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The Future of Coatings

30 November, 2022

The difference between the paint industry and the rest of the world, is that when we say something’s as much fun as watching paint dry, we mean it’s a darned good time. Recent innovations in painting technology, developed over the past few years, are making a coat of paint more beneficial in ways we might have never thought possible: saving money on energy, keeping a surface free of a virus, or simply better protection of the surface it’s applied to. Here, in no particular order, are some recent innovations to come out of the coatings industry. If you haven’t heard of these, they’re worth looking into to show your clients exactly what a good coat of paint can do.

Sanitize with microbe-killing coatings
This type of paint can help prevent the spread of harmful bacteria on interior surfaces, and can kill a variety of bacteria for several years. Essentially, nanoparticles added to paint will kill certain microbes on contact, making this a great product for hospitals, food service facilities, and more. One example is SuperPaint Interior Latex with Sanitizing Technology from Sherwin-Williams, which has some microbe killing properties; another is Copper Armor from PPG, which can start its work within two hours of application and last for five years. And Behr Pro offers Copper Force, an interior coating that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria within two hours of contact on painted surface and lasts up to six years.

Paint up a touch screen
An article on Techaeris reports that there’s a paint in the works that can turn walls into a touch screen. “This paint contains a conductive nickel grid that creates electrodes on the wall,” the article reports. While there has been research with this technology for several years, the article added that at the time of writing this was not yet commercially available.

An article in Smithsonian Magazine noted that once this technology hits the ground — or the wall — it might be possible to change the lighting, or turn on the stove by touching the wall. Once the conductive paint was applied, a regular coat of paint was put over it, so that the wall had the look and feel of any ordinary surface. It’s not cheap, and researchers were looking for ways to lower the cost. With the success of Alexa and similar technologies, this might not be as far-fetched at it seems on initial hearing.

Self Cleaning
Self-cleaning paint was originally developed in Singapore, according to an article on iTech Post. This type of paint uses our old friend titanium dioxide, but in nanoparticles The way these particles react with light and water keeps dirt from building up on the surface. A blog from SAS Europe describes how it works. “Self-Clean paint creates a microscopic textured surface with a contact angle of 140 degrees, resulting in an ultra-hydrophobic surface that causes water to bead up into pearls of water that run across the surface of the façade,” it reported. This paint can save your clients money in the long run, with less maintenance needs once the coating is applied.

More innovations
Solar Paint: Techaeris further reports that certain paints can turn a wall or roof into a “massive solar panel.” While these wouldn’t be as effective as the actual panel, they could go a long way in producing solar energy on a large scale, resulting in a greener society in general.

Finally, on demand color samples might just keep those finicky customers happy. An article in The Family Handyman points to a partnership between Datacolor and Samplize. While it’s not actual paint, it allows you or your customer to print out a peel and stick color match and place it directly on the wall. It could save lots of trips to the paint store, from either you or them, and lots of money buying quart samples.

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