Valspar is a global leader in the supply of both coatings and chemicals to the interior, automotive and solar mirror market segments. “As in every other one of our businesses, Valspar is investing substantially in new technology development to enhance product performance,” says Dr.Jochem Effing, Technical Director of Industrial and Automotive EMEAI Research & Development. “We have a team of dedicated research and development professionals located in our laboratory in Eschweiler, Germany. This team is committed to developing the next generation of coatings and solutions technologies for Valspar mirror customers around the world to keep them on the cutting edge of performance and, just as importantly, optimizing their costs.”
“Valspar’s philosophy on new product development is centered on driving high-performance technology in mirror coatings and solutions to optimize mirror production costs while simultaneously providing for a cleaner and safer environment for workers and end-users,” comments Petra L’Abbe, Global Business Director Mirror at Valspar.
In support of this philosophy, Valspar has recently introduced its High Surface Protection (HSP) technology to mirror manufacturers around the world. Valspar’s HSP technology was developed from high-performance resins very similar to those utilized in coatings developed to survive extreme environments, such as those experienced by the mirrors in solar fields.” This new resin technology has been developed into a high-performance coating platform for interior mirror applications that enables a 20-25% reduction in applied coating film to the finished mirror while still providing the high-level of performance expected from Valspar products,” explains Bernhard Esser, Technical Manager Mirror Technology. “This new technology results in significant savings potential for our customers.”
“In keeping with our commitment to the environment, Valspar has also developed this HSP technology in a waterborne coating option, providing our customers with the option of both high-performance and environmentally friendly technology,” adds L’Abbe.
Today, Valspar is the leading supplier of coatings and solutions materials utilized in the manufacture of mirrors used to produce concentrated solar power (CSP). Valspar has a long history supplying coatings to the Solar Mirror industry that spans over 12 years. The first solar mirrors manufactured with Valspar coatings and solutions were put into test fields in 2003. Valspar materials have been used in the production of both flat and parabolic solar mirror reflectors that have been in commercial use since 2007 and now are delivering outstanding performance in solar fields all over the world. In the solar mirror segment as well, Valspar has invested in driving new technology. Traditionally the coating systems developed for the solar mirror market have consisted of three layers of paint to provide the ultimate protection of the key reflective silver metal layer. In order to assist the CSP industry in driving down the cost of the CSP generated power, Valspar has developed a two-coat paint system for solar mirrors that has been demonstrated to provide a level of performance that meets the requirements for the solar mirror industry. This decrease in applied coating film weight enables coating cost savings of 25% of the coating material used to manufacture the solar mirror.
Solar mirrors have traditionally been manufactured with a lead containing, solvent-based paint and copper solutions. In an effort to further support the protection our environment receives through the use of renewable solar power, Valspar is on the brink of commercializing its first zero-lead, water-based paint system for solar mirrors. In addition, Valspar has been developing a copper-free solar mirror system to provide the industry with the ultimate environmentally friendly choice—a copper-free solar mirror finished with a zero-lead waterborne coating technology.
In addition to driving technology advancement for mirror coatings, Valspar is advancing the chemistry utilized in the solutions that provide the reflectivity of the mirror. Valspar is a leader in the commercialization of the copper-free mirror solution process pioneered over 15 years ago. In the spirit of continued innovation in this area, Valspar has launched a new super sensitizer solution that enhances the integrity of the metal film while simultaneously providing the mirror manufacturer with a significant material cost savings.
Valspar is constantly striving to bring innovative, marketready technologies to life. Our innovation strategy benefits from a tremendous capacity for polymer development and makes safety and product stewardship a primary concern. The coatings industry is constantly changing. That is why it is so important for manufacturers to partner with a leader that has resources, research and knowledge to help predict and adapt to these changes.
At Valspar, driving technology matters, and we’re on it.