The 2010 American Coatings Show & Conference wrapped up on April 15, and the general consensus of the organizers as well as all whom PCI staff spoke with was that the event was a success. Numbers were up from 2008, with 328 exhibitors and about 6,700 overall participants (2008: 331/5,600).

At the trade show, exhibitors from 17 countries (2008: 14) displayed a comprehensive range of products on all aspects of coating formulation. Companies from abroad accounted for 23 percent of the exhibitors, and, in addition to the United States, leading countries represented at the show included China, Germany, Canada and India.

Featuring almost 100 presentations as well as 958 participants from 40 countries (2008: 750/25), the Conference had significantly more visitors than the premiere two years ago. At the Conference, the best presentation was honored with the American Coating Award. Consisting of a $2,500 cash prize and a small sculpture, the award was given to Oihana Elizalde, Stephan Amthor and Collin G. Moore (BASF) for their presentation on “Improving Waterborne Anticorrosion via New Binder Concepts.” In addition, the paper entitled “Role of Nanoparticle/Polymer Interface on Hybrid Coatings Performance,” by Xiaohung Gu (NIST) and her co-workers received the Roon Award for “Best Technical Paper” at the Plenary Session on Monday.

The first keynote address of the Conference was titled “Sustainable Coatings Chemistry: New Product Development through Partnership and Technical Innovation.” The paper was presented by Dennis Ryer, Product Manager for Liquid and Powder Resins, Cook Composites & Polymers, and Robert Enouen, Associate Director for Customer Business Development, Procter & Gamble. The second keynote address, titled “Sustaining Innovation and the Environment in Difficult Times,” was presented by Kenneth Perry, Technical Director, North American Automotive Coatings, BASF Corp. He talked about sustainability and the improvement of environmental footprints, as well as innovation of products and processes.

The most important technologies for current and future coatings formulations were hot topics at both the Exhibition and Conference. These included, but weren’t limited to, waterborne technology, low-VOC systems, smart coatings, reducing the environmental footprint, managing left-over paint, bio-based products, sustainability, nanotechnology, energy savings, integrated process and renewable resources. It is clear that “Green” technology has taken on even more of an emphasis in recent years.

An ACC survey revealed the top five most important future technologies according to delegates at the conference. In order from most important to least important, the results were: 1) waterborne, 2) functional/smart materials, 3) high solids, 4) nanomaterials and 5) UV/EB curing.

The Product Presentation booth on the Show floor featured back-to-back presentations hosted by nearly 60 companies throughout the three-day event. A wide variety of coatings topics were covered in-depth, with opportunities for questions following the speaker presentations. Attendees filled the seats in the booth, and there were often many more people standing in the back. A schedule of presentations was posted at the booth, making it very easy to plan your day.

Perhaps the most encouraging news at the show was that all of the exhibitors we spoke to see clear signs of the economy improving. Companies are seeing an increase in sales and projects for 2010. Everyone seemed very optimistic with the direction the industry is moving.

Please visit PCI’s American Coatings Show website at to read about many of the products and technologies that were exhibited at the show. Our Associate Editor, Karen Parker, blogged live from the show floor, and her reporting provides both informative and entertaining reading! We were truly impressed by both the creativity and the technology displayed at the booths. It was exciting to see the fruits of so much labor, both from the R&D perspective and the marketing side.

The American Coatings Show & Conference is organized by the American Coatings Association, Washington DC, and Vincentz Network, Hannover, Germany, and run by NürnbergMesse North America, based in Atlanta, GA. The next American Coatings Show & Conference will take place May 7-10, 2012 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. We’re already looking forward to it!