Home / What. Products / Low-VOC product portfolio

Zeroing in on a low-VOC product portfolio

At Beckers, we thrive on reducing our environmental impact across the entire value chain. Our Industrial Coatings (IC) business is just one example.

It is highly diverse and serves a broad spectrum of customers. Some want to use our paint to extend the lifetime of their equipment. Others want to apply our IC offerings to their products to improve the look and tactility for their own end users.

Regardless of its purpose, the paint is always applied as a spray. When our customers apply a coating during their production process, the paint is atomized into tiny droplets. As this happens, some of the solvents in the paint evaporate. The remainder evaporates as the paint hits the surface and during subsequent medium-temperature flash-off and baking, which produces a homogeneous coating. But what happens with the solvents that evaporate? Some customers have equipment to treat them through, for example, combustion using afterburners. But it is hard to stop all solvents escaping into the atmosphere. Emissions of these volatile organic compounds (VOC) together with CO2 emissions remain an issue for the industry.

Paint manufacturers have two common ways to reduce VOC emissions: by making waterborne or high-solids products. These approaches are currently driving innovation and development at Beckers' Industrial Coatings. And to achieve the highest possible VOC reductions, we work along our entire value chain, for example, through joint development with raw material suppliers and customers.

With key customers starting to restrict the VOC content in the products, Beckers is moving towards ultra-high solids technologies.

We offer high-performance waterborne and high-solid coatings

Restrictions on VOC emissions differ from country to country. To minimize lead times from product development to market and serve our global customers, we work in cross-sectional and multinational projects between IC’s technical teams. Beckers has a global commitment to serve our customers and drive our sustainability strategy forward. With key customers starting to restrict the VOC content in each layer and their system overall, our team is driving their innovation towards ultra-high solids (UHS) technologies. In the UK and France, we are also working with both ACE and Railway to jointly develop UHS technologies.

However, the big focus of our technical teams is to develop and offer high-performance waterborne coatings, such as a full range of high-solids waterborne basecoats for APE or a full portfolio for Railway.

There remain several technical challenges that need to be addressed when aiming for low-VOC products. Because resins are the principal component in the paint, their solid content has a direct impact on the VOC content of the paint. High-solids resins are commonly based on polymers of low molecular weight. This, in turn, affects the viscosity of the samples and has a negative impact on properties like sag-resistance. As a result, finding the right balance between solid content and overall performance is one of the areas of focus for the Long-Term Research Group of Beckers, Industrial Coatings.

Other interesting stories