Published August 2013
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:
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 motivating 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. From 2009 to 2012, consumption of VAEs grew by nearly 10% annually. However, copolymers of vinyl acetate and butyl acrylate ("vinyl acrylates") remain the workhorses of the latex market because of their favorable performance/cost properties. Industrial consumption of solventborne vinyl coatings will probably continue to decline because of environmental concerns. Consumption is expected to grow by about 3% annually in the near future.
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.
Demand for vinyl coatings in Japan is small, as coatings are not used often in interior architectural applications, and high-durability exterior coatings (mainly acrylic copolymers with silicone or urethane) are preferred.
Overall consumption of vinyl acetate–based emulsions in China is expected to continue to increase by about 5% annually, but production of coatings based on PVOH will likely decrease at a rate of about 3% annually.
Overall consumption of vinyl coatings in Asia outside of Japan and China is expected to increase by almost 2.5% annually as demand increases for environmentally friendly coatings for the growing construction market. In India, vinyl acrylate coatings are expected to continue in the low-performance distemper paints, which are used on inside surfaces that have been plastered or wall papered.