Tier 1 Players Sell Nearly 50% of All Coating Solvents
Coating solvents market continues to remain clustered among Tier 1 players, who currently account for nearly 50% share of global sales. Expanding their regional footprint is a key strategy of these players which has led to several collaborations, partnerships, and acquisition activities with emerging players with innovative products.
Tier-1 players such as BASF SE and The Dow Chemical Company are strengthening their go-to market strategies for reaching target customers. The coating solvents market will remain moderately fragmented among Tier 2 and Tier 3 players, wherein strategic partnerships with leading players and product innovation for tapping latent opportunities are key expansion strategies.
Bio-based Coating Solvents Gain Emphasis Abreast Sustainability
Prevailing trends, including environment-friendly, green, and sustainability have led to regulatory evolutions in the coatings industry. This in turnhas led to increase in content of bio-based raw materials such as solvents in coating formulations. Several paints and surface coatings currently available in the market bear labels such as “eco-friendly” and “environmental friendly”, alluding at rising demand for bio-based solvents. This niche form of solvents currently holds just over 10% of the coating solvents sales, however bio-based solvents are expected to witness rapid growth in demand, according to the European Solvents Industry Group (ESIG).
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High Traction of Water-borne Coatings
Solvent-based coatings have traditionally remained the first preference among various industrial sectors and coatings manufacturers alike, owing to their cost-effective, yet attractive, durable finish. However regulations on VOC content, and environmental impact of solvent-based coatings have led the end-use industries and manufacturers to focus on the use of water-borne coatings. Very low solvent emissions, and excellent mechanical properties and resilience, are key attributes of water-borne coatings that are driving their adoption.
Polyurethane dispersions and water-based self-crosslinking emulsions are gradually replacing their solvent-based counterparts in various end-use industries. Additionally, water-borne UV curable coatings are becoming popular choices for industrial applications, as these ensure excellent block resistance post-cure, thereby facilitating stacking, packaging, and shipping of coated parts directly from the production lines.
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Impact of Environment Regulations
Coating solvents are expected to witness confinements of regulations imposed by environment regulatory authorities such as EPA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs). NESHAPs has listed several solvents according to their environmental footprint, which has resulted in restrictions in application of these coating solvents. Additionally, programs such as the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) for reducing air pollution further put constraints on use of solvents, which has become mandatory for coatings formulators and end-users to comply with. These regulations will continue to impact prospects of the coating solvents in the near future, in turn driving demand for alternatives such as water-borne coatings and bio-based coating solvents.
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