While we are facing major challenges nowadays, such as uncertainty in economic growth, high industry dynamics, and increasingly stringent environment regulations, we firmly believe there are also huge opportunities for innovative products that offer sustainability advantages to tackle those challenges, especially contributing to a carbon neutral society and in line with UN SDGs. Thus, our innovation directions are toward environmental friendly, energy efficient and economically viable paint products.
Innovations in anti-viral paints
In the Japan market, Nippon Paint launched PROTECTON ® brand in September 2020, named after the function to “PROTECT” people’s lives from threats of viruses and bacteria + to turn the function “ON” to the surfaces of all things. Since then, we have combined all of Nippon Paint Group’s paints, coatings and surface treatment technologies to offer a lineup of products for industrial, DIY and household use.
In February 2022, Nippon Paint (NPTU) released “PROTECTON Interior Wall VK Coat” and “PROTECTON Floor VK Clear” and Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings released “PROTECTON Car Interior VK Coat.” Three of these new products have been added to PROTECTON brand.
In addition to the “Interior Wall series” for interior walls, “Floor VK Clear,” a water-based clear paint for floors, is expected to be effective when droplets containing viruses adhere to floor surfaces. “Car Interior VK Coat” is expected to have sustained anti-viral function with excellent appearance due to its uniform application property to the car interior and its high adhesion to the substrate.
In addition, our group and the University of Tokyo have jointly conducted research activities on coatings technologies with anti-viral and anti-bacterial functions to reduce the risk of infection. This is one of the joint research themes under the industry-academia co-creation agreement concluded in May, 2020.
It is a joint effort across the globe in Nippon Paint Group to fight against viruses. Nippon Paint China launched “ClearShield” antimicrobial technology, which means “Virus Clear, Health Shield,” in October 2021. The innovative coating products and film using this technology have color change resistance and good anti-viral performance in accordance with Chinese anti-viral coating code. In January 2021, Nippon Paint China released antimicrobial Kid’s Paint, which can reduce the bacteria (S. Aureus, E. Coli, etc.) and virus (H3N2, EV71, Human-corona virus 229E, etc) pollution on the coating surface, with added functions of HCHO abatement, low VOC and low odor performance.
In Nippon Paint Malaysia, “VirusGuard” was developed with silver ion technology to persistently inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria on the coated surface, decreasing the spread of contagious illnesses including, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), H1N1 as well as COVID-19. Nippon Paint Singapore has also launched “VirusGuard” and “VirusGuard+” coating products, based on the silver and cuprous technologies, respectively.
Chromium (Cr) free primer for construction industry
With the recent issuance of different regulations regarding pollution control for VOCs and heavy metals, environmental protection has been gaining more focus in the construction industry. Nippon Paint has developed chromium (Cr) free primer for coil coatings, which has now become an important element in industrial applications. This environmentally friendly coating can be widely applied to large areas of metal for decoration and protection.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) studies have determined that hexavalent chromium poses significant medical risks to users. Not only is it considered a potential lung carcinogen, but it can also cause nose, throat and lung irritation, with prolonged exposure resulting in ulcers and perforation of the septum. The new Cr free coil coating primer can help to eliminate the medical risks to users and meet the regulatory requirements. This new technology also exhibits excellent corrosion resistance and mechanical properties compared to those obtained in industrial oil-based primers.
The new Cr free primer products have been introduced to our customers in China as the largest coil coating market. Nippon Paint has completely phased out Cr containing primer products for coil coatings in China.
Functional Decorative Films for Automotive Interiors
In the automobile industry, as the shift to next-generation automobiles progresses, the role of automobiles is changing. For example, the use of digital cockpits for driver seats and comfortable travel spaces are required. In automotive parts, electric motorization and the introduction of advanced safety technologies have eliminated front grills in some vehicles and replaced panels with built-in sensors and cameras. At the same time, further measures are required to reduce the environmental impact. In response to these market demands, in February 2022, Nippon Paint launched coated functional decorative films products. The film decoration process does not require air conditioning control or large drying lines in the painting process. Therefore, it effectively helps our customers to reduce their carbon emissions in Scope 1 and Scope 2.
In addition, the film technology can be developed and applied in automotive exteriors and as well as non-automotive applications. As a paint manufacturer, Nippon Paint is dedicated to providing innovative and valuable solutions, thereby contributing to the resolution of social issues.