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Coatings World Hosts Expert Panel Discussion At Waterborne Symposium

The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) held its 44th Annual International Waterborne, High-Solids and Powder Coatings Symposium February 19-24 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Waterborne Symposium is a technical forum for environmentally friendly coatings technologies. Proceeds from the symposium are used by USM for various elements of academic program development including junior faculty development, graduate student stipends, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and especially scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in Polymer Science. Most of these students enter the coatings or related polymer industries upon graduation. These scholarships are key to USM’s efforts to recruit the highest-achieving students into their Polymer program.

This year’s event had 400 registered attendees and featured 47 talks organized into seven sessions related to various aspects of surface coatings: waterborne, additives, polymerization, general, high solids and powder coatings.

Dale Pritchett, publisher of Coatings World, moderated the panel discussion. This year’s panel was titled “Look Beyond the Surface: How Polymers Define Inks, Coatings and Personal Care.” 

“The Expert Panel discussion sponsored by Coatings World at the 2017 Waterborne Symposium was a unique event,” said Pritchett. “Three technical scientists were on the panel representing the ink market, the coatings market and the cosmetic market.  These three different industries are bound by the same surface chemistry. The panelists were Dr. Juanita M. Parris, global director of  R&D  for  Material  and  Analytical  Science at Sun Chemical Corporation; Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief manager, product development at Asian Paints Limited and Dr. XianZhi (Joe) Zhou a global applied research leader at L’Oreal. Attendees and students in the audience were able to hear first-hand what challenges they face in their respective markets in bringing their customers’ needs into commercially viable products.”

This year’s panel focused on the similarities of waterborne technologies being utilized in the coatings, inks and personal care sectors. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from experts in these industries regarding the technology that is driving the market.

Parris’ discussion was titled “Polymer Innovation Needs” and focused on driving the future of innovation. According to Parris, innovations in the ink industry need to be industrially scalable and balance cost effectiveness and time constraints. She spoke about the need for viable replacements for Bisphenol A and Aziridene Crosslinker.

Jain of Asian Paints presented “Coatings Research Outlook in Today’s Environment” and focused on the continuing shift from solventborne coatings technologies to waterborne technologies. According to Jain, there are a number of technologies fueling innovation. “These include hybrids, high solids, smart coatings and renewable and bio-based monomers,” he concluded.

Zhou’s presentation was an overview of the chemistry L’Oreal utilizes to develop nail polish and the move to more water-based technologies. According to Zhou, there are similarities between nail polish and other personal care items and coatings. “The biggest difference is that we are dealing with a substrate that is alive,” he noted. “But we are still looking for the same properties as coatings manufacturers. These include adhesion, scratch resistance, chemical and wear resistance, rheology and gloss.”