by Robert Wielaard

International Paint has assured the superyacht sector of its commitment to ever greener coatings, but cautioned that market demand for low solvent content paints is weak.

At the International Superyacht Coatings Conference on Friday, Trevor Solomon, Intersleek business manager at AkzoNobel, International Paints’ parent, waved aside as “unfounded” allegations that International Paint ignores low solvent content paints because the size of superyacht market does not merit it.

He said that International Paint employs 350 researchers worldwide. “In the yacht division we have 50 researchers working. That’s a lot of people. We invest heavily in green research”, Solomon said.

Speaking to Superyacht Business later, Solomon said, “The key driver here is legislation.

Solvent-free paints exist already but render a bubbly, orange peel-effect. Market demand for less polluting coatings will inevitably rise as the EU’s Solvent Emission Standards come down in the future years.”

He said “something like 90% of our International Paint research” is about greener coatings. One research area explores painted film that is then attached to surfaces. “What that means is the solvent in the paint is captured and can be recycled later when the film is removed later.”

Solomon briefed the gathering of superyacht sector professionals on Intersleek 1100 SR, a biocide free, fluoropolymer anti-slime technology. International Paint certifies its effectiveness at low and zero speeds which makes it suited for superyachts. The coating also contributes to significant fuel savings, said Solomon.