Innovations in GMA acrylic powder coatings
Acrylic powder coating is one of the most important powder coating systems. It is well-known to provide a hard, weather-durable coating with good chemical resistance. The GMA acrylic powder coating especially provides exceptional smoothness and clarity (if in clear-coat) that makes it the best choice for automotive clear-coat applications. However, due to certain coating properties, economic, and production issues, acrylic powder coating has not been widely accepted in the general powder coating industry, and its market share in the powder coating industry is still low. Researchers have been working on many improvements of acrylic powder coating, including new resin design, hardeners, and additives, to overcome its weaknesses, maintain its strengths, and widen its applications not only in automotive applications, but also in low-temperature-cure, architectural, and other applications.
GMA acrylic powder coatings were first introduced in the 1970s. In Japan, acrylic powder coating was first commercially used as a pigmented powder topcoat for Nissan Datsun trucks. In the early 1990s, Harley Davidson in the US started the first commercial application of acrylic powder clear-coat. At about the same time, the pigmented GMA acrylic based powder coatings were also widely used for automotive primer-surfacer and many trim parts. During that time, Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals, now Mitsui Chemicals, transferred its GMA resin production technology to its subsidiary Anderson Development Co. in the US to support the fast growing demand of GMA acrylic powder coatings in automotive applications due to the growing concerns of reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for automotive coatings.