De IJssel Coatings - photo Rens Groenendijk

MOORDRECHT – PPG. AkzoNobel. Sherwin-Williams. Nippon Paint Holdings Co. The world of paints and coatings is packed with high-profile players. Yet the list also includes a 90-year-old business of 27 employees that rules a niche with 2-component paints.

De IJssel Coatings even surprised the market last when it launched a 2-component primer in a spray can. Its 2-component products are based on unsaturated polyester resins, epoxy and polyurethane. “We initially made them for large laboratory work surfaces that must be scratch and chemical resistant,” says De IJssel Coatings Director Robbert van der Eijk.

“For the first polyester boats and yachts in the 1960s, we made the pigment paste that colors the gelcoat resin. And producing solvent-free pigment pastes got us also into the composites sector. Color pastes and gelcoat and topcoat coloring remain our core activities, along with epoxy-based primers and fillers. In yacht building, our products go on boats of up to 25m (82ft.)”

A 2-component coating yields excellent protection. It is highly resistant to chemicals and wear-and-tear and delivers a long-lasting gloss. But there is a downside: a 2-component paint has a chemical agent that binds the 2 components that customarily come in 2 cans. And the painting must be completed in a matter of hours.

De IJssel Coatings successfully works market niches, in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. “We work for yacht builders and makers of polyester and epoxy products, such as cladding,” says Van der Eijk. “In 2014, we exported 12% of our turnover. “To day, 30%. We sell to Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, Austria and Italy. Our color paste systems are used in making decks and sports hall floors in all colors of the rainbow.”

In 2019, he launched IJmopox ZF primer 2K primer in a spray can. The 2 components are mixed by pushing a pin. The aerosol-driven primer doubles the processing time to 6 or 8 hours. IJmopox ZF primer 2K is for use on small surfaces, after sanding. “It is a niche product that is pricier for it is easy to use. We like to come up with smart, technical solutions,” says Van der Eijk.

As a small operator, he finds complying with tougher EU chemical products rules arduous.

“The number of raw materials from which we can draw is shrinking enormously,” says Van der Eijk. “When over 1,000 kilos of a raw material is used on an annual basis, it must be registered. We see new EU rules on the storing and handling of paint and by what staff members (but) we’ll continue to invest in this company and in R&D.”