26 Jun 2012
Firms are looking to make architectural powder coaters less energy-intensive as part of an effort to make sustainability a key focus.
Architectural coatings protect and enhance buildings, but at the same time they also use large amounts of petroleum, water and energy.
With an ever-increasing focus on the environment across industries, it is no surprise that makers of powder coaters are looking to make their products greener.
According to a new report by Lux Research, environmental imperatives mean that sustainability of architectural coatings is increasingly vital, and their role in building energy efficiency is growing with the widespread acceptance of building standards such as LEED and NZEB.
Under the study, Lux devised a 'sustainability grid' that measures sustainability along three dimensions - environmental impact, energy efficiency and resource efficiency.
"Sustainable coatings technologies reduce the energy, resource and environmental impact of paints and coatings, but often get confused with 'greenwashed' unsustainable alternatives," said Aditya Ranade, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report, Painting a Green Future: Opportunities in Sustainable Architectural Coatings.
"Sustainable coating technologies are moving beyond low volatile organic compound (VOC) content to include advances in additives like surfactants and coalescing agents, as well as energy-impacting coatings like cool roofs and even solar paints."
Using the sustainability grid, analysts looked at both established and emerging powder coatings technologies and found a number of interesting facts.
The grid identified seven distinct technologies with green credentials, including elastomeric cool roofs, low e-coatings and paint recycling.
"Thermally responsive coatings that turn from white to black, such as those from Creative Material Technologies and Thermeleon, are set to expand the geographic footprint of cool roofs. The technology is years away from becoming mainstream but has high potential," Lux said in s statement.
Solar paints, however, were described as a "long shot". There are several new technologies that allow for the 'spraying' of solar cell coatings onto buildings, but they are hampered from extremely low (two per cent) efficiency relative to incumbent solar PV (13 per cent to 15 per cent) and most are still in lab development.
Posted by Jack Painter