February will be busy for the coatings industry, with both the Smart Coatings and the Waterborne symposiums being held at the end of the month.

According to a report from industry analysis firm NanoMarkets, the worldwide smart coatings market will grow from $363 million in 2013 to almost $3.0 billion in 2018. The report notes that because of their ability to quickly respond to external stimuli or resist extreme environments, smart coatings are finding new applications in several industry sectors, including construction, energy, automotive, medical, consumer electronic goods and the military. NanoMarkets believes that smart coatings will do especially well in markets such as the military, where quality and performance, rather than price, shape purchasing decisions. A dramatic shift in the markets for smart coatings in the next few years is expected. Currently, almost 70 percent of the revenues for smart coatings come from the construction and automotive industry sectors. By 2020, NanoMarkets expects this number to have fallen to 37 percent, with the energy sector emerging to account for 25 percent of all smart coatings sales.

The mission of Smart Coatings 2014, to be held February 26-28 in Orlando, is to provide a global intellectual platform to present and discuss groundbreaking work, stimulate new ideas, identify critical problems, provide promising solutions and assess possible roadmaps. The program features speakers from all around the world, from MIT and Harvard, to Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, to the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, and Universidade Federal do Paraná in Brazil.

Waterborne technology continues to be one of the largest areas of development in our industry. A new report from Research and Markets Ltd. estimates that in 2013, global green coatings demand is estimated to be worth nearly $64.2 billion and is expected to reach $85.7 billion by 2018, with a CAGR of 5.9 percent from 2013 to 2018. The green coatings market includes waterborne coatings, powder coatings, high-solids coatings and radiation cure coatings. 

The Waterborne Symposium has added the tagline, “Environmentally Friendly Coatings Technologies” to its event title, expanding its reach beyond just waterborne technology and encompassing all of the technologies under the “green” umbrella. Powder coatings, UV curing technology and zero-VOC colorants will all be covered at this year’s show, along with many presentations on additives and resins for waterborne coatings, and a short course on the challenges encountered in converting existing solventborne coating systems to water. The event will be held in New Orleans February 24-28.

 I look forward to seeing what new technology comes out of these shows, and hope to publish several papers from both of these events in upcoming issues of  PCI