freight container coatings can have a major environmental impact, for example. Although formulation requirements are different to solvent-borne, water-borne alternatives can achieve equal performance as dry film, can dry quickly (contrary to some assumptions) and offer productivity savings. For example, Maincote Avanse Technology from Dow offers a water-borne alternative to solvent-based alkyds and two component coatings, and can be formulated into corrosion resistant primers, highly durable topcoats and high gloss, direct-to-metal applications, bringing UV durability, and corrosion resistance in a low VOC format, he added.



Industrial coatings sometimes need to deliver on aesthetics as well as durability. With a portfolio of binders designed to maintain a freshly painted look as well as surface durability – operating alongside specially-designed rheology modifiers tailored to the task of painting decking and fencing, for example – Dow offers formulators of external wood and composite stains a one-stop-shop raw materials palette, Ghoneim said. Included in the toolbox are pure acrylic Primal Binders, designed to deliver anything from controlled erosion on composite decking to superior dirt pick up resistance.

“The Middle East demands a lot from its paints and coatings producers, who operate in a tough climatic environment with stringent performance demands from end-users of architectural and industrial coatings. Dow Coating Materials is dedicated to ensuring that its raw materials innovations will help them to meet that demand, not just today, but into the future, with a technology toolbox designed to help improve the long-term sustainability of value chains and help paint and coatings designers’ secure competitive advantage,” Ghoneim concluded.

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