Viewpoint - April 2007

Congratulations are in order to the Vincentz group for once again sponsoring an outstanding coatings event – the European Coatings Show and Congress. It is indeed a most important forum for all in the industry. Its success speaks to the quality of the Congress (with approximately a thousand experts attending the 25 sessions) and the exhibitor community, which is over 700 strong. Future issues of PCI will bring you papers and insight into this event.

I just attended two important conferences: the Waterborne Symposium, sponsored by the University of So. Mississippi, School of Polymers and High Performance Materials; and Smart Coatings 2007, sponsored by Eastern Michigan University, Coatings Research Institute. Based on both of these, I can say that the industry is strong, healthy and quite innovative. Both of these events will be written up in greater detail in a later issue of PCI. Attendance at both was very good, with a technical audience that had active participation and discussion. This makes for a great set of conferences.

Waterborne has redefined itself after struggling through a couple of years of trying to serve all aspects of the industry. The focus this year narrowed to “Advances in Intelligent Coatings Design,” and that sparked the interest of the technocrats and the research community. The symposium had a “green” theme, with many of the presentations and much of the discussion centered on lowering VOCs through newer surfactant chemistries, new resins, functional groups and crosslinkers.

The Smart Coatings symposium has evolved over the years to a very good forum for stimulating new ideas and presenting innovative technology for smart coatings, such as those that respond to stimuli, are bioactive and self-healing, as well as nanotechnology-based coatings. Cutting-edge technology is always presented here, and the future looks quite exciting for coatings in many new technological areas. One cannot help but gain a sense of optimism regarding the future of coatings from this conference.

Our staff also attended PITTCON 2007 and, again, it is with the purpose of bringing you, our readers, the most up-to-date information on instrumentation and analysis equipment for coatings. We need to spend more time discussing these topics, as they are critical for the introduction and characterization of new raw materials and coatings – particularly important in this era of nanotechnology.

Hope to see you at an upcoming event!