Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, Wanhua Chemical formed a new Performance Chemicals business unit and Axalta Coating Systems hosted its inaugural Supplier of the Year Awards event in Datona Florida. AkzoNobel coated McLaren-Honda’s new Formula 1 Car and PPG announced that it will exhibit its latest aerospace coatings at the Avalon 2017 in Australia. There’s much more where we continue and as always, you can go to the above items now using the links, or checkout our latest stories, which we’ll get to right away…
WACKER Builds New Dispersion Reactor at its Burghausen Site
WACKER Chemie AG has announced that it is expanding its existing production plants for polymeric binders in Germany. The Munich-based chemical group is currently building another dispersion reactor with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons at its Burghausen site. Some €25 million have been earmarked for the production and local-infrastructure expansion. The plant is scheduled for completion before the end of the year. “The enlargement of our dispersion production in Burghausen is part of our strategy to achieve further profitable growth through expansions at existing production plants,” said Rudolf Staudigl, president & CEO of Wacker Chemie AG, explaining the investment measure. “The additional capacity will strengthen our market position as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of dispersions and dispersible polymer powders, and will help us meet our customers’ continuously increasing demand over the long term,” emphasized the Group CEO.
Repsol’s New Pilot Plant for Sustainable Polycarbonate Polyol
Repsol has announced that it is developing an innovative and pioneering product for manufacturing a new type of polyol, polycarbonate polyol, which will partially replace its raw material, propylene oxide (a limited fossil resource) with the abundant and sustainable alternative, CO2. This means a considerable reduction in the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere and, consequently, lessening environmental footprint impact. Repsol has worked together with selected customers who have manufactured products with this innovative polyol. Additional advantages of this new polycarbonate polyol are that, it enhances certain properties of different CASE applications. For adhesives and elastomers, the improved features can be added adherence and/or added elasticity. They also have specific properties that mean they can be applied in other ways in the future.
Biesterfeld to Distribute Troy Chemie’s Preservatives for Coatings
Biesterfeld and Troy Chemie GmbH have expanded their distribution cooperation. The product portfolio comprises of preservatives for use in coatings, personal care, household and industrial cleaning industries and the plastics and metal processing industries. “Troy is pleased to expand its partnership with Biesterfeld,” says Mr. Ulf Becker, Troy’s Managing Director, Europe. “Through Biesterfeld, we are able to better reach new geographies and markets, and deliver the performance, quality, and value of Troy products to more customers.” Lidia Vereckei, General Manager of the group’s Hungarian subsidiary, is very satisfied with the trust Troy has placed in Biesterfeld: “Using their product portfolio we are further strengthening and expanding our range of preservatives for various applications. We offer our customers antimicrobial solutions which meet high technical and regulatory requirements – with excellent cost-in-use benefits.”
Wanhua Chemical Forms New Performance Chemicals Business Unit
Wanhua Chemical Group, one of the global leaders of polyurethanes, petrochemicals and specialty chemicals, has announced the formation of a new business division “Performance Chemicals Business Unit”. The newly formed division consolidates the previous ADI business unit and Specialty Amines business unit. Such consolidation will allow the new business unit to further strength its core competencies in production and marketing aliphatic isocyanates, specialty amines and other high performance chemicals.
The newly founded “Performance Chemicals Business Unit” will concentrate on the development of high performance specialty chemicals. It will be responsible for developing, manufacturing and marketing high performance chemicals.
Currently the product portfolio includes aliphatic diisocyanate series (HDI, HDI adducts, HMDI, IPDI and H6XDI), specialty amines (MDA, MDBA, H12MDA, IPDA and PU catalysts), silicones and other chemicals (IP, MIBK, CDT).
The wide product portfolio serves windpower equipments, coatings, elastomers, PUDs , adhesives, fine chemical, medicine, pesticide, flavor industries, electronics, packaging and building industry, etc.
“In the 2016, Wanhua Chemical’s independently developed IP, IPDA and IPDI plants went into operation successfully. Wanhua Chemical became the first Asia based company and second globally to participate fully in the “IP-IPN-IPDA-IPDI” value chain.
Now, Wanhua Chemical can provide IP, IPDA and IPDI products to the market. Wanhua Chemical is the only Chinese company that owns the HDI, HMDI and IPDI production technologies.” introduced by Dr. Ding, general manager of Performance Chemicals BU. “Technological innovation is Wanhua’s core competitiveness. Performance Chemicals business unit will combine the innovation strength and production resources from the previous business units, continue to develop high value-added new performance chemicals and to provide high quality specialty chemicals for our customers.”
Currently, the Performance Chemicals business unit operates production plants in Ningbo, Yantai and Czech Republic. The technical service centers are located in Yantai, Ningbo, Budapest in Europe and Huston in the US, providing comprehensive technical support globally and developing new products and solutions to serve the needs of the markets.
Johnson Matthey & Rennovia Sign License Agreement with ADM for Glucaric Acid Production
Johnson Matthey, one of the global providers of advanced process technologies, and Rennovia Inc., a privately held company that develops novel catalysts and processes for the cost advantaged production of chemical products from renewable feedstocks, has announced that they have signed a license agreement with Archer Daniels Midland Company to provide catalyst and process technology for catalytic production of bio-based glucaric acid.
The licensed process, jointly developed between Johnson Matthey and Rennovia, combines the efficiency and selectivity of heterogeneous catalytic process technology It uses renewable feedstocks to produce bio-based glucaric acid
Glucaric acid is an emerging platform chemical which has a wide range of applications in detergents and cleaners, concrete formulations, de-icing and anti-corrosion markets.
“We are proud to announce the licensing of this new and innovative technology to ADM, and we are excited about the future of this technology, which draws upon the fundamental process and catalyst development expertise within Johnson Matthey. This achievement also demonstrates the value of a strong collaborative approach, working together with Rennovia to commercialize a process for biobased chemicals.” said David Prest, Director of Business Development for Johnson Matthey’s Process Technologies Division.
“ADM continues to work toward commercialization of glucaric acid as a higher value product within our portfolio of bio-based performance chemicals,” said Kevin Moore, President of Renewable Chemicals for ADM. “We see a strong synergy in leveraging Rennovia’s breakthrough catalyst technology along with the process scale-up capabilities of Johnson Matthey to shorten the time frame needed to bring this new product to market for our customers.”
“We are delighted that ADM has decided to license glucaric acid technology from Rennovia and Johnson Matthey,” said Robert Wedinger, President and CEO of Rennovia. “It demonstrates the commitment of an industry leader and a key partner of Rennovia. We look forward to working even closer together to commercialize our innovative process for the production of cost advantaged glucaric acid.”
Heubach Expands Production Capacity for Anticorrosive Pigments in USA
In order to meet the growing global demand for high-quality and, in particular, zinc-free anticorrosive pigments and to satisfy the individual needs and requirements of customers in North, South, and Central America, Heubach is now constructing a production facility for anticorrosive pigments in the US, expanding the production capacity by 4000 t.
Heubach is the largest manufacturer of anticorrosives and the global leader in the development and marketing of these special pigments. "Production of anticorrosive pigments in Fairless Hills (USA) is set to commence at the end of 2017. This investment substantially strengthens Heubach's position in the US and the global pigment production network of the Group as part of the planned growth strategy," says Birgit Genn, Executive Vice President of Heubach GmbH, to explain the further investment of the Heubach Group.
Heubach offers a comprehensive product portfolio of a large variety of anticorrosive pigments. Besides the classic zinc phosphate, Heubach also markets orthophosphate and polyphosphates modified with zinc and/or other substances under the brand name HEUCOPHOS®, and the HEUCOSIL™ products, which were developed on the basis of calcium-modified silica. A very specific organic corrosion inhibitor with the name HEUCORIN®, which is used in combination with inorganic anticorrosive pigments as a synergist, significantly improves performance in various applications.
In order to ensure that the performance of the pigments, which depends on a large number of parameters, is maximized in the various applications, Heubach supports customers in selecting the appropriate anticorrosive pigment with its many years of experience and application laboratories at various locations.
Axalta Hosts Inaugural Supplier of the Year Awards in Daytona, Florida USA
Axalta Coating Systems hosted its inaugural Supplier of the Year Awards event February 25-26 in Daytona, Florida. Axalta developed the awards program to recognize the critical role that suppliers play in the company’s ability to deliver superior products and services to its more than 100,000 customers around the world. To emphasize the exceptional performance of the awardees, the celebration coincided with the grand opening of Axalta’s Center Injector at the Daytona International Speedway. Representatives from each of the honored suppliers were invited to participate in activities at Axalta’s injector on Sunday, following the awards ceremony and reception on Saturday evening.
“We are very pleased to honor our top ten suppliers at Axalta’s first Supplier of the Year Awards event,” said Martin Horneck, Axalta Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer during the ceremony. “This program recognizes our partners who provide the highest quality and most competitive raw materials and services to Axalta, enabling us to be a leader in the industry and, equally important, to develop the innovative technologies and customer-focused services for which we are known.”
The winning suppliers were selected by a cross-functional committee representing Axalta’s global R&D/Technology, Operations, and Procurement organizations around the world and judged by their ability to provide superior quality, service, technology and pricing to Axalta. Nominees were also evaluated on their sustainability initiatives.
Recipients of the Axalta Supplier of the Year Award 2016 include Asahi Kasei Corporation, BYK-Gardner USA, Chang Chun Group, Eastman, Element, Flower City Printing, Inc., LyondellBasell, Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Oxiteno and Rhenus Group.
Axalta’s Center Injector at the Daytona International Speedway is one of five expanded and redesigned entrances that lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long exterior façade of the track.
Cascades Sonoco Invests USD 16M in Water-based Coatings Plant
Cascades Sonoco – the joint venture between Sonoco and recycled fibre packaging company Cascades – will invest around $16 million in its plant in Alabama to manufacture water-based alternatives to the coatings used in fast food packaging.
The water-based coatings will replace low-density polyethylene (LDPE) coatings on folding cartons – for uses such as burgers, hot dogs and kebabs – which provide barrier protection against water and water vapor. LDPE is also used as a heat sealant, particularly when two sides of the packaging are extrusion coated.
The polymer has traditionally been popular among packaging manufacturers for its performance, alongside its cost effectiveness.
But Cascades Sonoco said that its water-based offerings provide the added bonus of being recyclable, repulpable, and compostable.
The $16 million investment in the site in Birmingham will focus on expanding the plant and installing new equipment to manufacture the coatings using Cascades Sonoco’s FlexShield, FluteShield and SurfShield technologies.
Installation will begin early this year and start-up is expected in the second quarter of 2018.
Sonoco senior vice-president Rodger Fuller said: “This investment represents a significant geographic expansion for water-based products by Cascades Sonoco, especially in the fast-growing southeastern United States. With this exciting addition to its product portfolio, Cascades Sonoco remains dedicated to maintaining its market leadership position in protective roll packaging for the paper industry.”
Once at full capacity, the new water-based coating line will be capable of producing 40,000-50,000 tons of sustainable coated materials every year.
Cascades Speciality Products president and COO Luc Langevin added: “This strategic investment will certainly help Cascades Sonoco to expand its product offerings into high-growth, consumer-oriented markets.”
Axalta Introduces New FlexBase 7700 PB Product Line
Axalta Coating Systems last week announced the introduction of FlexBase® 7700 PB, a new premium quality polyurethane product line designed to meet the custom-color and impact-resistant requirements of the sports equipment market in North America.
The FlexBase 7700 PB product line targets helmets and other protective equipment used in athletic events such as baseball, lacrosse, football, softball, hockey, racing, and other extreme sports. It features a premium quality polyurethane basecoat, also named FlexBase 7700 PB, a polyurethane high gloss clearcoat, FlexBase PB7430™, and a polyurethane flat clearcoat, FlexBase PB7045™.
FlexBase 7700 PB polyurethane basecoat is a medium solids, flexible, and custom-color coating available in solid, metallic, and pearlescent colors. It is designed to deliver a smooth, protective and easy-to-apply finish over plastic and fiberglass surfaces. FlexBase PB7430 High Gloss Clearcoat is formulated for use over FlexBase 7700 PB to provide excellent durability and chemical resistance. To achieve a trendy multi-layer flat visual effect, FlexBase PB7045 Flat Clearcoat can be applied over FlexBase 7700 PB Basecoat for a matte finish without chalking or fading.
“The introduction of the FlexBase 7700 PB product line expands Axalta’s polyurethane product technology that is available to customers in the protective equipment market space,” said Ross Morgan, Axalta Product Manager. “FlexBase allows for custom color capability and is formulated specifically for plastic substrates with a unique blend of acrylic and polyester resins, which deliver a flexible finish with a premium appearance and outstanding impact resistance.”
PPG to Exhibit Aerospace Products and Services at Avalon 2017 Australia International Airshow
PPG (NYSE:PPG) will exhibit its latest aerospace products and services at the Avalon 2017 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition in Geelong, Australia, February 28 through March 5, 2017.
PPG’s global aerospace business offers coatings, sealants, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armor, as well as chemical management services. Among PPG’s aerospace products and services to be featured at Avalon 2017 are:
DESOTO® and DEFT® aerospace coatings, such as DESOTHANE® high-performance coatings systems that offer long-lasting, high-gloss and color-rich finishes for aircraft.
PRC® and PRO-SEAL™ aerospace sealants, such as non-chromate corrosion-inhibiting PR-2870 sealant that provides commercial, general aviation and military aircraft manufacturers as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul shops with faster cure to reduce application cycle time for significant cost savings.
SEMCO® packaging and application systems, such as new SEMCO 1088 mixer for complete automatic mixing of filled SEMKIT® packages to minimize operator setup, reduce worker fatigue, and ensure more thorough and consistent mixing.
PPG aircraft transparencies including an A320 Airbus right-hand sliding side window, a Textron Scorpion forward canopy and an F-18 canopy.
To learn more about these products and meet the PPG team, visit stand 1A16 at Avalon Airport. PPG’s Australia aerospace team will be joined by global marketing and technology representatives for sealants, coatings and transparencies.
BASF Contributes USD 7,000 to Support STEM Programs at Wyandotte Public Schools
The BASF site in Wyandotte, Michigan, donated $7,000 to the Wyandotte Public Schools to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for students in grades K-12.
“It’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems,” said Greg Pflum, Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s Midwest Hub. “Through our partnership with Wyandotte schools we can help increase the access to quality STEM learning and provide tools for future scientists and engineers who can have great influence on our industry,” he added.
“We are extremely grateful for our ongoing partnership with BASF,” said Dr. Catherine Cost, Wyandotte Public Schools Superintendent. “Support from BASF allows our students to be inspired by STEM and have the chance to reach their full potential. BASF is making a difference in the lives of our students.”
Tarantulas Inspire New Structural Color with the Greatest Viewing Angle
Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials.
“Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products,” explained Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. “They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light.” Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It’s beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we’re watching television and we move to a new seat.”
The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung’s team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices.
As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology.
Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated.
“These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements – many of which are toxic – in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung said.
South African Coatings Industry Facing Skills Crisis, Says SAPMA
The South African coatings industry is facing a technical skills crisis, Deryck Spence, executive director of the SA Paint Manufacturing Association, has warned.
Spence says the industry, already desperately short of qualified paint chemists and technicians, is facing unprecedented problems caused by the fact that:
As much as 80% of the Skills Levy paid by members of the coatings industry is being siphoned off for free education at universities;
The other 20% is being awarded to Skills Education Training Authorities (SETAs) which are not promoting skills for budgetary reasons. “The SA Paint Industry Training Institute (SAPITI), the sole provider of training for the coatings industry, has had its strategic and vital government grant rejected because of a lack of funds,” Spence explained;
The shortage of skills is resulting in local manufacturers having to rely on private paint consultants or imported specialists whose numbers – particularly from India – are rapidly increasing to occupy positions South Africans should have filled;
The level of internal training within the coatings sector has plunged drastically because manufacturers are having to pay twice for training: in the first place for the compulsory government skills levy, and then also for their own training programs. “The result is that many manufacturers have simply put a halt to any training initiative or support for SAPITI courses.”
The SETAs are now concentrating on providing training for the unemployed instead of raising skills among those employed in the manufacturing sector. “The decree that a large percentage of government funding for training must go to jobless people is a futile move. No sooner have these unemployed people been trained than they become private entrepreneurs and leave the industry. The policy is totally disproportionate to the South Africa’s training requirements. We need to upgrade the skills of coatings industry personnel.”
Spence added: “There is simply no encouragement, promotion or, it would seem, interest from the government in helping this country produce the skilled paint technicians it needs,” Spence adds.
MetaShield’s Silica-based Nanocoating Improves Solar Light Trapping
Manhattan based MetaShield LLC has developed its proprietary ‘MetaSOLPV’ nano-coating technology that increases solar cell efficiency using advanced light trapping. Upon application, the product solidifies in air at room temperature and forms a thin film layer with refractive index of ~1.5.
In a standard solar cell, on average, 10% of the sunlight that enters a solar cell bounces around inside of the cell and eventually escapes, limiting possible improvements in conversion efficiencies.
MetaSOLPV is a patent pending formula that is spray coated directly onto the existing anti-reflective coating on the solar cells and hardens at room temperature, forming a transparent ~200nm glass film. The embedded nanoparticles employ strong forward scattering to affect optical enhancement in solar cells.
An independent study via the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) TAP program and verified by OAI-Optical Associates boosted triple junction (GaInP/GaInAs/Ge) solar cell efficiency by 1.2% (absolute) from 29.39% to 30.59%. MetaSOL’s ability to provide a similarly dramatic enhancement to crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells is under development.
When applied, MetaSOLPV solidifies in air at room temperature and forms a thin film layer with refractive index of ~1.5. No expensive vapor deposition, heating, or sputter coating is required. Adheres to most glass, metal, carbon-based, and polymer materials MetaSOLPV’s light-trapping coating employs plasmonic and dielectric nanoparticles to enhance the forward scattering of light incident on solar cells, and hence increase the short circuit current and the overall photo-conversion efficiency of these devices.
According to the company, MetaSOLPV is in beta production and is available to solar cell manufacturers.
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