Plastic coatings are used in various applications in different sectors such as automotive, oil & gas, building & construction, electronics, aerospace and defense. Some Functional uses of plastic coatings include corrosion inhibition, abrasion resistance, thermal resistance, chemical resistance, UV resistance, lubrication, mechanical property enhancement, surface finish, and esthetics. Implementation of higher number of environmentally-friendly regulations is expected to encourage manufacturers in the coatings industry to opt for water-based plastic coatings.
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Plastic coatings can be classified based on their application into architectural coatings, industrial coatings, and special purpose coatings. Architectural coatings account for around 50% share of the global coatings industry. These include consumer paints. Industrial coatings are used at the time of manufacture of products. Special coatings comprise a wide range of functional coatings and can be sub-divided into automotive refinish coatings, industrial maintenance coatings, traffic marking paints, and marine paints. Plastic coatings can be applied to substrates in many ways. These include chemical & electrochemical techniques, spraying, roll-to-roll coating, and spin coating.
Polyurethane, polyester, epoxy, and PTFE are the most widely used plastic coatings. PU coatings are recommended for application on surfaces requiring good wear resistance along with excellent chemical & physical resistance. Epoxy coatings are harder, more durable, and possess higher compression strength than polyurethanes; however, they have lower resistance to abrasion and low freezing temperature. Polyester coatings are widely used to provide wear & tear resistance, water resistance, and chemical resistance to wood. They also possess the fastest curing time. PTFE coatings have high temperature and chemical resistance and low surface energy. Thus, they are ideal materials to be used in ‘non-stick’ applications. Chlorinated rubber coatings are employed in marine environments, as they are resistant to salts, alkalis, mineral oils, moisture, and fungal growth. Various plastics incorporated with carbon particles or metallic particles are used in conductive coatings or EMI shielding. Other applications of plastic coatings include barrier protection, antiglare, super hydrophobicity, anti-contamination, and esthetic finishes.
Increase in demand for plastic coatings in the automotive end-use segment is anticipated to drive the plastic coatings market in the next few years. Europe accounts for significant share of the plastic coatings market due to the rise in demand from automobile manufacturers concentrated in the region. Consumption of protective plastic coatings is high in Asia Pacific primarily due to the prevalence of hot and wet climatic conditions and increase in oil & gas and mining activities in the region. Plastic coatings are predominantly used in China due to the rapid growth of the civil and marine industries in the country. The per capita consumption of plastic coatings in India remains low with only architectural paints being widely used. These factors coupled with renewed focus on industrialization in India under the ‘Make in India’ campaign make plastic coatings one of the most highly attractive growth markets in Asia Pacific. Japan and Taiwan are key players in the plastic coatings market as they are one of the leading manufacturers of electricals and electronics. The outlook of the plastic coatings market in the U.S appears positive, due to the recovery of construction and automobile industries from the economic recession of 2008. In addition, water based coatings are expected to become increasingly used as manufacturers seek solutions to the recent environmental regulations against polluting petroleum based coatings.
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Key players operating in the plastic coatings market are Bayer SE, PPG Industries, Eastman, Azko Nobel, Sherwin-Williams, Bayer A.G, Axalta Coating Systems, Kansai Painting Co,. Ltd, Asian Paints, and RPM International Inc.