Emission Control Regulations Lead to Increased Focus on Development of Biobased High Performance Anti-corrosion Coatings

High performance anti-corrosion coatings are a variety of enhanced protective coatings used for protecting concrete and metal structures from damage caused by exposure to corrosive surroundings. Owing to attributes such as durability, good gloss retention, better resistance to heat and moisture, and excellent adhesion on substrates, high performance anti-corrosion coatings are also sometimes called heavy-duty coatings.

These coatings find primary usage in paper and pulp mills, oil and gas production and processing plants, power generation plants, chemical processing plants, and construction sites. High performance anti-corrosion coatings are also used to protect pipes, ships, and other structures commonly used in marine surroundings.

Stringent Emission Regulations Lead to Increased Interest in Biobased Coatings

Currently, high performance anti-corrosion coatings are manufactured primarily from petrochemical-derived raw materials. Coating resins such as acrylic, epoxy, urethane, ethyl silicate, alkyd, polyester, and vinyl are the key products used in the manufacture of high performance anti-corrosion coatings.

Epoxy resins, which currently account for over 55% of the global high performance anti-corrosion coatings market in terms of volume, are noted for features such as high mechanical strength and excellent corrosion and abrasion resistance. Their demand is expected to remain high in the future years; epoxy resins can be manufactured with the help of biobased raw materials, which could also lead to a reduced dependency on petrochemicals.

The demand for acrylics-based coatings is also rising at a high pace on a global front owing to their high compatibility with metals, chemically inert nature, and better color and gloss retention capability even when subjected to harsh environmental conditions. These coatings are thus expected to replace other prominent varieties of high performance anti-corrosion coatings, especially the category of alkyd-based coatings, which is still favored by consumers owing to their easy applicability.

Focus of Research Activities on Development of Less Harmful Coatings
The global market for high performance anti-corrosion coatings, which had a valuation of US$11.95 bn in 2014, is projected to rise at a healthy 4.8% CAGR over the period between 2015 and 2023. Though demand for products currently available in the market is significant, and has the potential of driving good market growth in the years to come, the market is projected to be affected by several environmental regulations concerning emission of volatile organic compounds, especially in developed regions such as Europe and North America.

Thus, most of the research activities currently seen in the field of high performance anti-corrosion coatings are focused on the development of coatings that are biobased and thus free from VOCs. Waterbornes complying with emission regulations are being developed, and the global interest in acrylic-based waterborne coatings is rapidly increasing. However, formulation of these varieties of compliant coatings is more difficult when compared to conventional coatings.

Several other research and development projects in the global high performance anti-corrosion coatings market are focused on the development of:
  • Coatings with low levels of leachable toxics for use in potable water supply systems
  • Coatings that can be applied to concrete containment structures for avoiding the migration of chemicals into concrete
  • Coatings that contain no or miniscule proportions of potentially hazardous organic solvents and harmful heavy metal pigments
  • Coatings to be used on the bottom sides of oceangoing vessels with the capability of limiting buildup of organisms on the vessel’s body but having no biocides that can cause harm to the environment


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