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Waterbornes to Drive Coating Comeback

Thursday, September 13, 2012

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The U.S. paint and coatings market has finally been given a light at the end of the tunnel.

To be sure, the light will shine brighter for some segments than others, but after four grim years, the market is now on track for a “full recovery” by the end of 2012 and a decade of “steady growth” after that, according to a new industry forecast.

 The Union Railroad Bridge over the Des Moines River.

 Principia Financial Group

Construction projects should help coatings rebound from years of decline.  The Union Railroad Bridge, over the Des Moines River, was restored to its original “caboose red” color in 2006, just before the bottom fell out of the market.

Significant growth in water-based paints and coatings will lead the turnaround, according to Paints and Coatings, U.S. Market - 2nd Edition, a new report by heavy industry publisher SBI.

SBI estimated the value of the U.S. paints and coatings market $22.1 billion in 2011. The reviving U.S. economy and other factors should bring that figure to near $30 billion in 2021.

Market Pressures, Potential

Many factors are shaping the market. As the number of construction projects increases, consumers are resuming spending; and as the demand for industrial production is raised, the paints and coatings market will benefit, the report says.

At the same time, a number of factors are inhibiting market growth, such as more stringent environmental regulations and higher raw-material prices. Such factors are expected to exert varying influences on specific segments of the market.

The U.S. market currently consists of a wide range of solvent-based and water-based formulas, as well as powder coatings, for building, maintenance and remodeling of architectural structures; automobile coating, repair and refinish; specialty coatings for the marine, aerospace, road and bridge industries; industrial coatings that protect large machinery, equipment parts, coils and sheets; and OEM products for furniture, appliances and packaging finishes.

More Housing, More House Paint

Architectural paints and coatings make up the majority of the U.S. market, which has historically been dominated by Sherwin-Williams. The growth forecast for the construction and remodeling industries will also yield increases for paints and coatings , according to SBI.

"Architecture produced roughly 736.4 million gallons of paints in 2011," said Shelley Carr, publisher of SBI. "Increases in the U.S. population will see the construction of more housing."

Going Green

The regulatory and consumer push to go green has inspired a whole new breed of paints and coatings, SBI reports.

“Emerging environmentally friendly products include everything from VOC-free and allergy-sensitive interior house paints to self-repairing automobile paints and exterior architectural paints that reflect sunlight,” the report says. “This greening trend will likely continue for some time, especially since these friendlier coatings often help to save money as well.”
Solvent-based paints and coatings made up nearly 80% of the paints and coatings market in 2011, but that segment will be on the decline over the next decade, to the benefit of water-based paints, according to SBI.

Currently, environmentally friendly paints are the driving trend in consumer attitudes and regulations, paving the way for a growing market in that segment. The demand is being led by architecture and the automotive industry, which is looking for more-efficient paints that require fewer solvents and coats, as well as less energy in application.

"The shift towards water-based paints is an easy plus for companies looking to move towards green initiatives," adds Carr. "There are a handful of new technologies, as well, that reflect sunlight to keep buildings cooler, contain less solvents, and are asthma/allergy friendly."

About the Report

The information in the report was gathered from trade associations; business, science and law journals; company literature and websites; interviews with key individuals, research services and institutes; and government agencies.

The report includes historical trends, growth drivers and influences, and profiles of major market players, including Benjamin Moore, Aremco Products, BASF SE, Kelly-Moore Paint, and Nippon Paint Co.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Benjamin Moore; Sherwin-Williams; Solventborne coatings; Waterborne coatings

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