This year’s International Coatings Expo (ICE) truly took on an international flavor in the beautiful city of Toronto.

This year’s International Coatings Expo (ICE) truly took on an international flavor in the beautiful city of Toronto. The theme for ICE 2007, which was held October 3-5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, was “Clean – Lean – Green.” Joseph Pontoski, Executive Director of the FSCT, said, “Overall, I am extremely pleased with the show. The quantity and quality of attendees far exceeded most peoples’ expectations. One of the reasons that Toronto was selected as the venue for ICE 2007 was to draw a more international audience. We achieved that, with strong representation from Canadian companies, as well as visitors from 42 countries.”   

While the number of exhibitors and attendees was noticeably down at this year’s event, and booths were generally smaller, the phrase heard the most on the exhibit floor was “pleasantly surprised.” Wednesday’s show hours were devoted entirely to the exhibits. For the first time, there were no technical presentations or short courses taking place during this time, which had a positive impact on exhibitors. Steward Rissley, National Sales Manager for SPX Process Equipment, said of the first day of the show, “We had a great day – the most leads at an ICE show that I can remember.” He was happy with the number of international attendees. “There are people here from South Africa, South America, Mexico and Canada. I would say that over 90% of our leads are not from the United States.”

Those that did exhibit were there to show their commitment to the industry. Holly Seese, Global Marketing Communication Manager for Celanese Corp. said, “We will be wherever the industry calls us. This show is very important to us.” She explained that Celanese has a large Canadian business, which they also wanted to support. Celanese underscored its commitment to the North American paint and coatings market by presenting a range of emulsion polymer technologies that deliver key performance attributes in architectural coatings for the DIY and contractor markets. Products featured included Celovit® 1774, a vinyl acetate/ethylene (VAE) polymer emulsion for low-VOC, low-odor interior paints; and Resyn® 7480, a vinyl acrylic emulsion for high-quality interior paints with excellent scrub resistance.

King Industries introduced 12 products at its “Extreme Formula Makeover” booth. Two products particularly followed the green theme. K-KAT XK-601 is an experimental bismuth carboxylate catalyst designed for epoxy and blocked isocyanates and two-component urethane coatings. It can replace many heavy metal and/or toxic catalysts used in the production of urethane elastomers, foams and coatings. K-KAT XK-604 is a catalyst for the reaction of isocyanates and polyols with hydroxyl groups used in the production of cast elastomers. It is a proprietary mixed organometallic complex specially formulated to be an alternative to mercury catalysts without the toxicity concerns.

Troy Corp. launched its ‘Gold Standard in Material Protection’ campaign at ICE. The new corporate image is designed to reflect the company’s leadership role in technological advancement, quality and environmental stewardship. Troy was also pleased with the quality and pace at ICE. Marie Williams, Director, Corporate Marketing Services at Troy, said, “The quality of leads is very good. People are coming in with specific problems, and I have the time to sit down with them and discuss their issues.”

Troy continues to answer the call for environmentally friendlier options with its Polyphase products. Polyphase® 678 is a zero-VOC dry film preservative offering full-spectrum fungal control in architectural and wood coatings. It provides long-lasting protection against fungi, mildew, staining and wood rot, while offering safe handling properties and zero VOC. Polyphase 663, a broad-spectrum, zero-VOC dry film preservative, offers protection against marring and premature failure of coatings caused by algal and fungal attack. It is engineered to offer protection of exterior coatings in climates in which the algal and fungal threats are severe.

Q-Lab Corp.’s Patrick Brennan, Senior Vice President, said that they didn’t think twice about exhibiting at ICE. “We need to be here. This is our home market. We hope to establish new relationships and further develop current ones.” In addition to featuring its range of material durability testing products and services, Q-Lab focused on its upcoming International Automotive Weathering Technology Symposium.

International Specialty Products Inc. (ISP) introduced two new green products from its CleanGuard™ family of biocides, fungicides and algaecides. Fungitrol® 920 is a 20% water-based dispersion of IPBC that offers no-VOC, low-odor, broad-spectrum protection against degradation, discoloration and defacement caused by mold, mildew and algae. “With Fungitrol 920, we have put widely accepted IPBC (3-iodo-2-propynyl butylcarbamate) in a water-based carrier system, eliminating any solvent issues, including their cost,” stated Ray Fahmy, ISP Manager, North America Marketing, Biocides. “At the same time, its pH level is close to neutral (5 to 6), so there is no issue with skin corrosiveness.”

However, many paint companies currently using 30% or 40% IPBC solvent-based fungicides are reluctant to modify their formulations. With that in mind, for 2008 ISP is introducing 30% and 40% water-based dispersions of IPBC. These new additions will enable direct replacement of 30% or 40% IPBC solvent-based fungicides with no need for formulation modification.

The second product that ISP launched, Nuosept® 498, is an aqueous dispersion of BIT, a non-metallic, non-chlorinated, formaldehyde-free biocide. In 2008, ISP will be expanding the Nuosept line with multi-active, broad-spectrum industrial biocides.

At its booth, Datacolor offered demonstrations of MATCH AFX software, which is designed to significantly reduce color development time and cost. The product uses precise measurements and new mathematical models of wood and pigment behavior to deliver better first-recipe matching for pigmented and translucent wood stains. It uses measurements of color examples to learn characteristics of different wood species, accurately predicting their effects on final color, and continues to learn with each successive use, increasing its effectiveness and refining color formula predictions.

Cognis presented LOXANOL® EFC 100, an emission-free coalescent that was developed for coatings formulations with less than 50 g/l VOC. It is produced from renewable raw materials and can replace traditional VOC-contributing coalescents.

Also on display at the Cognis booth were Disponil® green surfactants. The Disponil FES, Disponil A and Disponil AFX surfactants are characterized by being biodegradable, alkyl phenol free, based on renewable resources, and contain low to moderate toxicity.

Micro Powders exhibited its specialty line of micronized wax additives. New product technologies included Propylfluo 824, a combination of high-melt-point polymeric polypropylene and PTFE for matting and gloss control with surface lubricity and abrasion resistance. This product can be easily dispersed into water-based systems with high-speed dispersion equipment. The AquaTex series, which are micronized, high-density polyolefins manufactured using special equipment to provide a unique texturing agent, impart a smoother “feel” than other types of texturing agents due to their rounded, almost spherical shape. The MicrospeX series is a blend of compounded, high-molecular-weight, pigmented polyolefin polymers. The different color portions of the MicrospeX products vary in particle size, creating unique visual effects.

Commenting on ICE, Micro Powders’ Marketing Manager Toni–Raye Gizzo, said, “Considering the attendance of both exhibitors and attendees was lower than usual, the quality of the people stopping by our booth was very good. We experienced some slow spots from time-to-time, but overall we were pleased with the results that we had this year.”

In 2008, ICE heads to Chicago, which will be its permanent home on an every-other-year schedule. According to Pontoski, “Our expectations for ICE 2008 are very high, since the industry has strongly indicated that Chicago is the preferred venue for a North American trade show and conference. We are looking forward to ICE returning to the every-other-year schedule in Chicago and are in the process of developing another world-class educational event.”