The 2018 Powder Coating Summit (PC Summit) is now history, but the after effects will linger for some time. PCI Magazine partners with The Powder Coating Research Group to produce this annual event. This year’s PC Summit drew a record number of attendees (160 people, a 30% increase from last year) and exhibitors (51 exhibitors, up from 21 last year) to Columbus, Ohio, to immerse themselves in a convocation on emerging technology. The agenda boasted an assembly of preeminent powder coating experts covering fields as diverse as dye sublimation, corrosion inhibition and powder coil application. This laser-focused event caters to the materials technologist as well as the finishing engineer. The intimate setting provided ample opportunity for attendees to get to know one another and compare challenges to meet the emerging needs of the industrial coatings world.

The keynote speaker, John Claman of Intellifinishing, regaled the attendees with a cogent presentation on how the coatings industry lags behind other, more dynamic sectors in implementing Industry 4.0 protocols. His engaging manner allowed him to distill the complexities of the Internet of Things and how it provides advancements in data acquisition, information feedback loops and ultimately enhanced control over finishing processes. John’s talk was informative, but more importantly inspiring. I’m certain that the equipment engineers in the audience will be rethinking their approaches to systems controls.

Bob McShane of PowderCoil Technologies provided a riveting presentation on how recent developments in powder application science will launch the advent of commercial-scale powder coil coating. First he laid out a convincing argument for the performance advantages and emerging markets for powder coated coil. He then provided a thorough exposition of how the process works and what coating materials best deliver the performance and durability to entice finishing specifiers to embrace pre-coat powder coatings.

The next powder binder type appears to be on the not-too-distant horizon. Jeff Cafmeyer, a polymer scientist from Battelle Memorial Institute, presented an update on the bio-based resin technology he has been perfecting. This carboxyl functional polymer has an 84% bio-based content and can be cured with TGIC (tri-glyceride isocyanurate), HAA (hydroxyl alkyl amide) and Araldite™ PT-910. What’s more, it provides excellent low-temperature cure, making it a candidate for medium density fiberboard (MDF), composites and plastic. In addition, accelerated UV testing places it somewhere between super-durable polyester and fluoropolymer performance. This bio-based polymer technology is being introduced to traditional powder resin suppliers for their review and possible license.

Speakers not only emanated from the traditional regional bastions of Europe and North America, as Chris Barbe, Chief Technology Officer of Ceramisphere, Pty Ltd., hails from Sydney, Australia. He provided details on novel materials that significantly improve the corrosion resistance of powder coatings. His breakthrough technology is based on core-shell architecture that encases a functional corrosion inhibitor with a sol-gel-based matrix. This morphology is quite unlike the typical core-shell technology that employs the “ping-pong ball” structure of a hard polymer covering a low-molecular-weight material. Its durable outer layer matrix enables the powder coating technologist to incorporate these materials either pre- or post-extrusion. Activation of the corrosion-resistant functionality can be accomplished through rupture of the coating while in service or in the presence of water.

The 2018 PC Summit allowed material technologists, process engineers and commercial people to engage in two days of technical exchange, networking and bonding in a common goal of advancing powder coating performance and its introduction into new applications and markets. Look for information on the 2019 PC Summit early next year!