Hempel works to meet EU regulations
Denmark-based coatings supplier, Hempel, is working hard to further develop its topcoats and varnishes for the yacht market to meet the latest in a string of EU regulations, Rachael Doyle finds out.
With 10 R&D centres worldwide, the company’s products are continually evolving as legislation lays down new rules, meaning changes need to be made. The latest legislation change sees the phasing out of polyurethane for DIY use in Europe.
“We are preparing for PPR, to ensure that all the products we have are PPR-compliant,” Anne Mette Oddsen, EU product manager, said to Boating Business.
But with so many changes to its products over the last two years, Hempel says it’s keeping things simple. “With new gloss, new deck coating, a slight reformulation of the varnished and the launch of SilicOne, we have decided to keep things to a minimum. And with all the potential changes with antifouling ahead, keeping things simple and easy for the customer is the way forward,” Darren Gittins, sales manager for yacht coatings in the UK, told BB.
Two-component or one?
Hempel’s Supreme Gloss 55300 is just one alternative for the EU yachting industry. The two-component enamel uses polysiloxane instead of polyurethane, marking the first time polysiloxane has been used in the yacht business.
Also on offer are one-component products using acrylic and alkyd. The Multicoat 51120 alkyd-based semi-gloss topcoat is resistant to sunlight, salt and mineral oil spillage, for example gasoline from outboards.
Despite the wide range of products on offer, the yacht market only accounted for around 2% of Hempel’s overall business in 2013, but in Spain alone, it accounted for 5%. So, for 2014, the company says it plans to expand its Silic Once products to more countries.
“We’re spread out quite nicely at the moment, but Europe is the key market for yachts,” explained Thomas Olsen, European marketing manager for yachts. “Australia, New Zealand and the East Coast of USA are also substantial markets for us, but Europe is by far the main driver for it.”
In the UK, Hempel’s presence in the market is strong and is backed up by Bainbridge Marine and on a more local basis by its regional distributors.
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