The American Coatings Association (ACA), through its Science and Technology (S&T) Committee, is developing a series of Technology Roadmaps that aim to establish broad technical consensus on actionable research that is organized according to themes.

Through an open, collaborative, and consensus-based process, ACA staff and industry leaders seek to identify research needs that have the potential to advance industry sustainability and growth by informing manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, academic institutions, government research laboratories and other research organizations.

The first of these themes looks at the industry’s challenges in sustained use of critical materials for formulating both existing and emerging products.

The rigorous, multi-step analysis undertaken for this Technology Roadmap collected consensus-based input from a diverse set of industry experts using anonymous initial surveys followed by personal interviews to explore identified concepts for consideration. The resultant synthesis of potential consensus points was further refined by broader industry peer review. Key considerations included exploring the relevance and value of materials for coatings, the definition and communication of “safety,” the challenges of formulation and application, the importance of customer relationships, and the overall industry posture on emerging public policy with respect to product stewardship.

The key considerations offered in the findings of this Technology Roadmap include:

  • The broad formulary required by an industry producing a diverse product line for an expanding group of end users (for both industrial and consumer products);
  • The complicated “substitution process” for many unique raw materials;
  • The role of the supply chain in supporting procurement and manufacturing use of new materials;
  • End-user capacity for safe use and its relationship to product performance;
  • Coatings industry collaboration and transparency on advancing policies and science requirements for safe materials; and
  • Industry capacity for “proactive change,” and its acceptance by a diverse customer base.

A consensus vision statement was developed for the industry’s current and ongoing management of critical materials from consideration within this Technology Roadmap:

The coatings industry is recognized as a leader in supporting the underlying science and public policy for safe use of raw materials, accessing the most up-to-date information on product stewardship, and supporting established programs that both recognize and advance improvements in safe practices.

With this and future ACA Technology Roadmaps, the paint and coatings industry aims to build on its continued focus of offering paints and coatings that meet the needs of its customers without compromising their safety or endangering the environment.

Background on the ACA Technology Roadmap Project

For over two years, the ACA S&T Committee has developed a plan for producing a series of ACA Technology Roadmaps intended to spur research and development needed by the industry. The goal of the project is to support both near- and long-term needs of the coatings industry in an “open innovation” setting by identifying and communicating basic and applied research needs to manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, academic institutions, government research laboratories and other research organizations.

First and foremost, the Technology Roadmaps are not intended to promote or advance any product, practice, solution, or technology over or to the exclusion of others, nor restrain in any fashion the individual competitive effort of any company. Rather, the Technology Roadmaps are intended to drive innovation and competition by broadly sharing identified technological needs of the industry. Further, the process used to develop report content was carefully established to ensure contributors were cautioned not to disclose any confidential business information, research plans or competitively sensitive information. Where further collaborative action among companies is recommended herein, it is intended to be with the consultation of legal counsel to ensure compliance with antitrust rules and other applicable laws.

Continue reading in the October 2022 digital issue of CoatingsTech.