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Johnson Matthey Opens Center for Coatings and Surface Solutions, Coim Acquires Ink Manufacturer Darwink, WACKER Constructs Reactor for IPA

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – May 4, 2017

Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, Huntsman announced the completion of the acquisition of PU producer IFS Chemicals Limited and BASF and UC Berkeley extended research agreement. Flint Group opened its Global Innovation Centre in Malmö, Sweden and Opel approved Axalta refinish in Belgium and Luxembourg. 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…

Johnson Matthey Starts Coatings Center for Medical & Industrial Use

Johnson Matthey has opened a new Center for Coatings and Surface Solutions at its West Whiteland site in the US. The new center enables us to offer state of the art coating technologies and surface solutions to enhance the performance of its medical and industrial components. This includes a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) laboratory, with deposition conditions that can be fully customized to allow deposition of various material systems as well as platinum group metal thin films and coatings. The equipment features a process chamber dedicated to 2D coatings, offering a flat coating area of up to 6.0in (15.2cm) diameter with temperature control up to 800°C. An additional process chamber provides the capability of coating 3D objects on all exterior surfaces with high uniformity and utilization, with applications including enhanced component visibility during fluoroscopy, increased charge injection capacity and lower polarization for neurostimulation electrodes, anti-bacterial surfaces, optimized surface area, biocompatibility, tribological behavior and wettability.

Coim Acquires Inks Manufacturer Darwink 

Coim has announced that it is continuing its expansion in flexible packaging world through the acquisition of all Darwink srl’s, shares, an Italian company specialized in the production of flexographic and rotogravure inks for flexible packaging. Subsequent to the purchasing, the company, which will be totally controlled by Coim Group, will acquire the new name of Darwinks. This acquisition represents an exciting integration project for Novacote business line, ensuring the opportunity for development in Ink Media sector, consolidating its presence, and continuing to serve, support and increase its customers, in the flexible packaging industry. COIM boasts a network of almost 900 people responsible for providing the high quality services and products one would expect from a well-established and prestigious company. The flexibility, capability and efficiency of its structure are achieved through the close partnership and collaboration with its clients.

WACKER Constructs Reactor for IPA

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the life sciences and biotechnology division of the WACKER Group, has announced that it is strengthening its integrated ketene production at its Burghausen site in Germany. The Munich-based chemical company is building a further reactor for the manufacture of isopropenyl acetate (IPA) with an annual capacity of 2,500 metric tons. Capital expenditures of almost €2 million are budgeted for the capacity increase. Completion of the plant is scheduled for the second half of 2017. In addition, WACKER is taking over the sales and distribution of the fine chemical calcium acetylacetonate from Acetonate GmbH as of April. This derivative of AcAc will round out the existing integrated ketene production system in Burghausen. “The new IPA reactor is an important step toward strengthening our integrated ketene production system in Burghausen,” says WACKER Board Member Auguste Willems. “The expansion is part of our strategy of raising the proportion of specialties in our business as a whole to boost growth and profitability.”

Flint Group Starts-up Global Innovation Centre for Paper & Board Packaging Inks

Flint Group has opened a Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Malmö Sweden. A new normal is now established in the industry where the highest standard of service and support for packaging printers is now a reality.

At the center of this facility is Flint Group’s new 8-station SOMA printing press equipped with the latest web handling and both water-based and UV printing capabilities.

Kim Melander, VP Sales EMEA & Global Strategy Paper & Board for Flint Group, says this, “We are extremely proud to announce this next achievement for our Paper & Board packaging inks business. The center has been specially designed to focus on the development of products that will shape the future of Paper & Board printing.

“The investment in our new state of the art SOMA printing press is a significant milestone and a clear demonstration that we are fully committed to invest in our industry and support our customers’ growth through an innovative development workflow.”

According to Paul Winstanley, Technical Director, Paper & Board EMEA, “With the GIC, Flint Group provides a unique customer centric R&D facility focused on developing ‘next generation’ products for our core global market segments. This truly state of the art facility – with its innovative workflow, analytic tools and new contemporary printing press supported by our international technology team – has created a future template in product innovation and customer support.”

Mr. Stuart Duffy, Director Professional Services for Flint Group Packaging & Narrow Web, adds, “In June of 2016, Flint Group presented the market with its Global Colour Centre (GCC) in Poland and its solution-based competencies, VIVO Colour Solutions. The new Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Sweden is a second step, and a calculated complement to the GCC in Poland.”

Mr. Duffy continues, “The demand for brand equity and integrity solutions by brand owners helped shape our strategy to create and deliver these two global Centers of excellence. Both facilities focus on innovation, service development, education, with experts who deliver crucial day to day technical support for customers. Every element is targeted to ensure our customers’ businesses continue to develop and prosper.”

Mr. Melander concludes, “At Flint Group we are MAKING IT HAPPEN. In this ‘new normal’ we are setting new standards for the industry to follow; we are raising the bar on everyday performance. We are creating a new reality for success in package printing. For the benefit of our customers, we listen, we learn, and we lead.”

Huntsman Acquires IFS

Huntsman Corporation announced on Monday that it has completed the acquisition of IFS Chemicals Limited (IFS), one of the UK’s leading independent formulators of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) based systems. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Located in Kings Lynn, England, IFS was established more than 35 years ago and its customized MDI systems are used in a diverse range of end markets, including insulation, appliances, automotive and elastomeric applications.

Commenting on the acquisition, Tony Hankins, President of Huntsman’s Polyurethanes division, said: “With their highly experienced team and loyal customer base, IFS provides us with excellent access to the UK’s growing downstream MDI systems market. It will serve as a strategic platform to expand our business and consolidate our position as a market leader. The acquisition represents the latest step in our plan to strengthen our differentiated downstream capabilities and we now have more than 25 facilities worldwide, reflecting our confidence in the long-term growth prospects for MDI-based urethanes.”

Barrie Colvin IFS founder and Managing Director added, “I am delighted that we have reached agreement with Huntsman and look forward – together with the rest of the IFS team - to an exciting future which brings together the best of IFS and Huntsman Polyurethanes, strengthening our ability to meet the growing needs of existing and future customers.”

PPG Experts to Discuss Breakthrough Automotive Coatings Technologies at 2017 FOCUS

PPG experts will join development partners and other automotive and coatings industry participants to discuss two groundbreaking automotive coatings technologies and take part in a panel discussion during the 42nd Annual FOCUS (Future Of Coatings Under Study) Conference, at Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy on May 4.

Stacey Orzech, PPG manager of automotive powder coatings technology, North America, will present “Powder Tu-tone: From the ‘Box’ to the Vehicle: The Art of Powder Application in Automotive Manufacturing.” She will discuss the work that enabled color powder basecoats by PPG to be used in commercial production on a light vehicle body, providing operational efficiency, exceptional anti-chip performance and near-zero volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions for the OEM.

Caroline Harris, PPG senior research manager, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) decorative automotive coatings, and Jim Pakkala, senior engineering manager for Dürr Systems, will describe how the companies partnered to develop “Project LEAPP™ – Low Energy Automotive Paint Process.” Project LEAPP technology was funded in part by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-0005777. The presentation will examine "compact process" paint application systems, which reduce capital expenditures and operating costs for OEMs by eliminating the need for energy-intensive drying equipment and decreasing total painting time, and it will describe a vision for the future of spray-applied coating layers including a technical development underway to enable low-temperature curing in industrial applications.

Additionally, Jim Ohlinger, PPG product engineering manager, sprayable decorative automotive coatings, will participate in a panel discussion titled "From the Can to the Car – Extending the Boundaries of Technology."

Presented by the Detroit Society for Coatings Technology, the FOCUS Conference features experts who examine and present ways of extending the boundaries of coatings technology that will transport the automotive industry into the future.

BASF & UC Berkeley Extend Research Collaboration

Many scientific discoveries and patent applications have resulted from more than 25 research projects underway since West Coast universities and BASF established the California Research Alliance (CARA) by BASF in 2014. This multidisciplinary collaboration headed by the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) conducts research on new inorganic and other advanced materials, biosciences and their applications.

To mark three years of CARA researchers working alongside BASF counterparts, members of these universities, guest professors, students, and BASF have convened for an Anniversary Symposium, April 24-25, 2017, at UC Berkeley to address recent research advancements. During the event, leaders from UC Berkeley and BASF announced a five-year extension of the CARA collaboration at a signing ceremony.

“Our California Research Alliance brings together an entire university system with BASF’s global R&D organization. We see that as a great opportunity demonstrating the power of connecting academia and industry to drive innovation,” said Peter Eckes, President of Bioscience Research and North America Research Representative, BASF.

"Three years and 25 research projects later, CARA has proven to be a big success," said Paul Alivisatos, Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research and a campus chemistry professor. "I'm delighted, but not surprised, because basic and applied research are not distinct activities. They are woven together and reinforce each other. That's why, like other CARA researchers, I am looking forward to several more years of cooperation with BASF."

Over the last three years, BASF experts and researchers from UC Berkeley; Stanford, UC Davis; UC Santa Barbara; UC San Francisco; and UC Los Angeles, have worked together on multiple research projects to make new materials, advance the functionality and performance of materials and develop methods and tools for tailoring the interaction between chemicals and biological systems.

One recent advancement was achieved by a joint team active in the field of catalysis. The researchers developed a synthesis of binary intermetallic nanoparticles from a combination of noble and base metals, which have the potential to be used in catalysis applications.

“Previously, there were only physical methods for manufacturing very small quantities of such intermetallic nanoparticles. With this newly discovered chemical approach, a critical first step was taken towards preparation of these materials in large scales, which is a prerequisite for assessing their potential for industrial catalysis,” said Peter Walther, Senior Vice President, Heterogeneous Catalysis, BASF.

“The extensive nanoparticles expertise and application know-how at CARA combined with guidance provided to the postdoctoral researchers by Professor Paul Alivisatos and BASF were certainly decisive for the development of this new method.”

ACTEGA Bows New Colors for Direct Contact with Food

ACTEGA has developed a new color series that is harmless even in direct contact with food. The innovative colors of the ALTANA Group’s specialist for coatings, sealants, printing inks, and adhesives uses FDA-listed raw materials for this series. In addition, the shades can also be processed on conventional printing lines. Processing on such print lines at low temperatures enables a variety of color combinations to be produced.

“With our many years of experience and innovative strength as a specialist for pigmented product solutions, we have succeeded in developing this new color series for direct contact with food. As a result, we are making another important contribution to ecology,” says Dr. Thomas Sawitowski, Managing Director of ACTEGA Rhenania GmbH.

There is a great demand for this solution. Studies confirm that colors play a decisive role in purchasing decisions. It is not only brand owners who exploit the power of colors to consistently implement their brand strategy. Manufacturers of food packaging, too, have no desire to dispense with the versatile use of colors.

To eliminate the impact of printing inks on health and the environment, they are faced with a variety of challenges. Issues such as direct food contact (DFC) and conformity with food regulations are uppermost when it comes to developing a safe product solution.

The colors developed by ACTEGA Rhenania for direct contact with conform to the following requirements: Printing inks: FDA-listed (§175.300 and §178.3297), Free from PVC, BPA, isocyanate, melamine, Chemical crosslinking / no UV curing, High solid content / between 50% and 70% depending on the ink, Block-resistant to 80 °C, Very flexible / also suited to deformation, Substrate: aluminum, For flexographic printing presses

Evonik Drives Forward Sustainability Analysis of its Business

Specialty chemicals company Evonik is driving forward the sustainability analysis of its business. This involves examining the contribution made by its products to resource efficiency in the application phase, including energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and waste. The analysis covers Evonik's entire operating chemicals business. The results of the sustainability analysis for 2016 confirm that around 50 percent of the sales generated by Evonik's chemical segments already come from products that make a measurable contribution to improving resource efficiency in the use phase. Examples are amino acids for animal nutrition, additives for hydraulic fluids, and functional silanes to protect building facades. The method used for this analysis was validated by an external auditor in spring 2017 and then published by Evonik.

Sustainable business activities and responsible conduct are cornerstones of Evonik's business model. Thomas Wessel, the Executive Board member responsible for sustainability at Evonik: “We experience the close relationship between ecologically and socially responsible conduct on the one hand and business success on the other on a daily basis in our interaction with employees, customers, investors and business partners.” Sustainability has been a growth driver at Evonik for many years and is an important criterion in customers’ purchasing decisions.

Occupational safety and plant safety, in other words, protecting employees, local inhabitants and the environment, have priority over sales and profits at Evonik. Thomas Wessel: “Our initiative to strengthen our safety culture provides binding guidance for our employees on how individual conduct contributes to ensuring top safety standards.” In 2016, the accident frequency indicator for Evonik employees was 1.2. That was within the ceiling of 1.3 set by the company but slightly above the previous year's figure of 1.0. The accident frequency rate shows the number of accidents involving Evonik employees and contractors’ employees under Evonik's direct supervision per 1 million working hours. Thanks to the safety initiative, Evonik has also greatly improved the process safety of its production facilities.

In Singapore, the DL-methionine production plant on Jurong Island has set a good example of maintaining a safe and productive workplace. In 2016 they have accomplished 1 million safe working hours since the start of its operation in 2014 with zero lost-time accident. As testament of its safety and environmental standards, the production plant was also awarded three of the highest industrial quality standard systems in 2015.

2016 was a good year for Evonik’s sustainability activities. The company was included in the prestigious “Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World” and “DJSI Europe”indices for the first time. In addition, it received two accolades from the German Sustainability Award—as a prize-winner in the “research” category and as one of Germany’s five most sustainable large corporations.

While the 2 production plants in Thailand, Evonik Thai Aerosil Co. Ltd (ETAC) and Evonik United Silica (Siam) Ltd (EUSSL) were presented the “Gold Star” and “Green Star” awards from the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand for their continual efforts in environmental sustainability in 2016. ETAC and EUSSL have been receiving these awards since 2010 and 2011 respectively.

IIT Researchers Use Pigment from Jamun in Solar Cell

A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, have found that a pigment found in jamun (Syzygium cumini) absorbs large amounts of sunlight. The IIT scientists have been experimenting with the pigment, called anthocyanin, and believe that using it for mass production could bring down solar panel costs.

“We were looking at why the jamuns are black,” said Soumitra Satapathi, assistant professor at IIT-Roorkee. “We extracted the pigment using ethanol and found that anthocyanin was a great absorber of sunlight.” Anthocyanin is also found in fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and cherries.

Most solar cells today are made of either single crystal silicon or polycrystalline silicon. While polycrystalline is more efficient, it is also more expensive. Satapathi is using the jamun pigment for a new kind: dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs). The results of the study were published in the Journal of Photovoltaics.

Solar cells work on a simple principle. Photons from the sun strike a solar cell, which contains electron-rich silicon or dye, and knock out the electrons to create electricity. The more efficiently a solar cell can absorb the many photons striking it, the more electricity it can produce.

India is looking to increase its solar-power generation capacity from 10 gigawatts to 100 gigawatts by 2022—with a target of attracting a staggering $100 billion into the sector during that time. Much of that is because the country constantly grapples with a power shortage.

Though silicon is abundant on Earth, manufacturing silicon cells is quite expensive. By using naturally occurring dyes like the jamun pigment, Satapathi hopes that if he can make his dye-sensitized solar cell more efficient, it could bring down the cost of a solar panel by 40%.

There’s a long way to go. Satapathi’s cell current efficiency is only 0.5% compared to commercial solar cells that provide more than 15% efficiency. Though dye-sensitized cells were invented in 1988, there are no large commercial suppliers of solar panels that use this technology today because of the poor efficiency of the cells.

Silberline Releases New Aluminum Pigments for the Graphic Arts

Silberline this week announced the addition of SPARKLEBRITE Premier 012-PAC and 012-PA products for the graphic arts market. These silver dollar flakes offer excellent brightness with a low particle size for optimal printability.

The New SPARKLEBRITE Premier pigments are also unique in that they are well suited for applications that require excellent brilliance and performance, without the significant investment typically associated with other aluminum pigments in this bright color space and size.

Product Highlights include high brilliance silver dollar flake at high value so the manufacturer can participate affordably in High Brilliance applications. The product is excellent for tinted, polychromatic effects and its small particle size D50 = 12 microns allows use for both Gravure & Flexographic applications.

In other news, researchers found that algal residue, the leftover material after extracting oil from algae can be used to produce industrial chemicals. Algal starch can be converted into alkyl lactate and alkyl

AkzoNobel has announced the 20 finalists for its Imagine Chemistry initiative. It received many ideas for novel chemistries ranging from new sources of bio-based products to potential breakthrough...more about this

Arkema has successfully brought on stream new Kynar® PVDF capacities on its Changshu platform near Shanghai. With this 25% increase in its production capacities in China, Arkema, has consolidated...more about this

And finally, the carbon black market is projected to reach USD 13.79 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 4.6% between 2016 and 2021, predicts MarketsandMarkets. Inks & coatings market drives the carbon black market...more about this


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