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Dow to Build Innovation Center for Silicones, INEOS to Build Cumene Plant in Germany, Axalta Starts New Training Center for Product Development

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – Aug 8, 2017

Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, The FTC approved its final order clearing the way for the Sherwin-Williams/Valspar merger and Fraunhofer researchers have succeeded in homogeneously coating silicon spheres. DKSH opens a paint and Ink innovation center in the Philippines and Covestro stresses the importance of two-coat polyaspartic coating technology at NACE. 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…

Dow to Build Innovation Center for Silicone & Organic Chemistry


Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Company has announced that the Company will begin construction of a new USD 100 million Innovation Center designed to drive innovation at the intersections of silicone science and organic chemistry at the heritage Dow Corning corporate campus. The new facility will host approximately 200 research and development employees who will explore future technologies at the intersections of silicone chemistry and Dow’s unparalleled knowledge of materials science and organic chemistry. Dow, which started exploring silicone chemistry nearly 80 years ago upon creating the Dow Corning joint venture, enhanced its ability to combine these technologies after completing the ownership restructuring of Dow Corning in June, 2016. Liveris said: “This is a monumental day for Dow, our employees and for Michigan as it marks another tremendous milestone in our company’s more than 120 year history. This world-class facility could have been located anywhere and we chose to invest right here in Michigan because both the U.S. and the state have a growing and vibrant research, development and manufacturing sector creating new opportunities every day.”

INEOS Phenol to Build Cumene Plant in Germany


INEOS Phenol has announced that it is planning to build a world scale Cumene in Germany with planned start up in 2020. The construction of a new cumene plant will support customer demand improve the security of raw material supply to INEOS phenol and acetone plants located in Gladbeck and Antwerp. INEOS Phenol is one of the world largest producers of phenol and acetone and is one of the largest consumers of cumene, which is an essential raw material. This investment reinforces its commitment to its customers across its world markets. The company has confirmed that the unit will use Badger cumene technology and a full study of investment options is to be completed by the end of 2017. Hans Casier, CEO, said: “Our plan to invest in our own world scale cumene plant with best in class technology shows a clear commitment to our European Phenol sites and our business. We expect a full study of investment options will be complete by the end of this year.”

Axalta Starts New Training Center for Product Development in Australia


Axalta Coating Systems has recently opened a new training facility in Bentley, Perth, Australia. The center will become the key training destination for refinishers from the Western Australian region, focusing on the use of Axalta’s refinish and industrial products to help maximize refinishers’ skill-sets and keep them up-to-date with latest technology and techniques. The new training center was initiated to help customers and business partners in the Western Australia avoid having to travel vast distances, often up to 4,000 km. It provides easy access to world class product and consultancy training programs that address business and product requirements, sharpening customers’ competitive edge. Axalta’s National Training Manager, Paul Polverino said: “Our new training facility focuses on commercially-oriented training that drives process optimization, so that body shops can be more efficient and productive, while maintaining the highest possible repair quality and maximizing their business performance.”

On Your Coatings Radar: Clariant Takes Steps Against Huntsman Merger Activism


Switzerland-based Clariant last week said it hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser to help defend against investor activists trying to prevent its merger with Huntsman.

Activist hedge fund manager Keith Meister and his partners hold a nearly 10 percent stake in Clariant and they're opposing the merger, arguing that Clariant is better off selling or spinning-off certain businesses or divisions, focusing on smaller, vertical niches. Meister and his partners formed a company called White Tale Holdings to buy up the stock.

Huntsman and Clariant plan to combine into the world's second-largest specialty chemical company, valued at about $14 billion. The formal headquarters for HuntsmanClariant would be in Clariant's hometown of Pratteln, Switzerland, in part for tax purposes, while Huntsman’s current headquarters in Texas would become the North American headquarters for the combined company.

Last month we reported that Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman said they remain highly confident in the strategic rationale for the merger benefiting shareholders of both companies.

Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann is downplaying any concerns, calling it "normal procedure" during this merger phase. He said they're keeping an open dialogue with all the impacted shareholders.

Covestro to Present Program on Two-coat Polyaspartic Coating Technology at NACE


Covestro has presented the topic, Two-coat polyaspartic urethane coatings protect Virginia steel bridge structures for over a decade, stressing on the benefits of providing cost reduction in painting operations by polyaspartic urethane two-coat coating systems.

Over the past decade, more than 150 steel bridges in Virginia have been repainted with two-coat polyaspartic urethane coating technology. The results show the polyaspartic urethane two-coat coating systems offer corrosion protection equivalent to conventional three-coat systems.

Two-coat polyaspartic urethane coatings also have the added benefits of providing cost reduction in painting operations, accelerated painting schedules and milder traffic congestion.

This is the topic of a presentation titled “Two-coat polyaspartic urethane coatings protect Virginia steel bridge structures for over a decade” at the NACE Central Area Conference in Austin, Texas, by Ahren Olson, market manager, Corrosion Protection at Covestro LLC. This work was co-authored by Todd Wiliams, lab manager, Covestro LLC, Mark Hudson, project development manager, Bridge & Highway, Sherwin-Williams and C.Wayne Flemings, senior technican for structral coatings, Virginia Department of Transportation.

On Tuesday, August 8 at 8 a.m., Olson will discuss several topics including the advantages and disadvantages of using two-coat polyaspartic coatings for the field repainting of steel bridges and share results from field inspections of Virgina bridges.

Two-coat polyaspartic urethane coatings have been used to protect steel bridges from corrosion for well over a decade and provide excellent edge protection in the areas in which corrosion is most likely to start. Studies have also shown the application of these fast-throughput systems can save Departments of Transportation up to 20 percent on field repainting costs due to productivity advantages.

Quaker Chemical Receives Ringier Technology Innovation Award in Coating Industry


Quaker Chemical Corporation has won a 2017 Ringier Technology Innovation Award with its process fluid, QUAKERCOAT® 801, a high-performance, fast-drying water-based coating. It was the second time that Quaker has been awarded this distinction.

Organized by Ringier Trade Media and the magazine "Coatings and Ink China," the Ringier Technology Innovation Awards–Coating Industry recognize outstanding innovative products and leading technologies in the industry. Encouraging companies to invest in R&D to improve efficiency and achieve sustainable development, these awards were selected by a committee that included users and seven experts from the domestic Chinese coating industry.

Due to a series of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emission environmental policies being instituted by the Chinese government, more companies are moving to water-based coatings. However, it is challenging to find a product that can conform to the manufacturing process while meeting the customers' needs.

Driven by innovation, Quaker developed QUAKERCOAT® 801, a fast-drying water-based coating that provides permanent protection for diesel engines and meets the strict criteria of the regulation, "HK-2537: Technical requirements for environmental labeling products – Water based coatings". While significantly decreasing consumption, it satisfies the VOC emissions challenge and offers a comparatively faster drying time than some other water-based coatings. QUAKERCOAT® 801 can reduce VOC content without any special construction requirements, production line rebuilding, or equipment changes.

Fraunhofer Researchers Find Way to Coat Silicon Spheres Evenly


The prototype kilogram to which all scales are calibrated to is losing weight. International efforts are striving to redefine the base unit for measuring mass and, in future, redefine the kilogram on natural constants. For this purpose, the Avogadro experiment determines the number of atoms in almost perfect silicon spheres.

Fraunhofer researchers have recently succeeded in homogeneously coating the spherical surfaces the measurement uncertainty can be limited to a range below 10 micrograms.

The silicon sphere to be coated must be handled like a raw egg. Due to the fact that the prototype kilogram the unit of mass upon which the weight of a kilo is based, is becoming increasingly lighter. The reason for this, however, is unknown. Now researchers are seeking alternatives for the platinum-iridium alloy artefact that is stored in a safe in Paris. The basic plan is to redefine the kilogram. In future, a physical constant will replace the material kilogram.

Thus, a team of scientists from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) (the national metrology institute of Germany) is conducting experiments with spheres of isotope-enriched silicon, which could be used as a new calibration standard. The experts, therefore, must determine the Avogadro constant, which indicates the number of atoms in one mole.

Physicist at the PTB in Braunschweig, Dr. Ingo Busch explained: ”We calculate the number of atoms in a sphere and use mathematical methods to obtain the number of atoms per mole. In simple terms, we find out how much a silicon atom weighs and through inverse conclusion can thus determine how many silicon atoms are needed for a kilogram. The mole is the mediator between the atomic mass scale and the kilogram.”

During the production of these spheres at the PTB, a natural oxide layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) is formed. This also has an influence on the mass and volume of the silicon spheres. The problem is that the native layer grows slowly and, in part, unevenly.

This makes it very difficult to measure the actual weight of both the oxide layer and the sphere. Therefore, an alternative, homogeneous coating is required to reduce measurement inaccuracies and precisely determine the volume and mass of the sphere.

Researchers of the neighboring Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST have succeeded in coating a silicon sphere with such a SiO2 surface that it meets highest standards.

A scientist at IST, Tobias Graumann said: “With our method, we can apply a layer of SiO2 with a precisely defined roughness and an adjustable layer thickness to the sphere. In addition, the layer is also stoichiometric, which means that the ratio of the individual atoms remains constant among each other or the ratio between silicon and oxygen.”

A reproducible, extremely thin oxide layer with a homogeneous thickness can be applied to the sphere. Potential impurities, such as carbon or nitrogen, are below the limit of detection. The roughness of the layers remains below a nanometer.

Graumann said: ”The sphere's roughness is not significantly increased by the coating. This is a factor which keeps the measurement inaccuracy below 10 micrograms. Even a fingerprint weighs more.”

And the time factor also plays an important role. By applying SiO2, the manufacturing process can be accelerated. In contrast, the growth of the native oxide layer can take several months.

The ALD coating plant installed at the institute was specially adapted and prepared for the project so that all work on coating could take place in a clean room atmosphere. The main focus over the years of research was on how the silicon sphere was mounted in the reactor. Since the sphere has to be coated over the full area, the researchers decided to use a three-point mounting, such that the object to be measured makes contact at three points.

Tobias Grauman said: “Here, we take advantage of the ALD's mechanism: the gaseous chemicals typically diffuse between the sphere and the three contact surfaces of the mount, which are also coated in the process.”

The coatings of the silicon sphere have been concluded and now the measurements are being performed at the PTB. The results will be available this summer and will then be presented at the Conference on Weights and Measures in autumn 2018. Then, at the latest, the new sphere will replace the original kilogram as the standard. At the metrological meeting a decision will be made on the redefinition of the kilo.

The researchers at the Fraunhofer IST and their colleagues at the PTB hope that the silicon spheres will become the new calibration standard. Metrology institutes and calibration laboratories will be given the opportunity to acquire copies of the spheres. PTB plans to offer three different price and quality variants.

The SiO2 developed at the Fraunhofer IST can be applied not only to spherical systems, but also to any complexly structured surfaces. The fields of application are diverse and range from optical applications through the semiconductor and electronics sectors to photovoltaics.

PPG Publishes New Architectural Powder Coatings Guide


PPG recently announced its coil and building products business has published the Architectural Powder Coatings Color Guide, a six-page brochure featuring 60 commonly specified CORAFLON® powder coatings colors.

The booklet is organized into three sections: 30 solid colors, 21 Coraflon SUNSTORM® mica colors and nine specialty colors, including textured, multi-color and anodic-look samples.

Among the solid colors displayed in the guide are bone white, sandstone and brick red. Coraflon Sunstorm mica colors range from platinum and champagne gold to pewter and graphite gray. Specialty colors include terra cotta dark (textured), orange speckle (multi-color) and bronze (anodic look). Also included are three color chips depicting high, medium and low gloss levels.

The guide provides a reference chart that lists all four PPG architectural powder coatings brands—DURANAR®, Coraflon, ENVIROCRON® 04 and Envirocron 03 coatings. Included are their American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) specification, resin quality, coating layer requirements, seacoast warranty coverage and appearance characteristics. Also featured are descriptions of these product lines, including typical applications, and information about PPG’s global color and styling services.

Coraflon powder coatings are formulated to provide exceptional ultraviolet (UV) durability, colorfastness and gloss retention. They can adhere to metal as a one-coat paint system or a two-coat paint system with a primer for harsh environments.

Venator IPO Priced


Huntsman Corporation announced its subsidiary, Venator Materials PLC, a global chemical company dedicated to the development and manufacture of titanium dioxide pigments and performance additives, on August 2 announced the pricing of its initial public offering (“IPO”) of 22,700,000 ordinary shares at an initial offering price of $20.00 per share for total gross proceeds (before underwriters’ fees and estimated expenses) of $454 million.

All of the ordinary shares will be sold by Huntsman Corporation, and Venator will not receive any proceeds from the offering. Huntsman Corporation has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 3,405,000 ordinary shares. Venator’s ordinary shares are expected to be listed, and begin trading, on the New York Stock Exchange on August 3, 2017 under the ticker symbol “VNTR.”

Upon closing of the offering, the public will hold approximately 21.4% of Venator’s ordinary shares, or 24.6% if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional ordinary shares. Huntsman will own the remaining 78.6% of Venator’s ordinary shares, or 75.4% if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional ordinary shares.

Citigroup, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan have acted as lead book-running managers for the offering. Additional book-running managers were Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities, UBS Investment Bank and RBC Capital Markets. Co-managers were Moelis & Company, HSBC, Nomura, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Academy Securities and Commerzbank. The offering of these securities is being made only by means of a prospectus that meets the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933.

SelfPaint Technology Automates Painting of One-off Objects


Automated paint stations have become ubiquitous in the automotive industry, and for good reason. The tightly controlled, automated application of automotive finishes provides better and ore repeatable overall finishes and also offers controlled emissions and an economy of paint use not accustomed in hand-spraying operations. When dealing with small numbers of smaller objects or assemblies, however, the scale of the automation infrastructure makes full automation not economical.

Recently, though, German and Swedish scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute developed a system known as SelfPaint, which will allow robots to figure out how to paint individual objects. It could reportedly reduce paint use by 20 percent, energy consumption by 15 percent and production time by five percent.

A 3D scan of the item to be coated is performed initially. This is used in a computer simulation of the painting process, in which software simulates the trajectory of the paint particles and subsequently determines the optimum volume of paint and air needed to achieve the required coating thickness.
Next, the path that the robot will travel while painting is mapped out. The painting process itself then takes place, followed by an inspection to check that the coating of paint is thick enough.

"For the quality control checks we apply terahertz technology, in other words a beam of light at a wavelength that lies between microwave and infrared," says Fraunhofer's Joachim Jonuscheit. "This enables us to measure wet, colored paint without actually touching it."

The individual components of the system have already been developed, and they are now being combined into one cohesive process. It is hoped that a prototype will be up and running by late 2018.

Executive Board Changes at Merck


The Personnel Committee of E. Merck KG, Darmstadt, Germany, has decided on changes in the responsibilities of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, effective September 1, 2017.

Walter Galinat (61) will hand over responsibility for the Performance Materials business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to his Executive Board colleague Kai Beckmann (51). In return, Galinat will take on Executive Board responsibility for the Darmstadt site, Procurement as well as Environmental Protection, Quality and Safety.

“With these changes to the Executive Board, we are underscoring personnel continuity within the Board while setting the course for the future of Performance Materials,” said Johannes Baillou, Chairman of the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG, Darmstadt, Germany, and its Personnel Committee. In addition, in his new role Galinat will further advance both the construction and organizational preparations for the 350th anniversary celebration of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2018.

“Over the past decade, Walter Galinat has led Performance Materials from one success to the next. We are very grateful to him for this. At the same time, we are pleased to continue building on his vast wealth of experience,” said Baillou. “As an experienced member of the Group’s Executive Board, Kai Beckmann has extensive business, technological and international expertise, among other things from the very important Asian market. For him and for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the aim now is to build on the long and successful development of Performance Materials, leading it into the future in times of increasingly dynamic developments in the liquid crystals market.”

Eastman Issues 2017 Sustainability Report


Eastman today announced the release of its 2017 sustainability report, “Innovating with Purpose.” Building on the company’s progress, the report provides a review of Eastman’s sustainability strategy and goals as well as highlights from the past year.

“At Eastman, we recognize that the world is facing enormous complexity and challenges,” said David A. Golden, senior vice president, chief legal & sustainability officer, and corporate secretary. “We know we must create far more value than the resources we use or the future is not sustainable. We have outlined a sustainability strategy to address these global issues through steering a sustainable portfolio, driving resource productivity and rendering focused good acts by employees and the company for the simple sake of doing good. I’m please to share this year’s report and the progress we continue to make. I’m optimistic about the future and Eastman’s ability to drive positive change.”

Highlights include the company’s transformational shift in its sustainability strategy; increased focus on innovation, including examples where sustainability and innovation intersect to address global macro trends and enhance quality of life; continued focus on responsible management of natural resources; and strengthened collaborations to drive positive change through Eastman’s corporate responsibility efforts.

Vogel Paint Announces Senior Leadership Changes


Vogel Paint, Inc. has announced a number of senior leadership changes.

Jeff Powell is being promoted to president from executive vice president of Vogel Paint, Inc. He will be responsible for leading operations that impact the Vogel Customers’ Experience; while continuing to develop and execute the ongoing strategic direction for Vogel Paint, Inc. under the guidance of Drew Vogel, CEO.

Drew Vogel, the current chairman of the board, president and CEO, will transfer day-to-day responsibilities for sales, customer service, research & development and manufacturing to Jeff Powell. Drew Vogel will remain as the chairman and CEO for Vogel Paint, Inc. and continue to work directly with the company’s finance, legal, information services, corporate projects and human Resources.

Doug Vogel has been promoted to vice president of corporate marketing and strategic relationships. Doug Vogel was formerly vice president of trade marketing.

Mark Vogel has been promoted to vice president of corporate business development and strategic relationships. Mark Vogel was formerly vice president of industrial marketing.

These changes reflect the ongoing implementation of the company’s long-term corporate succession plan.

DKSH Starts Innovation Center for Development of Paints & Inks


DKSH’s Business Unit Performance Materials has opened an innovation center in Canlubang Laguna to focus on the development of new concepts, high-performance products, formulations and technologies for the paints, inks and construction industries.

The fully-equipped, state-of-the-art innovation center will enable DKSH’s highly qualified technologists to provide market and stability testing, product demonstration, product and cost improvement, trouble-shooting and hands-on technical training.

The new facility joins a total of seven DKSH innovation centers worldwide, dedicated to the specialty chemicals industry. In line with DKSH’s commitment to quality assurance and compliance, the new facilities are fully controlled and adhere to the strictest international standards, including SHE (safety, health and environmental) compliance.

Dr. Richard Martorano, Global Technical Director Paints & Coatings, DKSH, commented: “We are very pleased to inaugurate our new innovation center in the Philippines and provide one-to-one technical support to our business partners. By providing innovation services to our significant customer base in the country, we will create and capitalize on next level solutions for paints, inks and construction products.”

DKSH Philippines has roots tracing back to 1887 when Swiss entrepreneur Edward Anton Keller founded the trading firm Ed A. Keller & Co. Today, DKSH Philippines is a trusted partner of global, regional and local market brands.

DKSH has operations in all ten of the ASEAN countries and with approximately 25,000 specialists in the region, DKSH is one of the few large players there. Exactly like ASEAN, DKSH stands for growth, dynamism and future orientation and the new innovation center will contribute strongly to this aspirational ethos.

Vink Chemicals Opens Office in Shanghai


German headquartered biocides provider, Vink Chemicals recently increased its presence in the Asia market with the opening of a service center in Shanghai. The Vink Chemicals (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. serves its customers in the Asian markets in an optimal and directly on-site basis.

Since the beginning of 2017, the new service office has been working with the sales office, laboratory rooms and a warehouse in Shanghai. Many of the products that are marketed in Europe are manufactured, preserved and packaged in Asia and especially in China. Vink Chemicals' Asian customers include producers of polymer chemicals, paints and varnishes as well as adhesives.

American Coatings Conference Issues Call for Papers


The American Coatings Association, in partnership with Vincentz Network, is calling for papers to be presented at the American Coatings Conference 2018. Experts from paint companies, raw material suppliers, academia, and government laboratories are invited to submit abstracts by September 27, 2017.

This major technology forum for the coatings industry, entitled "Building a Lasting Future - Innovation for the World" will take place April 9-11, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. It is held in conjunction with the American Coatings Show, April 10 -12, 2018. The Indiana Convention Center is again the site of this perennial record-setting gathering of the world's best innovators in coatings technology.

Selection of papers and posters for presentation at the ACC is highly competitive. Interested researchers need to be sure their submitted abstracts convey the scientific significance of their work, and detail advances over any prior presentations or publications. The ACC seeks to highlight only new, innovative work and research findings. Topics may include advancements in all coatings categories and raw materials, novel formulations, laboratory and analytical methods, processing technology and equipment, environmental and/or sustainability benefits.

The conference organizers select proposed presentations for the AC Conference based on three key criteria: scientific advancement, novelty, and potential value added to the industry.

The most outstanding paper presented at the ACC will be honored with the American Coatings Award. Sponsored by ACA and VN, the recipient of this prestigious award will receive a $2500 award and an attractive sculpture.

In other news, a recent report from Marketsandmarkets, the acrylate market was valued at USD 6.86 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 9.88 Billion by 2022. Growing demand for acrylate in paints &...more about this

Transparency Market Research has published report on the global printing inks market which is expected to be valued at more than US$20 bn by 2020. One of the prime drivers for the global printing...more about this

Praj Industries Ltd and Gevo, Inc. have unveiled a new commercial opportunity in renewable bioproducts, jointly announcing that Gevo’s proprietary isobutanol technology will now be available for...more about this

And finally, according to report from MarketsandMarkets, the fumed silica market is projected to reach USD 2.26 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2017 to 2022. The use of fumed silica has increased in...more about this

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How to Faster Replace your Solvent (Hansen Parameters)

Quickly size down the number of solvent alternatives that could suit your coating formulation by learning how to use Hansen solubility parameters in practice.

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