Vinyl Surface Coatings
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Published: August 2010
Almost all vinyl coatings are based on emulsions of vinyl acetate copolymers, solvent-based copolymers of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) dispersions. The emulsions are used mainly in architectural paints, the solvent-based copolymers in industrial coatings (e.g., anticorrosion coatings and containers) and the dispersions in industrial applications (mainly coil, container and transportation coatings). The vinyl coatings industry consists of suppliers of vinyl resins and formulators of coatings. Practically all resin is sold on the merchant market; little is consumed captively.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of vinyl surface coating resins:
In the United States, consumption of vinyl resins for surface coatings will grow at an average rate of about 3% per year from 2009 through 2014. Consumption rose strongly in 2002–2006 because of strong demand in these years for architectural coatings, but dropped in 2007–2009 as a result of the slowdown in construction. Legislation in California and the northeastern United States and the influence of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System are forcing coatings manufacturers to sell architectural coatings with very low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As a result, strong growth is forecast for vinyl acetate–ethylene (VAE) emulsions, which can be formulated to produce coatings with little or no VOC content.
In Western Europe, VAEs are expected to grow at a faster rate than the overall architectural coatings market. VAEs are well accepted in Germany and northern Europe as they meet the requirements of the Blue Angel program, which strongly encourages the use of low-VOC construction materials. Overall, demand for vinyl coatings in Western Europe will increase at almost 3.5% per year from 2009 through 2014.
Demand for vinyl coatings in Japan will grow at an average rate of almost 3% from 2009 through 2014. Waterborne coatings will increase by a small amount as the housing market recovers; however, demand for solvent-based coatings will continue to decline because of ongoing replacement by more effective and more environmentally acceptable coatings.
In China, interest in vinyl coatings is growing, especially vinyl acetate–based emulsions. Most vinyl acetate emulsions are used for adhesives, but a significant quantity of vinyl acetate homopolymers and copolymers was used for coating applications in 2009. Overall consumption of vinyl acetate–based emulsions is expected to continue to increase at a rate of about 10% annually in China, as a result of demand for environmentally friendly coatings for the growing construction market.
Overall consumption of vinyl coatings is expected to increase by about 10% annually in southeast Asian nations as demand increases for environmentally friendly coatings for the growing construction markets in that region.