Last November, for three days, thousands of exhibitors attended CHINACOAT 2013, the 18th China International Exhibition for Coatings, Printing Inks and Adhesives in Shanghai.

One of the largest coatings exhibits in the world, CHINACOAT strives to offer the best opportunities for global companies to drive incremental  sales, launch new products and build brand awareness. This year, participants showcased their products, attended a comprehensive mix of exhibits, sourced quality products at competitive prices, located suppliers and attended presentations. And the overarching theme was nanotechnology - one of the driving forces in the coatings industry.

         BCC Research reported in January 2010 that the nanotechnology based coatings market was nearly $2.9 billion in 2009 and that it was projected to grow to $17.9 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 39.5%.  


Ten years ago, scientists and engineers started talking about the new technology and the impact it could have on the world. A decade later, it’s now clear that Nanotechnology is a game changer. The mind-blowing new technology that changes the actual properties of the smallest of elements (one nanometer is just a fraction of the width of a human hair) is presenting new options for some of the world’s largest problems - diagnosing and curing cancer and creating safe and effective energy alternatives for example. It’s also presenting fantastic new opportunities in the coatings industry.

CHINACOAT’S keynote speaker, Professor Jamil Baghdachi from the Coatings Research Institute, Eastern Michigan University presented NanoTechnology in Coatings: Realizing the Potential. The paper highlights how nanoscience and nanotechnology have fueled vigorous research and advancement in material science to develop coatings with novel properties.

“The approach has enabled molecular level control of composition and nanometer scale property control that have resulted in rapid developments in raw materials and coatings with improved decorative and protective properties as well as enhanced adhesion, superior aesthetics, and improved corrosion resistance,” Baghdachi’s study finds.

Using nanotechnology, products that repel water and refined oils in outstanding ways have been developed.  Paints are being offered with “self-healing” nanoparticles that fix scratching and marring. And there’s the introduction of a biodegradable car cleaner that allows people to wash their cars without water. Ineffective rinsing may soon be replaced with cleaners that remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables and there are many more nano-inspired products in the works.

In addition to nanotechnology, other major CHINACOAT 2013 themes included biotechnology, high-solid-content, water-based paint, low VOC paint and the development of microencapsulated technology.

“Other presentations were given by Mr. Marco Heuer of Evonik Hanse and Professor Weiping Tu of South China University of Technology. Mr. Heuer discussed how to formulate 2-pack PU coatings by using polyols with various chain lengths and OH-values and different isocyanate crosslinker to create different mechanical properties,” Jimmy Chen, Lonza Business Director, China says.

On a separate note, at the exhibition, Lonza was also able to present two new environmentally focused products: Densil™ FAZ and Densil ZOD™. Both products have three-active blends formulated for use in exterior paint and coating formulations. Like Zinc Omadine™ ZOE™, they contain Zinc Omadine and use a proprietary color-stable technology. The basic concept of both products is to complement the durable, long-term, slow-leaching, low-water solubility properties of Zinc Omadine with a secondary more water soluble fungicide. They also contain a supplemental algaecide for complete-dry film protection.

“It was a good platform to launch our new products in Asia.  They received good visibility with our customers and distributors.  Response to the new launches were very good and we’re building on the initial good response. The booth attracted a lot of Chinese customers and customers from Southeast Asia (SEA), India and the Middle East as well,” Saravana Kumar, Lonza Regional Business Director, India and SEA says.