Legislation has done quite a good deal to promote waterbased systems in many applications. And to a certain extent market forces these systems as the buying public has embraced low-VOC water-based technology. This has led coatings producers to manufacture what the customer requests. But will this mean an end for solventbased systems?
A niche will remain for solventbased paints and coatings for the foreseeable future, as they cannot be completely replaced by their less toxic waterbased counterparts yet, as for instance in the can and coil coating market. During the European Coatings Conference Market Day “Coil and Can Coatings” experts showed that solventborne systems still play an important part and the adoption of waterborne systems is only gradual. The fact that coatings tend to be applied in a controlled environment providing for solvent abatement supports VOC compliance. The switch to low VOC technologies usually requires capital equipment investment, thus the use of waterborne systems tends to be introduced when new application lines are commissioned. Therefore, the ‘old dog’ will have further time to be around.