Kent Young of Sherwin-Williams (SW) and Lee Orr of the United Soybean Board co-delivered the first keynote address at the American Coatings Conference, titled Bio-Based Coatings Technology: Collaborative Research With Supply-Chain Partners. SW and the USB recently completed a multi-year partnership developing a new coating using soybean oil and recycled PET bottles. This water-based, bio-hybrid technology applies and performs like a solventborne product, but is a waterborne coating. Multiple products have been launched using this new technology, both for decorative architectural and industrial coatings. The product has won the Green Chemistry Award.

Orr gave a very interesting explanation of what the United Soybean Board does and its role in the coatings industry. Young covered current drivers for green chemistry, including regulations, necessity (raw material costs and availability), market demands for transparency and accountability, and “green” standards and certifications. He also shared a timeline showing the “greening” of the U.S. paint industry, showing the transition from solvent-based to water-based and now to next-generation hybrid technologies.

Both SW and the USB encourage innovative partnerships, which can help bring new technologies to market.