Powder coatings, as the name suggest is a form of paint in the powder form. Powder coatings are made by grinding a mixture of resins, pigments, and curative among others to from a powder and are then sprayed onto the surface to be coated. The surface is then heated in an oven which melts the powder, resulting in a smooth even coat. There are various technologies used to spray the powder onto the surface depending on the requirement of the application. Fluidized bed, electrostatic spray, electrostatic fluidized bed and powder curing are the most commonly used methods deployed for powder coatings. Thermosets and thermoplastics are the two types of powder coatings applied with the latter having the advantage of reusability. Powder coatings have numerous advantages over conventional liquids such as high-quality finish, higher resistance to corrosion, chipping and abrasion and protection from chemicals, moisture, and heat. Also powder, coatings are solvents free resulting in negligible emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) which in turn makes these products environmental friendly. This results in organizations such as the EPA and REACHES promoting the use of powder coatings over conventional materials.
The key applications of powder coatings include consumer goods, automotive, architecture, furniture and general industry where there is a growing demand for superior quality products. Consumer goods emerged as the leading application segment and accounted for 22.1% of total market volume in 2013. However, automotive is expected to be the fastest growing application segment for powder coatings at an estimated CAGR of 7.7% from 2014 to 2020. Powder coatings have been experiencing rapid growth in automobile industry due to the increased focus of external appearance of high-end cars. The growing automotive industry in Asia Pacific coupled with the increasing spending power of the regions results in augmented demand for high-end luxury cars. This has resulted in an increased demand for powder coatings. However, powder coatings cannot be employed in places where thin coatings are needed as they tend to peel off due to the high curing temperature. Use of powder coatings in furniture is a relatively unexplored market. However, with the multiple advantages offered by powder coatings, it is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of powder coatings due to the presence of automotive and electronic manufacturing industries in the region. Asia Pacific accounted for 45.8% of total market volume in 2013. Also, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing regional market for powder coatings at an estimated CAGR of 8.5% from 2014 to 2020. China is the largest automotive producer in the world and is also the largest consumer of powder coatings. In addition the developing economies of India, Brazil and Russia are expected to be the key consumers over the forecast period on account of the developing consumer goods market in the region. North America and Europe are mature markets for powder coatings and are expected to grow at a relatively sluggish rate over the forecast period.
The global market for powder coatings is fragmented with top four companies including AkzoNobel, PPG, Sherwin William and DuPont accounting for over 30% of total market in 2013. Some of the other companies operating in the global market include BASF, Valspar, Nippon Paint, Kansai Paints and Jotun among some other companies.
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