Image: FOUNDATION ARMOR
U.S. coatings consumption was 8.4 billion lbs solids (dry weight) worth $26.6 billion in 2015, and is growing at a mature 1% annual rate, according to “The U.S. Paint & Coatings Industry, 2015-2020,” a recent study from Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney. The architectural segment leads in volume with 47% of the dry weight and is equal to the OEM segment in value, with each representing 38% of the value. The OEM segment was 28% of the dry poundage. Special-purpose coatings were just over one-quarter of the volume and 24% of the value. The coatings industry is still recovering from the effects of the 2009 recession, with volume off more than 10% from the 2006 total.
The coatings industry continues to move to more environmentally friendly products. Water-based technology has gained share in the last 20 years, rising from 47% of the dry volume in 1996 to a 57% share in 2015. The water-based share of architectural paints has risen from 76% in 1996 to 83% in 2015; OEM’s share has increased from 23 to 30%, and special-purpose coatings have grown from 22 to 44%.
In the OEM segment, powder technology has grown from 14% of the dry volume in 1996 to 22% in 2015. Radiation-cured technology remains a small percentage of the OEM volume, but it has grown from 3% of the volume to 5%. Figure 1 summarizes the historical change in coatings technology.
Alkyds remain the largest-volume solvent-based coating, with 27% of the solids in 2015. They continue to lose share in solvent-based technology, but new technology has increased alkyd activity in water-based formulations. Polyurethanes and epoxies each capture 9-10% of the solvent-based dry volume. Polyurethanes are the leader in value, with a 21% share, and epoxies behind at 10%. Acrylics comprised 7% of the solvent-based weight, but their share of value is 19%. In water-based technology, acrylic and vinyl-acrylic based products predominate and combined for three-quarters of the dry weight and two-thirds of the value. Water-based alkyds, epoxies and polyurethanes are a small percentage of the volume but a higher percentage of the value.