The market for rail coatings is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 4.5% during the forecast period. Major factors driving the market studied are developing a high-speed rail network in Asia-Pacific and increasing demand for mass transportation.
- The high energy efficiency of rails compared to other modes of transport is expected to act like an opportunity to the market.
- Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the globe with the largest consumption
Key Market Trends
Acrylics Segment to Dominate the Market
- Acrylic-based resins are thermoplastic resins produced by the polymerization of acrylate or methacrylate monomers. Various acrylic resins can also contain vinyl monomers, such as styrene or vinyl acetate, to reduce cost.
- These resins provide resistance to hydrolysis, good weather resistance, excellent gloss, and color retention, particularly for exterior applications. They also have certain other properties, such as transparency, UV resistance, and the high color ability for coating solutions.
- Acrylic resins find applications in solvent-borne paints. Products made by solution polymerization can also lead to the formulation of water-borne acrylic dispersions and powder coatings for railway interior applications.
- The solvent-borne coatings made of acrylic resins are extensively used in paints that form films by crosslinking. These resins are also used in water-borne systems to reduce VOC emission. High surface hardness can be achieved with the application of these acrylic resins.
- The acrylic coating helps to provide elastomeric finishes, so as to improve the UV resistance of the surface. The exceptional barrier properties, quick-drying, good gloss, and adhesion on different metallic substrates of acrylic-based coatings make it suitable for the metal application.
- Acrylic coatings are used in both interior and exterior surfaces of passenger wagons, hopper wagons, tank wagons, boxcars, and locomotives, amongst other rail parts. The growing requirement of durable and corrosion-resistive coatings in rail cars is expected to drive the market for acrylic-based coatings through the years to come.
China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Region
- China has spent around USD 570 billion on railway projects. In 2019, the country further planned to invest in 6,800 kilometers of railway projects, to continue building the leading rail system in the world.
- Furthermore, the government of China is planning to run trains about 5,000 trains per year between China and Europe, expected to be achieved by 2025.
- Additionally, rail cars are required to be repainted periodically after a span of a few years, depending on how aggressive the service environment is. Typical railcar exterior coatings have a service life of 10 years or less for tanks cars, but repainting is mostly pushed out to15 years and is planned to coincide with taking the railcar out of service for other repairs.
- The coating of locomotives is more costly and is coated at a lesser rate than freight cars.
- Overall, the introduction of new rail cars, coupled with the repair and refurbishment of the existing rails cars and wagons, is expected to drive the China rail coatings market through the forecast period.
The rail coatings market is a semi consolidate the market. Some of the major players include Axalta Coating Systems, LLC, Akzo Nobel NV, BASF SE, RPM International Inc., PPG Industries Inc., amongst others.
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