Tag Archives: Arkema

Checking 3D Printing’s Pulse at the 2017 RAPID+TCT Conference and Exhibit

Lux Research recently attended the RAPID+TCT Accelerating 3D Manufacturing event, which brought more than 330 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees together for four days of keynotes, technical sessions, and networking. RAPID had over 100 more exhibitors than the 2016 event, covering every aspect of the additive manufacturing value chain. From materials suppliers to system providers, here are the top five takeaways with impact assessment, which includes a list of the five most notable companies at this year’s event.

1. Leading chemicals and materials companies were present, demonstrating increased interest in this market opportunity for metals, thermoplastics, and additives. Notable exhibitors included SABIC, Henkel, Covestro, Arkema, Praxair, and Sandvik. Continue reading

Which New Sustainable Architectural Coatings Technologies Are Likely to Stick?

Sustainable architectural coatings technologies offer a lower impact on energy, natural resources, and/or the environment. Yet they often get confused with “greenwashed” unsustainable alternatives. This week’s graphic comes from Lux Research’s latest Sustainable Building Materials report (Client registration required) that, among other things, provides a modified Lux Innovation Grid to assess which emerging coating technologies are best positioned to combine sustainability and end-user value into a winning market reception. We survey some of the candidate technologies here.

First-generation low-VOC technologies – like waterborne acrylics and polyurethanes – have gone mainstream. But challenges remaining around gloss retention, durability, and processability have driven development of new technologies, such as waterborne alkyd coatings from Reichhold Coatings and waterborne epoxies from Cytec Industries. More established low-VOC technologies, such as 100% solid content powder coatings, have also received a shot in the arm with the development of polyurea coatings, whose tunable rheological properties make them more processable.

Cool roofs could become a future winner, thanks to thermally responsive optical coatings. Elastomeric cool-roof coatings are commercially available and produced at scale, landing them a spot among current winners even though their application remains limited to hot climates. However, their thermally responsive cousins, such as those from Creative Material Technologies and Thermeleon, turn from “white” to “black,” potentially expanding the geographic footprint of cool roofs.

Several new technologies enabling solar cell coatings to effectively be sprayed on buildings offer attractive processability and yield. But the 2% conversion efficiency of these solar paints is very low relative to conventional solar panels (13% to 15%), suggesting such coatings will remain a curiosity.

Coatings that enhance durability such, as those based on Bayhydrol polyols and isccynates from Bayer, provide a tangible benefit to the end user while the increased product life translates into reduced resource consumption. Self-healing coatings offer similar promise. But only a handful of start-ups, including Autonomic Materials, are pursuing the technology.

“Reduce, reuse, and recycle” technologies help minimize a coating’s environmental impact and its overall cost to end users, earning such technologies a spot in the Win-Win Quadrant. Examples include coatings with enhanced hiding power such as EVOQUE and ROPAQUE from Dow Chemical and Celcor from Arkema. Both reduce material consumption by as much as 20%.

Source: Lux Research report “Painting a Green Future: Opportunities in Sustainable Architectural Coatings.”

Nanocyl enters the multi-walled nanotube scale-up race

Nanocyl recently announced that it plans to increase its multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT) capacity from 40 tons/year to 400 tons/year by July 2010.

Thus, Nanocyl joins the scale-up race started by other competitors profiled in our Nanomaterials Journal, including Showa Denko, CNano, Bayer MaterialScience and Arkema (client registration required). Assuming its plans materialize, Nanocyl aims to expand global production capacity further to approximately 2,200 tons in 2011, almost 2.5 times greater than this year’s capacity.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the MWNT market is expanding at such a rate, because none of the suppliers listed are operating at 100% utilization. In fact, we typically hear single-digit percent utilization is the norm. This imbalance of demand and supply brings joy to the ears – and pockets – of customers who incorporate MWNTs, since prices should start to fall from the $200/kg range – for standard grade MWNTs – to expected lows of approximately $50/kg. The producers, of course, are betting that this price drop will ultimately broaden the application base and allow them to drive up utilization and eventually become profitable. But it’s still quite possible that the markets will continue to develop slowly, and weaker manufacturers will get burned.

Stay tuned as we monitor the MWNT space, and keep a lookout for an upcoming Nanomaterials State of the Market report devoted to carbon nanotubes in early 2010.