BOSTON – A new study by Lux Research reports that mismatched perceptions among coating developers and potential customers are slowing the market adoption of functional coatings.

“Functional coatings can significantly enhance the value proposition of the end product, but qualification time, cost and durability requirements often temper these benefits,” said Aditya Ranade, Lux Research Senior Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, Beyond Protection: Scouting for Hot Spots in the Emerging Functional Coatings Market.

Lux Research analysts examined four coating functionalities – hydrophobic, antimicrobial, photocatalytic and self-healing – for their applicability and disruptive potential, and assessed 53 innovative small- to medium-sized developers.

Analysts found that self-healing coatings are the most disruptive, but under-appreciated. Elastic clearcoats can repair scratches to automotive components, and mechano-responsive polymers offer game-changing functionality with their ability to anticipate cracks before they appear. However, most industries rate self-healing coatings as only moderately disruptive, pointing to missed opportunities.

Analysts also noted that two companies, Nanogate Technologies and Diamon-Fusion International, show commercial mettle in hydrophobic coatings. Besides solid technical value, both Nanogate Technologies and Diamon-Fusion International boast solid partnerships and positive momentum. The two firms topped Lux Research's rating of hydrophobic coating developers and are strong targets for aerospace, sporting goods and automotive industry players, which see hydrophobic coatings as impactful.

Strong market pull exists for antimicrobial coatings. Hospitals, food processing facilities, animal housing and children’s centers have a clear motivation to reduce spread of diseases, making antimicrobial coatings highly disruptive in the medical industry.

The report, titled Beyond Protection: Scouting for Hot Spots in the Emerging Functional Coatings Market, is part of the Lux Research Sustainable Building Materials Intelligence and the Advanced Materials Intelligence services.

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