Seeking More Durable and Easier-to-Clean Architectural Coatings
Ingrid K. Meier, Evonik Corporation’s head of applied research & technology for Decorative Coatings Americas, Coating Additives, addresses current trends and the latest raw material solutions for architectural coatings. More durable and easier-to-clean systems have been a demand for a while now, she says, and the challenges must be tackled by suppliers and paint manufacturers by working closer together.
What are current trends in architectural coatings?
Ingrid K. Meier: North American consumers were seeking more durable and easier-to-clean architectural coatings before the pandemic, and COVID-19 only heightened their desire for paints that can maintain their original appearance while resisting the damage that comes with the increased time they are spending in the home, as well as more frequent and aggressive cleaning of high-touch surfaces. In response, we are now seeing interior architectural coatings with improved burnish, scuff and mar resistance that can withstand more aggressive cleaning, due to their better scrub and chemical resistance.
What benefits do the latest raw material solutions offer?
Meier: Resin suppliers are continually developing new polymer binders that contribute to the improved properties of architectural coatings; however, some of the most significant advances in durability of interior architectural paints have been made possible by unique additive technology. Spherical particles, including spheroidal precipitated silicas, can be used as specialty fillers to provide burnish, scuff, mar, and scrub resistance. Siloxanes and silicone emulsion technology has also proved useful in improving stain, chemical and dirt pick-up resistance.
Some of the most significant advances in durability of interior architectural paints have been made possible by unique additive technology.
What are the current challenges for architectural coatings?
Meier: Blocking and dirt pick-up resistance remain challenges for low/near-zero VOC architectural coatings and are topics of current R&D projects for both suppliers and paint manufacturers. Additionally, as resin suppliers make improvements in their polymers to lower VOCs, remove substances of very high concern (SVHC), and increase coating performance, other issues like foam- and surface-tension control can emerge. Therefore, architectural coatings manufacturers need to work with additive suppliers to develop coatings that meet consumers’ demands for both attractive and durable paints.