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AkzoNobel Unveils Chemicals Challenge for Start-ups, Evonik Transforms into Successful Coating Additives Supplier, Avantium Collaborates to Develop Reference Plant

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – Feb 21, 2017

Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, PV Nano Cell agreed to acquire DigiFlex and Dow’s PARALOID™ Edge Technology received a 2017 Innovation Award. Green Biologics announced a collaboration with Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH and in research, chemists have developed a method that hinders hazardous seawater fouling. 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…

AkzoNobel Unveils Global Chemicals Challenge for Start-ups

AkzoNobel has announced that it is launching Imagine Chemistry, an exciting opportunity to partner with start-up firms, students, research groups and career scientists from across the world. It will help to jointly exploit the knowledge of chemistry and solve several real-life chemistry-related challenges. The challenge is part of an integrated approach to further deploy AkzoNobel’s innovation capability in support of its growth ambitions. The company believes there is tremendous potential even in mature chemistries, and the challenge aims to tap into that as well as uncover new opportunities. “Imagine Chemistry”, launched in conjunction with KPMG, aims to address a number of specific societal challenges as well as finding new sustainable opportunities for AkzoNobel businesses. “Our world is made of molecules and we believe that chemistry, mastering the elements, is essential to making the world a better place,” explained Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business.

Evonik Transforms into Successful Coating Additives Supplier 

Evonik Industries has transformed into one of the leading suppliers of additives for the coatings industry. The acquisition of Air Products’ Performance Materials division that was completed in early January made a key contribution to this. Effective January 3, 2017, Evonik merged its Coating Additives Business Line, the coatings business of its Silica Business Line, and the specialty additives branch of Air Products with a focus on substrate wetting additives. Dr. Claus Rettig, Chairman of the Board of Management, Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH, says, “The result is one of the world’s leading additives suppliers for the coatings industry. Our technology platform is unlike any other in the world. It allows us to develop innovative solutions for just about any formulation challenge in the paints and coatings industry.” The products of the new business line complement each other well.

Avantium Collaborates to Develop Reference Plant for Bio-Chemicals 

Avantium, one of the leading chemical technology companies and forerunner in renewable chemistry, has announced a partnership with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer for the development of a reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl. This important step marks the next stage of a collaborative effort to determine the feasibility of a wood to chemicals biorefinery in Delfzijl. The new reference plant in Delfzijl will be based on a new technology that has been developed by Avantium. This Zambezi process aims for a cost-effective process for the production of high-purity glucose from non-food biomass such as forestry residue, pulp, agricultural by-products and second generation feedstock. The technology converts woody biomass into sugars and lignin. It is particularly suited for making high purity glucose required for the production of a wide range of biobased chemicals and materials for the chemical industry.

On Your Coatings Radar

On your coatings radar for this issue, Asian Paints Ltd, India’s largest paint company on Thursday said it has agreed to acquire Sri Lanka’s Causeway Paints Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd in an all-cash deal. In a stock exchange filing, Asian Paints said its Singapore subsidiary Berger International Pvt. Ltd. will make the acquisition. Asian Paints already operates in Sri Lanka through Asian Paints (Lanka) Ltd. The company did not disclose the value of the deal. The acquisition is subject to certain conditions and statutory approvals. , Causeway Paints was founded in 1994 and makes decorative and refinish paints for automotive and industrial clients, along with from other products.

Also on the radar, on February 8, Kansai Paint Co., Ltd. announced that their subsidiary, Kansai Plascon Africa Limited has acquired shares of the Sadolin Group companies, a large coatings manufacturer in East Africa. Kansai plans to actively promote entering new markets and fields in addition to business expansion and strengthen the existing market in our medium-term management plan in which we are currently promoting accelerating globalization as a prioritized measure. In a stock purchase announcement, Kansai added, “The Sadolin Group companies are excellent and occupy top market share in the coating materials segment in the East African community. We believe this share acquisition will enforce business basis in the whole of Africa including East Africa and contribute to our group’s medium-term business performance.”

PV Nano Cell Expands its Business by Acquiring DigiFlex

PV Nano Cell, an innovative producer of single-crystal, metal nanometric based conductive digital inks, has announced that the Company signed an LOI to acquire all of the outstanding shares of DigiFlex Ltd., which develops, manufactures and distributes the DigiFlex Flexojet inkjet-based printing system, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $10 million.

"We have entered into this transaction because of the synergies between DigiFlex and PV Nano Cell, which we hope will generate significant global sales opportunities for both our product lines and create near and long-term value for our shareholders. Specifically, DigiFlex offers PV Nano Cell a number of key printer technologies and inks that will allow us to implement a comprehensive 'Complete Solution Approach' for our customers. As a result, we will have the unique ability to support Additive Digital design, prototyping and mass production of electronic devices, such as PCBs, all in one. We believe this approach will be very attractive to customers, especially when coupling it with our cost-efficient and mass production compatible line of Sicrys™ silver and copper conductive inks," said Dr. Fernando de la Vega, CEO of PV Nano Cell. "We are honored that DigiFlex's investors have chosen to join us and we welcome them as shareholders in PV Nano Cell."

"The acquisition of DigiFlex will support a strategy to go to market with a printer system that has been praised industry wide. The efficiency, accuracy, narrow patterning and multi-ink, multi-layer capabilities of the DigiFlex FlexoJet is an attractive solution for design, prototyping and small batches production of electronic devices. These capabilities can be directly transferred to mass production printers that are part of PV Nano Cell's customer focused 'complete solution' approach," continued Dr. de la Vega.

"We are excited to leverage DigiFlex's digital printing technology platform – printers and polymer based inks, to expand Sicrys™ conductive inks based 'complete solution', which will provide us with the opportunity for a recurring revenue stream. As a combined entity, and subject to adequate financing, we are positioned to become a leading enabler of the commercial digital printing of electronics in the market. Having worked with a number of the leading conductive ink manufacturers in the market, I can say that Sicrys™ offers the most effective conductive silver ink available and at a price that is unbeatable for customers today. In addition, we believe that the introduction of Sicrys™ copper ink is going to help revolutionize the industry, as the affordability of these types of conductive inks opens up our products to much of the printed electronics market," stated Mr. Dan Vilenski, DigiFlex Chairman of the board.

Dow’s PARALOID™ Edge Coating Technology Grabs One More Award

The Business Intelligence Group (BIG) has recently named Dow Coating Materials, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, a winner of its 2017 Innovation Awards for PARALOID™ Edge Technology – a novel offering which continues to blaze trails inside and out of the coatings industry.

“The unceasing acknowledgement of this innovation speaks to both our commitment to industrial coatings innovation – as well as the reaching impact PARALOID™ Edge has had in such a short amount of time,” said Mary Rose Correa, North America marketing manager for Industrial Coatings, Dow Coating Materials.

The BIG Innovation Awards Seek to recognize companies and technologies which bring new ideas to life and solve real problems and drive rapid progress across various industries.

PARALOID™ Edge ISO-Free Technology offers a simple solution to a common coatings challenge – minimizing the trade-off between performance and ease of use. It offers similar product characteristics expected from traditional 2K PU systems and ges a step further to expand the short window of workability to remain fluid longer, depending on conditions, without increasing dry time after application.

The novel ambient cure capability offered by PARALOID™ Edge Technology can allow for faster return-to-service, while extending pot life can facilitate once per shift make-up and potentially less material waste. This solvent-borne offering also features application flexibility and is isocyanate1 and formaldehyde2 free.

“PARALOID Edge stretches significant value across multiple industrial coatings applications,” said Dave Pierce, new business development, Dow Coating Materials. “Specifically in automotive refinish and wood applications where excellent scratch resistance, hardness, weatherability, and chemical resistance are critical”

Applied as a primer-surfacer in automotive refinishing, PARALOID™ Edge Technology can offer a dry-to-sand time in as few as 40 minutes under ambient curing conditions without sacrificing pot life, allowing body shops to notably increase their throughput. The isocyanate-free aspect of the product can also provide an environmental, health and safety (EHS) benefit for the body shop.

It is also used as a topcoat for interior wood applications, such as cabinetry and furniture. Potential benefits to the applicator include shorter dry time, less material waste and faster property development. Formaldehyde is currently a regulated raw material in the wood market, so having a coating that does not contain formaldehyde, is not only advantageous, but a requirement in some segments of the market.

“The cutting edge benefits of this latest PARALOID™ product family offer a more convenient, cost efficient solution while facilitating an improved environmental, health and safety profile,” said Correa. “It truly represents our ongoing dedication to furthering an impactful, sustainable portfolio which extends benefits across the entire value chain.”

Synthomer to Invest €20 Million in Dispersion Plant in Worms Germany

Synthomer, one of the world’s leading suppliers of waterborne dispersions and specialty polymers will invest €20 million in its dispersion plant located in Worms, Germany.

The investment adds several new and fully automated production lines for Acrylic-Dispersions. The plant extension strengthens the company’s continuous growth in Paints & Coatings, Construction Chemicals, technical Textiles as well as Adhesives and Sealants.

The production plant in Worms is Synthomer largest acrylic site in Europe, being strategically well located with close proximity to the customer base and excellent connections to the river Rhine, railway and road.

The investment will add 30,000 tonnes to its existing capacity. The high flexibility of the newly constructed lines enables further organic growth in the specialty segments, since more than 25% of the new capacity will be utilized by innovative, highly environmentally friendly products.

The expansion will allow shorter supply lead times and meet highest production and quality standards. This investment further strengthens Synthomer’s pan-European dispersion plant network across the United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Spain.

The project is expected to complete by third quarter 2018.

Axalta Introduces New Imron 3.1 HG-D + Direct-To-Metal Coating

Axalta Coating Systems recently introduced Imron® 3.1 HG-D™ +, a new premium quality, high gloss acrylic polyurethane direct-to-metal (DTM) coating that broadens Axalta’s DTM product offering for industrial customers in North America.

The new Imron 3.1 HG-D + is formulated with Axalta’s latest technology to deliver a durable high gloss, high build, one-step system in non-corrosive exposures and select harsh environments. It is designed at a 3.1 pounds per gallon (lbs/gal) volatile organic compound (VOC) level to comply with a 3.5 lbs/gal limit in regulated areas and is available in an extensive assortment of custom-mixed solid colors and select standard factory packaged colors.

“Imron 3.1 HG-D + is purposely designed for use as a DTM or a high build topcoat with outstanding DTM color and gloss retention in addition to excellent adhesion, flexibility and hiding,” said Ross Morgan, Axalta Coating Systems Product Manager. “For added protection, it may be used with Axalta’s Imron polyurethane, Corlar® epoxy, or Tufcote™ alkyd or acrylic primers on properly prepared surfaces.”

Axalta’s industrial products are ideal for use on newly manufactured and refurbished equipment in construction, amusement, commercial and industrial facilities in addition to portable and modular building industries where premium quality corrosion protection for DTM is required.

Jotun Launches High Temperature Ceramic Coating

Jotun announced last week that it “is setting a new standard in coatings for hydrocarbon processing facilities” with the launch of Jotatemp 1000 Ceramic, a coating solution that can be applied to surfaces with temperatures reaching 1000ºC.

This increased tolerance (previous advanced coatings offered a maximum endurance of 650ºC) is tailor-made for an industry where a shift to higher temperature operations is helping optimize processing and productivity.

According to a company release: “Jotun has established itself as a global leader in innovative protective coating solutions, with a specialty in high temperature products safeguarding against corrosion under insulation (CUI) in the most demanding industrial environments. Jotatemp 1000 Ceramic marks the zenith of its developments, offering an unrivalled tolerance range with ambient curing qualities, and market-leading durability and protection for carbon steel and exotic materials.”

“The development of Jotatemp 1000 Ceramic is in direct response to the demands of the market,” comments Miles Buckhurst, Jotun Global Concept Director HPI (Hydrocarbon Processing Industry). “The on-shore industry is moving towards higher temperature processing, while still requiring low temperature tolerance for gas processing, and needs a coating with performance credentials to match its ambitions.

Jotatemp 1000 Ceramic is simple to apply, durable, offers industry leading corrosion, fire, heat and cold protection, and allows for maintenance without shutting down facilities. Its unique properties mean it can be applied directly to surfaces that fall anywhere within its tolerance range.

Put simply, it’s a game-changer within this niche segment – one that has been enabled by our industry understanding, technical expertise and a close collaboration with the best raw material suppliers.”

Buckhurst believes it will help consolidate Jotun’s market position within the HPI and fossil fuel power generation segments.

“We offer the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of high temperature resistant coatings, with products like Jotatemp 1000 Ceramic, showing the ability to innovate through the most modern technologies that are currently available.

We see ourselves within the context of educators. We want industry players to pick the right products for their individual needs, delivering the optimum protection, and to this end we’re currently planning training workshops worldwide to help users make truly informed decisions. This is one of the most demanding industrial segments there is, so it requires the highest standards, product quality and expertise, and that’s exactly what we’re focused on delivering.”

PCI Announces 2017 Board of Directors and Executive Officers

Effective January 1, 2017, the Powder Coating Institute proudly recognizes its current Board of Directors and Executive Officers. PCI is very fortunate to have the leadership of the following individuals:

President: Ron Cudzilo, George Koch Sons; Vice President: Chris Merritt, Gema USA; Secretary/Treasurer: Greg Dawson, Nordson Corp.; Past President: John Sudges, Midwest Finishing Systems.

PCI Executive Director Trena Benson remarked, “We welcome our two new board members for 2017, Kevin Coursin, Engineered Finishing Systems, and Mark Mortensen, All-Color Powder Coating. They both bring a wealth of experience and passion to our efforts. We are appreciative of the entire board, the face of PCI, for their dedication not only to PCI, but the industry as a whole.”

In addition to the officers, serving on the Board of Directors for 2017 are: John Cole, President, Parker Ionics; Kevin Coursin, President, Engineered Finishing Systems; Craig Dietz, Product Manager, Axalta Coating Systems; Steve Kiefer, Powder Coatings Business Director, Powder Coatings N.A., Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc.; Mark Mortensen, President, All-Color Powder Coating, Inc.; Suresh Patel, Business Manager, General Industry, Chemetall US Inc.; Paul West, Director of Marketing, Sun Polymers International Inc.; and PCI Legal Counsel, David Goch, Partner, Webster, Chamberlain & Bean.

PCI is a non-profit technical and professional association that provides information and education on powder coating technologies worldwide.

Huntsman Receives IRS Ruling Allowing it to Retain 40% Economic Interest in Venator

Huntsman Corporation received today a Private Letter Ruling from the IRS allowing it to retain a 40% economic interest in the tax-free spin-off of Venator Materials Corporation. Huntsman will also hold an accompanying 19.9% voting interest in Venator.

Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO, commented:

“The receipt of this ruling is an important milestone in the Venator spin-off process. The retention of the 40% economic interest will enable us to capture the benefits of the expected improvement in the titanium dioxide business. Our desire to retain this amount of economic interest in Venator reflects our vote of confidence in what we believe will be a successful spin-off. The future monetization of our ownership in Venator will create further value for Huntsman as we use the proceeds to reduce our debt.”

Huntsman Corporation intends to spin-off its Pigment and Additives business during Q2 2017, which will be known as Venator Materials Corporation. Following its spin-off from Huntsman, Venator will be a leading global manufacturer and marketer of chemical products operating 27 manufacturing facilities, with more than 4,500 employees and expected revenues $2.1 billion, according to the company. Key product lines include titanium dioxide pigments, color pigments, functional additives, timber treatment and water treatment products.

Nippon Paint to Quadruple Indian Auto Paint Capacity with New Plant

Nippon Paint Holdings plans to quadruple production capacity for automotive paint in India this year, adding a plant to complement a recent factory upgrade.

The Osaka-based paint maker will spend a total of around 4 billion yen ($34.7 million) on the expansion, raising capacity in the South Asian nation to an annual 25,000 tons of auto paint.

The goal is to have a new plant in the southern city of Hindupur up and running by the end of the year. The factory will produce mostly water-based paint designed to prevent rust. This location will supply such Indian automakers as Tata Motors and is close to a Toyota Motor plant as well.

Nippon Paint has also added capacity at a plant in the northern city of Delhi. Maruti Suzuki India, the country's top automaker, is at work on a new factory in the north, and demand for auto paint is expected to surge.

East Asia accounts for around 60% of Nippon Paint's sales. But in India, where new-auto sales are expected to hit 5.5 million units in 2020, the company has less than 10% of the paint market even after last year's merger of automotive coatings operations with Berger Paints India. Kansai Paint's share tops 50%. With its investment blitz, Nippon Paint aims to close in on its Japanese compatriot and eventually lock down a 30% share.

Nitro Quimica Launches New Product Brand Structure

Nitro Quimica recently presented its new product brand structure along with the expansion of its products and services portfolio. This initiative is aligned with the company efforts to develop and market customized solutions that meet specific needs of its customers in each served segment. The company claims the most complete nitrocellulose and derivatives product portfolio worldwide and now offers semi-finished systems ready to formulate inks and varnishes.

According to the company, over the past years, Nitro Quimica has been investing nearly 2% of its annual revenue in R&D, which enabled the development of products that allow its customers to increase competitiveness and performance through tailor made solutions for markets such as printing inks for flexible packaging, nail polishes, wood and leather surface treatment, automotive repair, special adhesives, among others.

The new extended product portfolio also enables the company to intensify its operation in international markets, which is a strategic driver for Nitro Quimica.

In 2016, the company opened a regional office in Vienna, Austria, and announced the acquisition of Alchemix Corporation, North America’s largest producer of USP Collodion (a nitrocellulose-based solution for liquid bandages and dermatological products) and also one of the leading North American chemical solutions company.

Nitro Quimica’s new solutions can be founded under the following product lines:

The NQ COTTON line encompasses all industrial nitrocellulose grades in the cotton format. They vary in viscosity, nitration and wetting agent. This product line covers different specifications for diverse nitrocellulose applications, such as printing inks, nail polishes, automotive refinish, wood coatings, pharmaceutical and many others.

The NQ SOLVE line is designed to allow customers to achieve productivity improvements in the process of dissolving nitrocellulose in cotton format. The product line consists of solutions derived from nitrocellulose portfolio with several options in solvents, such as ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, xylene and acetone, among others. The solutions can be formulated according to customer- specific requirements in all applications where the nitrocellulose is used.

The solutions in the NQSYSTEM line help customers optimize their productivity in paint and varnish manufacturing processes, by incorporating plasticizers into nitrocellulose solutions, providing to customers access to semi-finished systems. The use of plasticizers imparts greater elasticity to nitrocellulose, while improving paints and coatings adhesion to the substrates in which they are applied.

The NQ SYSTEM+ product line encompasses complete nitrocellulose-based systems that deliver great improvements in productivity and competitiveness.

They comprise nitrocellulose, solvents, plasticizers and the most used secondary resins for printing inks, nail polishes, automotive refinish, wood coatings, pharmaceutical and many other industries.

Nitro Quimica’s premium line features products from all the previous categories: NQPRISMA COTTON, NQPRISMA SOLVE, NQPRISMA SYSTEM and NQPRISMA SYSTEM+. They bear the best performance on visual properties, viscosity and water content. These products are recommended for applications that require the highest product quality.

Green Biologics Supplies its Renewable n-Butanol to Jungbunzlauer

Green Biologics, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Green Biologics Ltd., a U.K. industrial biotechnology and renewable chemicals company, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH, the German operating unit of Jungbunzlauer Suisse AG in Basel, Switzerland.

In February 2017, Jungbunzlauer received its first shipment of 100 percent renewable BioPure™ n-butanol from Green Biologics’ production facility in Little Falls, Minnesota. Jungbunzlauer aims to produce bio-based CITROFOL® BI (tributyl citrate) and bio-based CITROFOL® BII (acetyl tributyl citrate). Commercial shipments will begin next month.

“Jungbunzlauer is an outstanding collaboration partner for Green Biologics,” said Timothy G. Staub, Global Vice President of Business Development for Green Biologics. “As the global leader in natural ingredients built off its core strengths in citric, lactic and gluconic acids, and xanthan gums, Jungbunzlauer has been committed to sustainability for 150 years. We are delighted to be working exclusively with Jungbunzlauer on the global introduction of bio-based citrate derivatives.”

Green Biologics announced the start-up of its first commercial production facility for renewable n-butanol and acetone in December 2016, with its first bulk export shipment to Jungbunzlauer in mid-January.

“Our focus is to selectively move our renewable n-butanol and acetone into high value markets, and Jungbunzlauer is a superb technological and market-facing partner for Green Biologics, particularly in citric-based plasticizers, but in other bio-based esters as well,” added Staub.

“Sustainability has been a key principle of Jungbunzlauer since our founding in 1867. With our mission “From nature to ingredients®,” we believe that renewable products are essential for the future success of our customers in many evolving markets, including our CITROFOL® BI and CITROFOL® BII customers,” said HansPeter Froschauer, Product Group Manager of Specialties at Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH. “The opportunity for bio-based plasticizers in personal care, healthcare, bio-polymers and many other industrial applications is immense and it is global. We look forward to a long and successful collaboration with Green Biologics.”

Green Biologics is a member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and is building its new green solvents facility to meet Responsible Care™ standards. The company’s n-butanol and acetone have received 100 percent bio-based, USDA BioPreferred® status.

Evonik Develops New PEEK Powders for Tribological Coatings

Greater efficiency thanks to lower friction: The innovative polyether ether ketone (PEEK) powders VESTAKEEP® developed by Evonik significantly reduce the wear and tear of components in demanding industrial applications.

The PEEK powders of Evonik's VESTAKEEP® brand are particularly suitable for applications that are subject to extreme mechanical, thermal and chemical requirements. The coating material is able to withstand permanent operating temperatures of up to 250°C and is characterized by its unique ability to resist abrasion and chemicals.

Thanks to the excellent tribological performance of coatings made from specially developed VESTAKEEP® powders , the friction between sliding surfaces is significantly reduced, which in turn increases efficiency and economy of operation – for example lower fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions in combustion engines, extended service life of bearings, or higher turbine speeds. These special VESTAKEEP® coatings also allow for employing more cost-efficient substrate materials for components used in applications with sliding friction.

The various VESTAKEEP® PEEK powders are comprised of particles with average particle sizes ranging from 5 to 110 µm. They can be applied by flame and electrostatic spraying methods, or as aqueous dispersions. With electrostatic application, layer thicknesses can range from 20 and 300 µm; dispersions are suitable for thinner layers.

Based on over forty years of experience, Evonik has been a leader in the development and production of high performance polymers. VESTAKEEP® PEEK powders are part of the high-temperature polymers product portfolio offered by the Resource Efficiency Segment.

In other news, Technavio has announced that the global optical coatings market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% during 2017 to 2021. Anti-reflective coatings improve the efficiency by enhancing contrast...more about this

Sun Chemical will exhibit its latest inks for printed electronics, printed circuit boards and electronics manufacturing during LOPEC 2017. The EMD5800 nanosilver inks deliver the best performing...more about this

New evidence has been building that PBDE replacements, including organophosphate flame retardants, are in the environment and in our bodies. Exposure to at least one of the newer compounds has...more about this

And finally, chemists have developed a method that hinders hazardous seawater fouling. The discovery could contribute towards the production of new eco-friendly antifouling coatings. Research shows that cerium...more about this

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