The coatings industry has been working toward creating products that have low- to no-VOC formulas, solid longevity, and that maximize performance. Those that solve particular issues, have easy application, and are durable and easy to maintain are driving the market today.
Companies such as Sherwin-Williams rely heavily on customers and their feedback in order to tailor products toward their needs and to market demands. Its products go through rigorous testing, so the company fully understands what it’s going to take to deliver products that provide durability and minimize repaints for customers.
Sherwin-Williams looks for utility during this process and, in particular, ease of application.
“We design, develop, and test coatings to make sure they apply to a customer’s satisfaction,” says Steve Revnew, senior vice president of product innovation for Sherwin-Williams.
Revnew says building owners, architects and specifiers are using more low-VOC coatings with new resin technologies, such as those that are acrylic water-based, which provide better color and gloss retention than solvent-based counterparts. Several years ago, Sherwin-Williams released Resilience®, which contains MoistureGuardTM technology, enabling customers to paint exterior surfaces even when rain is imminent.
Sherwin-Williams' Harmony® provides custom solutions, in addition to its zero-VOC formula. It helps to improve indoor air quality in occupied spaces, whether in new or existing construction. The product contains Formaldehyde Reducing Technology, which helps to reduce airborne concentrations of formaldehyde and other aldehydes from sources such as insulation, carpet, and other building materials. Harmony also has Odor Eliminating Technology, which helps to reduce ambient odors of organic origin, like pet, cooking, and smoke odors. Revnew says the Harmony line fits into two big trends with custom solutions and sustainability, while also being a zero-VOC product.
But the industry’s first true zero-VOC product that was designed to exceed green building standards is ProMar® 200 Zero VOC. Architects and specifiers asked for products that contained no VOC, and so the product was developed to contain an antimicrobial agent to inhibit the growth of mold or mildew on the paint film. This, in essence, helps protect the paint film itself, giving the product the longevity that customers look for and require.
The company’s latest innovation, Paint Shield®, is the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria, including Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis), and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on a painted surface. Paint Shield could prove to be instrumental for facilities such as hospitals, schools, daycares, nursing homes, and cruise ships where these types of harmful bacteria may be present.
Using as many locally sourced raw materials and manufacturing its coatings in close proximity to distribution centers and stores has also aided Sherwin-Williams in keeping its carbon footprint to a minimum.
“Regarding VOCs, we always look to manufacture and develop coatings that meet the most strict regulations within the industry,” says Revnew. “This is another way that we look to minimize our carbon footprint.”
In addition to the positive technical benefits available from high performance coatings, customers today are also looking for quick and easy solutions when it comes to color selection and with color consistency, according to Revnew. They want products that are easier to apply and are less complicated. Sherwin-Williams' ColorSnap® system makes color selection easier and quicker, as well as ensures paint color accuracy and consistency, giving customers confidence and convenience in their color selections.
Being a customer-driven company is an advantage of Sherwin-Williams, says Revnew. Constant feedback from customers all over the country has helped them develop on-trend products that provide durability and ease of application that meet — or rather exceed — customer expectations.
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