Acrylic Surface Coatings
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Published: May 2010
Acrylic surface coatings are the leading finishes used in the paint and coatings industry, having surpassed alkyd finishes over the past few years. Based on acrylic and/or methacrylic polymers or copolymers, acrylic surface coatings are noted for their inertness and excellent color retention when exposed to outdoor conditions. Acrylics are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the coatings industry; it is estimated that global consumption of acrylic surface coatings grew at an 8% per year rate during 2003–2007, but was then affected by the global economic crisis of 2008–2009, resulting in a large drop in consumption in the industrialized regions of the world. Acrylic coatings now account for about 25% of all coatings. Worldwide sales of acrylic resins for coatings were estimated at about $5 billion in 2009.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of acrylic surface coatings:
Areas that should experience noticeable growth in architectural coatings are Brazil and China. In Brazil, consumption of architectural coatings had been growing by 5–8% annually until 2009, when the increase slowed to 2% because of the global economic crisis. The market is expected to grow again at healthy rates as the Brazilian economy remains strong. The construction boom continues in China, which will be further stimulated by the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and the Asia Games in Guangzhou. Consumption of acrylic coatings increased by 18% per year during 2004–2009 in China. China has been gradually increasing the use of high-performance coating products (such as acrylics) and the amount of environmentally friendly coatings. Consumption of higher-quality paints will grow even more quickly as users move away from low- to medium-cost paints produced by local manufacturers. Consumption of waterborne acrylic basecoats for vehicles has been increasing as some Japanese automobile manufacturers, such as Toyota and Honda, started to use water-based systems in new product lines built in China beginning in 2007. Consumption of acrylic coatings in China is forecast to grow at 8–12% annually for the next five years.
There has been a shift toward waterborne acrylics used as automotive basecoats, for environmental reasons. Currently, waterbornes account for 50–60% of the global market for automotive basecoats, which is up considerably from 1997, when the penetration was about 20%. In 2005, BASF began to make waterborne basecoats in China. Toyota and Honda began using water-based systems for new product lines built in China after 2006. Toyota has converted a number of its assembly lines in Japan to waterborne basecoats and Honda will convert several of its lines in the near future. Some Japanese automobile manufacturers started using waterborne coating systems at new plants in Thailand and Indonesia supplied by Kansai Paint, Nippon Paint and others.