The architectural coatings and paints are gaining traction in Europe owing to the growing demand from the construction and automotive industry. Architectural coating manufacturers are widely using micronized waxes in order to enhance the performance and appearance of architectural coatings. Moreover, improving surface protection in industrial paints and coatings is also driving demand for micronized wax. Manufacturers of micronized wax are also focusing on developing innovative products to meet formulators’ need in the paint and coatings market. With the presence of a large number of paints and coatings companies, Germany has emerged as one of the largest producers of paint and coatings in Europe.
High performance micronized wax additives are also being offered by manufacturers to enhance the performance of coatings. Providing better surface protection, corrosion protection and resistance, and better appearance, the demand for synthetic wax is constantly growing including polymide, polypropylene wax, polyethylene wax, fisher-tropsch wax, and polytetrafluoroethylene wax.
However, owing to the rise in the emission of volatile compounds from synthetic wax in paints and coatings is influencing the use of natural wax such as carnauba wax, bee wax, and micronized sugarcane wax. Sugarcane wax is finding wide application in paints and coatings as it acts as a lubricant and increases color output, moreover, offering scratch resistance, while improving the grip is driving the growth of sugarcane wax in developing sustainable paints and coatings.
With the introduction of stringent regulations on paints and coatings industry with a focus on reducing VOC emission in the region is driving the adoption of raw materials with zero VOC residuals and reduced toxicity, leading to lower harmful impact on environment. In recent years, the architectural coatings industry has shown increasing interest in low-VOC paint and coating formulations. This is driving wax manufacturers to develop non-toxic, VOC free, and zero carbon waxes for use in coatings and paints for both exterior and interior end-use. However, lack of availability of raw materials to produce VOC free wax and high cost are the two major challenges for micronized wax manufacturers.
Manufacturers in the micronized wax market in Europe are increasingly focusing on using advanced techniques to incorporate micronized wax into coatings to provide proper wetting, dispersion, better performance, without any coating defects and particles. New technologies are also being designed to produce micronized wax with modified properties. For instance, with the development of UV-resistance coatings and paints, new micronized wax enhancing UV resistance properties of coatings are also being developed.
With growing demand for sustainable additives in paints and coatings, manufacturers in the region are focusing on developing new micronized wax based on the raw materials from renewable sources, while providing similar or improved results. Various techniques and technologies are used to develop micronized wax, however, spray chilling and air jet milling are the two largely used techniques to produce micronized wax. Moreover, with the increasing demand for water-based coatings, micronized wax manufacturers in Europe are developing a unique range of waxes with good stability that can be used in both water-based and solvent-based coatings. In order to meet specific performance and appearance requirements, a wide range of micronized wax additives are being developed using synthetic raw materials in combination with unique particle size.
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