Ivo Vermeeren, President of ESTAL, opened the event, announcing a large variety of presentations. The virtual congress on 6&71 October was organised around 3 half-day sessions and the digital platform offered participants the possibility to network and to contact industry suppliers via the virtual exhibition.
The first session was dedicated to Powder Coatings and started with a presentation by Mrs Mercè Berengueras, from Axalta Coating Systems, the Congress Key Sponsor, who gave an update about the trends on the architectural powder coating market, in terms of colours and finishes. Then, Mrs. Sencan Kizilkaya and Mr. Remco Stokhof, from AkzoNobel Coatings, lectured about architectural powder coatings with added properties such as coatings with anti-microbial efficacy. After a scientific presentation by Dr. Santiago Garcia, from the Delft University of Technology, on how to quantify global and local corrosion process in some aluminium alloys, the coating session concluded with a presentation by Mrs Jurgita Grigaliunaite, from Euroimpianti (I) about Eurovertical powder coating plants.
The Anodizing Session began with a presentation by Dr. Can Akyil, from Coventya-Politeknik, the sponsor of the Anodizing session. Dr Akyil explained how issues coming up during the pre-treatment of high-alloyed and secondary aluminium could be resolved by principles of chemical machining. As the second speaker, Mrs. Elia Schaer, from Alsan Alvarez Schaer (Spain), showed how Alsan had developed an innovative process to obtain and reproduce a wide range of gray colours for anodized aluminium. Then Mr. Raul Hernandez explained how Henkel, had adapted the traditional chemical products used in aluminium pre-treatment process to protect the environment and align with Henkel’s sustainability target.
In the late afternoon, Mr. Egbert Stremmelaar, from Qual-Ion (NL) talked about the investigations conducted by a Qualanod Dutch working group to find out how many parameters were influencing the anodized colours and, consequently, their reproducibility. Finally, Dr. Judy Runge, from Apple Inc. (USA) closed the anodizing session with a fascinating presentation on the anodizing basics for aluminium surfaces, explaining the nature and mechanism for anodic aluminium oxide development and growth.
President Ivo Vermeeren opening the congress
The second day of ESTAL virtual congress was dedicated to topics of interest for both the anodizing and the coating industry.
First, Bob Lambrechts, from European Aluminium explained how political actions and worldwide trade interventions impacted the aluminium market. He was followed by Dr. Terry Goodwin, from ECCA (European Coil Coating Association) who talked about the lessons learned by his association during the 5-year review of the BREF STS. Before the break, Dr. Alexander Lutz, from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and member of ESTAL Working group “Secondary Aluminium”, reported about his investigations on the effects of increased recycled contents in aluminium alloys and on the corrosion susceptibility of coated profiles.
Prof. Herman Terryn, also from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels explained how he was trying to build a knowledge and technology platform to enable the prediction of durability behaviour and estimate the lifetime of organic coated metals whereas Prof. Dr. Andres-Fabian Lasagni, from the Universität Dresden showed how laser-textured surfaces have gained increased interest due to their large field of applications and industrial scalability.
Roberto Scazzola, from DG Grow at the European Commission gave information about the current state of the European Chemicals Strategy for sustainability and urged the participants to make their concerns known to the European Commission via the various public consultations. Finally, Oliver Katschmareck, from Chemetall explained how his company had boosted digital capabilities to offer new services approaches and g real-time digital support to customers.
President Ivo Vermeeren was very pleased with the attendance and with the lively Questions & Answers sessions that followed the presentations. Looking back at 2 interesting days, he addressed his warmest thanks to the sponsors and exhibitors for their financial support, to the speakers and organisers. The 2021 virtual Congress offered an excellent opportunity to be informed about the developments on the market of aluminium surface finishing. He invited the participants to attend the next ESTAL Congress that should take place in Budapest in 2022 or 2023.
For registered congress participants, the congress platform (supplied by the Hungarian company Diamond Congress) gives access to all presentations on demand as well as the possibility to contact the exhibiting company until the end of November 2021.
M.Kalmar / ESTAL
Moderator Matthias Krämer (left) and Speaker Dr. Alexander Lutz (right) during Q&A session
Moderator Simon Meirsschaut (left) and Speaker Prof. Dr. Andres-Fabian Lasagni
Speaker Dr. Terry Goodwin during presentation
Speaker Elia Schaer during presentation