Global Scenario in Paint Industry

The paints and coatings industry consists of manufacturers of paints, varnishes, lacquers, shellacs and stains. It includes two distinct subsectors—architectural and industrial—which are about equal in size in terms of value of shipments. The architectural coatings subsector depends heavily on the performance of the construction sector, whereas industrial coatings are linked closely to the automotive, major appliance and industrial equipment sectors.
Architectural coatings include interior and exterior house paints, primers, sealers, varnishes and stains. They are sold to contractors and the general public through retail and wholesale outlets as well as direct to large commercial accounts. A large and growing portion of retail sales is through large chains such as Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart and Home Depot, largely in the form of private-label brands.
Industrial coatings include automotive paints, can coatings, coil coatings, furniture finishings and road-marking paints. Most of these products are sold direct to the end user.
Paints and coatings are formulated products. The base material, known as the binder, is the film-forming ingredient that largely determines the performance characteristics of the coating. In the past, binders were natural products such as linseed or soybean oils. Today, to achieve higher performance, almost all binders are synthetic polymers, including high-volume resins such as alkyds, acrylics, vinyls, epoxies and urethanes, or lower-volume specialty resins such as polyesters, phenolics and silicones. The binder is compounded with fillers to extend the product, pigments to impart colour and solvents to control viscosity. Small quantities of a large number of other chemicals, such as thickeners, biocides, plasticizers, dispersants, defoamers, ultraviolet absorbers, driers, emulsifiers and adhesion promoters, are added as required in each formulation.
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