The 2016 American Coatings Show (ACS) closed its doors having set the record for the largest ACS in history. More than 550 exhibitors displayed their latest developments in raw materials, laboratory and production equipment, testing and measuring equipment, and services for the coatings industry during the 2016 American Coatings Show. “With exhibitors indicating very positive experiences regarding new leads, and over 9,000 industry professionals attending, we consider this to be another successful show,” said Cheryl Matthews, Vice President of  Events & Expositions at the American Coatings Association.

Matthias Janz, event manager at Vincentz Network, was pleased with the great hospitality exhibitors showed at their booths and on the show floor. “ACS provides a good networking platform and helps to push the industry forward,” he said. 

I had the opportunity to speak with several companies at the show. Below is a small sample of the latest technology that was featured at the event. My full article can be found at

Arkema Focuses on Global Growth and Technology

Arkema hosted its annual Media Breakfast on the second morning of the ACS. Marc Schuller, Executive Vice President, Coating Solutions and Industrial Specialties business segments, opened the breakfast with an overview of the company and the global coatings market. He stated that the company reported sales in 2015 of €7.7 billion. Schuller noted that the coatings market continues to see fast-paced consolidation of coatings customers, with several acquisitions in recent years.

Richard Jenkins, Global Group President of the Arkema Coating Resins business unit, also discussed the market, stating that the resins market in Europe, relative to last year, has had a good start to the year. North America continues to grow, as does China, however China is oversupplied, resulting in very competitive business there. Conditions in India are improving, however things are still volatile.

Jenkins also discussed new products and technologies introduced at the ACS. These include CELOCOR® AF polymer, a new ammonia-free opaque polymer for use in low-odor interior or exterior architectural coatings with excellent hiding power, and two acrylic binders under the ENCOR® name. These are ENCOR 636, which delivers excellent gloss development, adhesion on both wet and dry substrates and grain crack resistance, making it suitable for use in both exterior and interior formulations, and ENCOR 662, a new resin that offers outstanding scrub resistance, stain resistance and washability in flat and semigloss coatings.

Alain Mari, CEO of Coatex, described his business unit’s rheology additives as “little drops of vitamins” that formulators add to their coatings. The company’s products have mostly acrylic chemistry and are entirely water-based. Mari noted that Coatex is going 100% green in all of its additives. He also discussed the rapid pace of R&D, stating that 50% of their products are less than five years old. Customer projects driven by regulations and the desire to “go green” are leading this focus on new product development.

Richard Rowe, CEO of Arkema Inc., the group's operations in North America, discussed Sartomer’s acrylic monomer business. He noted that demand in North America has started off strong in 2016, particularly in the architectural arena due to the continued recovery of the construction market and the mild winter that most of the country enjoyed. Sartomer is developing four new UV curing technologies for “soft-touch” materials in the packaging, appliance and electronics industries.

Ascend Makes Debut Appearance at ACS

Ascend Performance Materials’ Specialty Chemicals Division made its debut appearance at the ACS. The company unveiled its newly branded product strategy and expanded product portfolio. Key specialty products and solutions included the following.

Hexatran™ and Hextranol™ - innovative amines and esters with patent-pending technologies that enhance performance in architectural and epoxy coatings. In epoxies, Hexatran’s chemical structure makes it a good replacement or supplement for other amines like TETA, TEPA, DETA and IPDA. It can be easily modified into other key derivatives for the epoxy marketplace. And it provides improved curing time, chemical resistance and excellent flex. Hexatran’s unique aliphatic structure provides alternate routes to carbamates and isocyanates. And isocyanates produced from Hexatran have low viscosity at high solids, promoting easy workability.

FlexaTrac™ - environmentally friendly, biodegradable blending solvents that can be used in household and professional paint strippers. They have an excellent health, safety and environmental profile with mild or no odor. FlexaTrac-DME meets the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s standards for inherent biodegradability. The product can be used safely on wood, plastic and metal substrates without damaging the substrate surface.

FlexaTrac-DMS-400 intermediate - which is used to produce quinacridone pigments. Quinacridone pigments offer excellent bleed, heat resistance and outstanding light fastness. These high-performance pigments are suitable for formulating automotive, industrial and decorative coatings.

Huber Introduces New Spherical Precipitated Silica

Huber Engineered Materials highlighted its new precipitated spherical silica. The nontraditional spherical silica particle is produced using a patented manufacturing process using common raw materials capable of producing medium- and low-absorptive capacity products. The unique manufacturing process allows for controls on pore size, pore size distribution and surface area, as well as tight particle size and particle distribution specifications.

The spherical morphology of the silica particles provides unique benefits in paint and coatings applications, including burnish and scrub resistance, matting, excellent color, improved abrasion resistance and ease of wet-out.

Omnova Focuses on Specialty Products

Omnova Solutions is now focusing more on specialty products. In fact, according to Tom Hartle, General Manager, Specialty Coatings & Ingredients, the company is directing 40% of its research in specialty products for coatings. The company’s efforts have paid off, with the introduction of four new coatings products at the ACS, significantly expanding Omnova’s presence and portfolio for the specialty coatings market in North America.

The first product, PLIOTEC® EL135, is an acrylic elastomeric latex for roof coatings. Designed for use on a range of roof coating substrates, PLIOTEC EL135 provides outstanding adhesion to high-density polyurethane foam, an excellent balance of tensile strength and elongation properties, and remarkable dirt pick-up resistance. This latex is designed to create a coating that is both flexible and tough so that it can expand and contract with the substrate throughout daily and seasonal temperature cycles.

The second product launch, PLIOTEC SC140, is a waterborne, direct-to-metal (DTM) resin. Specifically designed for zero-VOC DTM coatings, this resin provides superior adhesion to metals, excellent early water resistance and gloss retention properties.

“As demand for low- and zero-VOC waterborne DTM products to replace solventborne coatings continues to increase, we are excited to introduce a zero-VOC product that surpasses performance expectations,” said Hartle. “PLIOTEC SC140 resin uses a new, proprietary polymer architecture to deliver breakthrough performance in corrosion protection.”

The new resin is designed to create a barrier to water, balancing low permeability with other critical properties such as flexibility, gloss and color retention, and adhesion, all without the use of VOCs or anticorrosive pigments.

The company’s third launch, PLIOTEC WPM120, is a latex for waterproofing, damp proofing and crack prevention membranes. The product combines superior water resistance, excellent tensile strength and good elongation properties. When formulated into a coating, PLIOTEC WPM120 features superior resistance to hydrostatic pressure and water absorption. In tests, the product outperformed commercially available membrane coating products, demonstrating that it is ideal for use in waterproofing and damp proofing coatings. It also can be used in barrier coatings to reduce crack transmission in tile and stone floors, and as a moisture vapor barrier under all types of floor coverings.

OMNOVA also introduced MOR-SHINE® CSG surface guard product. The product has been specially synthesized for polished concrete floors and uses custom polymers, specially designed to react with inorganic materials in the coating, which work in concert to deliver a never-before-seen quality of shine and protection for this application.

Many existing surface guard products provide a simple clear or pigmented polymeric topcoat film that changes the appearance of the polished concrete floor. These topcoats can create unsightly build-up in low-traffic areas, while wearing down quickly in high-traffic areas. Sealers, on the other hand, penetrate into the floor to protect while avoiding build up, but they fall short on durability and protection for some common stains.    

The American Coatings Show will return to Indianapolis, IN in 2018, from April 10 to 12, and the American Coatings Conference will be held from April 9 to 11, 2018.