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LyondellBasell to Invest in Propylene Oxide Plant, BASF Starts Production of DOTP Plasticizer, AkzoNobel Plans to Double Organic Peroxide Capacity

SpecialChem / Mark Drukenbrod – Jul 27, 2017

Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. In industry news since last issue, BYK has announced that is building a new integrated site in Shanghai and RPM acquired Key Resin Company. Axalta made a binding offer to acquire the European and Chinese operations of IVA and Merck opened it’s a pigment application laboratory in Shanghai. 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…

LyondellBasell to Invest in Propylene Oxide Plant in Houston

LyondellBasell has announced the final investment decision to build a propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant in the Houston area. The project is estimated to cost approximately $2.4 billion, representing the single-largest capital investment in the company's history. At the peak of construction, the project is expected to create up to 2,500 jobs and approximately 160 permanent positions when operational. "This world-scale project is a key part of our organic growth strategy which is designed to meet rising global demand for both urethanes and cleaner-burning oxyfuels while creating real, long-term value for our shareholders," said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell.

BASF Starts Production of DOTP Plasticizer for Wire & Cable Coatings

BASF has started the production of Palatinol® DOTP (dioctyl terephthalate), a general purpose plasticizer, at its Pasadena, Texas facility, with a nameplate capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year. The plant enables BASF to respond to the growing demand for phthalate alternative plasticizers in North America, and strengthens its position as a reliable source for DOTP. With Palatinol DOTP, in its portfolio, BASF offers effective solutions to producers of vinyl film and sheet applications for flooring, coated fabrics, and wire and cable coatings. Operations started at an oxo alcohol unit for 2-EH (2-ethylhexanol) at the Pasadena site, with a nameplate capacity of 100,000 metric tons per year. This secures consistent raw material integration for Palatinol DOTP, while also strengthening the reliability of BASF’s 2-EHA (2-ethylhexyl acrylate) production at the company’s site in Freeport, Texas.

AkzoNobel Plans to Double Organic Peroxide Capacity in China

AkzoNobel has planned to double production capacity at its organic peroxides facility in Ningbo, China. This will be done during the next two years. The project to boost the capacity by 40% is already underway and is expected to be completed by mid-August. The company is now considering a larger scale expansion, which will increase current capacity by 100%. Johan Landfors, Managing Director for AkzoNobel’s Polymer Chemistry business, said: “Demand for our products is growing rapidly and expanding our existing facilities provides a great opportunity to meet the needs of our global customers. “This expansion will allow us to further grow in our market and solidify our position as the world’s number one producer of organic peroxides.” The multi-site employs approximately 500 people. It houses operations for several of AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business units. AkzoNobel is also building a new organic peroxides plant in Tianjin. This will ensure the company’s long-term commitment to the industry in China.

Axalta Powder Coatings Chosen to Protect Tallest Tower in Malaysia

Axalta Coating Systems, in collaboration with Euro Façade, Superb Aluminium and Mulia Group, will supply its Alesta® powder coatings for The Exchange 106 tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With completion scheduled for 2018, the impressive skyscraper will be the tallest building in Malaysia, transforming the city’s International Financial District.

The Exchange 106 is the latest flagship project of Mulia Group, Indonesia’s leading commercial property developer, which is renowned for its cutting-edge design, efficient space planning, and operational excellence. Designed to be the most luxurious office skyscraper in the world, the iconic tower will exemplify the most innovative construction strategies.

Euro Façade Tech Sdn Bhd, Superb Aluminium Industries Sdn Bhd, and ultimately Mulia Group, selected Axalta products due to their unique, metallic finish, as well as Axalta’s strong technical support and convenient lead time. The group chose Axalta’s Alesta SD Silver Trophy Grey and Alesta AP Beige Matt to coat the curtainwall aluminum extrusions and back pans of the structure. In addition to their high-performance attributes, the Alesta coatings met the chief designer's vision and the overall concept of the building.

“Axalta works diligently at maintaining a product portfolio with the latest innovations in color and technology to support such monumental buildings across the globe,” said Mike Cash, Senior Vice President and President of Industrial Coatings at Axalta. “We are honored to play a part in protecting and contributing to the beauty of this renowned architectural masterpiece in Malaysia.”

The Exchange 106 will stand 106 floors high at the southern gateway to the capital. The building is also designed to be environmentally sustainable and will be certified under the Green Building Index (GBI) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

PPG Announces Executive Appointments

On July 24, PPG announced two executive appointments, effective immediately.

Roald Johannsen will become vice president, automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coatings, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He will report to Tim Knavish, PPG senior vice president, automotive OEM coatings and Jean-Marie Greindl, senior vice president, global architectural coatings and president, PPG EMEA. Johannsen is currently vice president, general manager, automotive OEM, EMEA.

Jérôme Zamblera will become vice president, automotive refinish, EMEA, and director, environment, health and safety (EHS), EMEA. He will report to John Outcalt, vice president, global automotive refinish and Greindl. Zamblera is currently general manager, automotive refinish, EMEA, and also oversees EHS, EMEA.

Asian Paints Posts Q1 Fall

Asian Paints Ltd, the country's biggest paint maker by market capitalization, posted a 20 per cent fall in first-quarter consolidated profit on July 25.

The company said its decorative business was impacted in June ahead of the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax while higher material prices also squeezed margins.

Consolidated profit was Rs 441 crore in the three months ended June 30. The total income of the paints giant rose 5 per cent to Rs 4,307 crore.

Its total income from operations, however, was up 4.94 per cent at Rs 4,306.60 crore in the quarter under review, against Rs 4,103.56 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

“The decorative business in India registered low single-digit volume growth in the current quarter with the business getting impacted, especially in the month of June due to GST rollout from July 1,” Asian Paints Managing Director and CEO K B S Anand said.

On a standalone basis, the company recorded a net profit of Rs 400.95 crore compared with Rs 501.18 crore in the year-ago period.

Lubrizol Announces Upgrades its Textile Coatings Center of Excellence

The Lubrizol Corporation's Performance Coatings business announces an extensive upgrade to its Textile Coatings Center of Excellence in Gastonia, North Carolina, USA. This facility, which focuses on research and development of coatings technologies for textile and non-woven substrates, is dedicated to formulating and testing innovative coating technologies for an array of technical textile applications. The new Center of Excellence is a state of the art textile coating product development and applications testing facility.

"By upgrading our capabilities, we continue our longstanding commitment to the textiles industry", says Bob Bonner, technical manager. "This investment expands our ability to deliver a wide range of textile coating and testing services for customers, including flame retardancy, abrasion resistance, water repellency, chemical resistance, and stretch-restriction capability."

"Our textiles team in Gastonia is focused on providing an outstanding experience for customers through technical service", comments Ted Parigian, sales manager, textile coatings. "They're constantly developing new technologies, and these upgrades will enhance our ongoing ability to deliver winning solutions".

Lubrizol investments in global Center of Excellences ensure the ability for highly skilled technical experts to collaborate with customers and each other in world class labs with modern equipment to efficiently deliver advanced coating technologies to customers. "Reducing our response time to customers is a key business goal," notes Lee Young, technical director. "When we can bring the right, differentiated products to customers and meet their time requirements in the process, then we are a critical part of their success and profitability."

Huntsman Launches Venator IPO

Huntsman said July 23 that it launched the initial public offering to spin off Venator Materials as a new company.

As part of the nearly $500 million IPO, Huntsman, a specialty chemical company, is offering 22.7 million shares of Venator at $20 to $22 per share. The new pigments and additives company will soon trade under the "VNTR" stock ticker on the New York Stock Exchange.

The spinoff is occurring before Huntsman's pending merger with Swiss-based Clariant to create the $14 billion company called HuntsmanClariant. The formal headquarters for HuntsmanClariant would be in Clariant's hometown of Pratteln, Switzerland, while Huntsman’s Woodlands property would become the operational headquarters for the combined company.

Venator is a Latin word for "hunter" - a play on the Huntsman family name. Huntsman said the new company would focus largely on the titanium dioxide chemical, called TiO2, which is used as a pigment for everything from food coloring and paints to coatings and sunscreen. The business is more cyclical than Huntsman's other divisions that make specialty chemicals and prone to more financial peaks and valleys.

BASF Presented Case Study on New Clearcoat at SURCAR

BASF presented a case study on the successful first use of its scratch-resistant iGloss® clearcoat technology in North America at the 29th annual SURCAR Conference.

A global automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) adopted the iGloss technology at one of its North American production plants to help achieve longer lasting protection on its vehicles. The customer found that scratch resistance and appearance improved by more than 25 percent using iGloss clearcoat technology.

“iGloss clearcoat technology provides a superior, long-lasting finish that protects against micro-scratches,” said Bill Kosteniuk, Account Manager, Asian Accounts North America at BASF. “Collaborating with our customer allowed BASF to help them meet and exceed their customers’ quality expectations.”

Automakers have long used clearcoat to give their vehicles a high gloss appearance and to help protect the car’s exterior from environmental influences and wear and tear. BASF’s iGloss technology uses a new clearcoat chemistry that combines the flexible, elastic finish and strong weathering resistance of inorganic components with the high scratch resistance of inorganic glass-like nanoclusters.

This combination allows iGloss to repair minor scratches via “instant reflow,” where the clearcoat springs back from external pressures, such as the bristles of a car wash brush. This allows the clearcoat to recover 90 percent of scratch deformation, whereas conventional clearcoats only recover about 70 percent.

The iGloss technology not only repairs minor scratches, it also offers increased scratch and weathering resistance. The unique chemical properties of the clearcoat allow for high gloss retention on a vehicle even after numerous scratch cycles and accelerated weathering tests that featured extreme temperature and radiation conditions.

Despite the unique composition of the iGloss clearcoat, it can be applied with existing OEM paint lines without requiring any major changes.

AkzoNobel Sets EGM in September

AkzoNobel today convenes an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM) of Akzo Nobel N.V. to be held at Hilton Hotel, Apollolaan 138, 1077 BG Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Friday, September 8, 2017 starting at 14.00 CET.

The agenda items are as follows:

1. Appointment of Mr. T.F.J. Vanlancker as member of the Board of Management (voting point)
2. Further explanation and discussion regarding AkzoNobel's response to the unsolicited and non-binding proposals made by PPG in March/April 2017 (discussion point)

In addition to the EGM, AkzoNobel also announces a range of measures designed to strengthen and maintain a constructive dialogue with its shareholders, including the creation of a Supervisory Board committee for shareholder relations, David Mayhew and team from JP Morgan Cazenove appointed as advisor for shareholder relations, Senior Executive remuneration to be aligned to the new financial plan, Program of meetings to introduce new CEO, Augmented schedule of roadshows and conferences and Enlarged program of analyst and investor webcasts and events.

Antony Burgmans, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented: “AkzoNobel values its relationship with shareholders and takes its responsibility towards them very seriously. In recent months this relationship, with a particular group of shareholders, has been impacted by events surrounding the Company.

“We have actively reached out to our shareholders to create a plan to strengthen our relationship. This has included feedback from 285 meetings and calls with over 200 investors that have been held in the past six months and a shareholder survey conducted in June of investors holding more than 42% of the total shareholding.

“As part of our enhanced shareholder relations plan we will host an EGM on 8 September. In addition to this, we have appointed David Mayhew and team from JP Morgan Cazenove as a special advisor to a newly established Supervisory Board committee on shareholder relations. We will increase our program of webcasts and events for analysts and investors, which will augment our ongoing schedule of roadshows and management meetings. Senior Executive remuneration will be aligned to the new financial plan.

“I am also able to confirm today that, barring any exceptional circumstances, I intend to retire as planned and in-line with the Dutch corporate governance code, from my position as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AkzoNobel, following the completion of my third term in office in April 2018. A process is now underway to identify my successor.

“All our stakeholders are important and the Supervisory Board and the management team look forward to continued engagement with shareholders as we deliver on our strategy to accelerate growth and value creation.”

DIC Installs Multireaction Tanks at its Synthetic Resins Production Facility

DIC has installed three multireaction tanks—which enable a high degree of freedom in temperature regulation and paddle configuration—at its Hokuriku Plant, a synthetic resins production facility in the city of Hakusan Ishikawa Prefecture, with the aim of improving production efficiency.

This move will enable the plant to accommodate more product lines than previously possible and shorten reaction times, allowing the efficient production of a broad range of synthetic resins.

The Hokuriku Plant produces acrylic resins and polyurethane resins, etc. which are used in coatings, adhesives and electronics materials.

Against a backdrop of rising demand for waterborne and other environment-friendly resins, as well as for high-value-added products such as functional resins for electronics materials, ensuring the ability to efficiently put out a diverse range of products is an urgent challenge.

The new multireaction tanks enable mild temperature adjustments over a wide range, from low to high, which was previously difficult. The tanks also allow reaction control with precise temperature regulation. The Hokuriku Plant can now efficiently produce a wider variety of synthetic resins than ever before, including low-viscosity, high-viscosity, solventborne and solvent-free products.

Under its current medium-term management plan, DIC108, DIC has outlined a policy of concentrating management resources on strategic products. By not only realizing the efficient production of high-value-added strategic products, but also facilitating reaction control, this investment at the Hokuriku Plant will also help resolve issues related to the passing on of technologies, an increasing concern as a new generation of workers takes over.

Dunleary Inc. Acquires D.N. Lukens and D and F Distributing

Towson, Maryland, USA based chemical distributor Dunleary, Inc. announced on July 24 that it acquired D. N. Lukens, Inc. and D & F Distributing, Inc. The closing date for the acquisitions is set for the end of August and is subject to customary due diligence.

All three companies cover CASE, (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers), plastics, construction, food, personal care, cosmetics, graphic arts, oil & gas, rubber, textiles, and others.

A new brand identity is planned for the combined companies and will be launched in late 2017.

The combined company’s geographic reach covers 28 states utilizing 29 technically focused individuals, all of whom have direct field sales responsibilities. The sales team will attend to 4,400 buying and potential customers.

D.N Lukens is headquartered in Westboro, Massachusetts, USA covering Virginia to Maine and D and F Distributing is located in Dallas, Texas, covering the Southern and Southwestern USA.

“This move enables us to collectively meet and exceed the demands of our key business partners with even greater innovation, imagination, and expertise,” said David Behan, Dunleary CEO. “The best specialty chemical distributors in America have always been the small family enterprises and entrepreneurs that live and work in the same ecosystem as their customers and their families. This has been true of our companies, and we are all committed to this heritage.”

The new management team will include John Lukens, COO; William Chestnutt, President; Julia Williams, EVP; Je Palumbo, VP Sales; Steve Hightower, CTO; David Behan, CEO; and as mentioned above, Dirk Plas. The company will also utilize the many skills and talents of John Behan, Julue Duplechian and Terry DePierri.

High-tech Coating Illuminates Concrete Stress Testing

Using the principles of light, Leeds scientists have discovered a new way to measure the strength of modern forms of concrete – giving industry a better way to understand when it could fracture.

Their approach was based on applying a complex light-refracting coating, designed to display stress positions, to the surface of concrete beam samples.

The epoxy coating is ‘birefringent’ – it has the ability to split light waves in different directions in relation to the amount of stress acting in those directions, and reflecting back to a photonic camera.

The camera then takes a picture showing where the stress levels are most extreme before cracks or fractures occur.

While the coating itself is not new, this research project was the first time it had been used to measure shear stress and assess the toughness of concrete against fractures.

Dr. Joseph Antony from the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, who led the study together with researchers at the University of Qatar, said: “There are other methods to measure stress and strain levels in the engineering sector, but we do not believe any of them can measure shear strain directly with high precision, which is most relevant to assess the failure strength of materials.

“The photonic method we developed can directly measure sheer strain, even on opaque materials. Until now, photonic and optical methods of measurement have only been associated with transparent materials.”

The results using the new method compared favorably with conventional methods of stress testing, which have relied on combined experimental and numerical or analytical approaches.

The rise of composite concretes now used extensively in the construction industry prompted the team to look for new ways to study the material’s strength.

Concrete has traditionally been made with cement, gravel and sand but has changed significantly in recent decades.

It can now include numerous waste products including plastic pellets, in order to reduce the levels of natural materials used and to recycle waste products.

Dr. Antony added: “Our study was aimed at developing a method by which plastic or polymer waste materials, in this case from Qatar, could be used as valuable ingredients in developing new engineering products.

“By working with industries which recycle the waste products into micron sized particles, we had direct insight into how they are used, meaning our study could be much more informed by industry requirements.”

Finding a new way to show industry the precise toughness of these new forms of composite concrete meant there could be more reliance on their use as a building material.

Antony explained how concrete made with waste plastic products had shown superior qualities to traditional ingredients, but his team wanted to ensure it could sustain service loads without fracturing.

He added: “We believe this new photonic or optical approach to fracture testing could be applied not only to develop sustainable manufacturing using materials that would otherwise be discarded as waste, but also in other diverse engineering designs including mechanical, civil, materials, electronics and chemical engineering applications.”

The research was funded by the Qatar National Research Fund, and is published in Scientific Reports.

The University of Leeds is an established leader in the field of concrete research, read about how we are establishing a new center of excellence.

Axalta Presents 2017 Automotive Color Collection in Europe for 2020 MY

Axalta Coating Systems has unveiled its 2017 automotive color collection to European car manufacturers. "Color_gen” offers light vehicle OEMs an insight into global color trends that will dominate the market in model years 2020/2021.

The show complements two other annual Axalta color initiatives designed for car manufacturers – the Automotive Color Popularity Report and the company’s Automotive Color of the Year, which for 2017 is Gallant Grey.

The current show has analyzed three key target groups for car manufacturers to allow them to understand purchasing decisions related to automotive style, brand and color. The combination of these three resources give OEMs an overview of customer color decisions in the previous year, the latest trending colors, and a glimpse into what will drive car buyers’ color choices in the future.

The GenNext demographic consists of 16 to 35 year-olds who are predicted to account for more than 50% of the working population by 2020. This generation is likely to perceive cars as lifestyle objects. Colors predicted to appeal to individual tastes within this demographic range from ceramic-like, solid pastels to subdued, natural-looking colors, such as olive and smoky green or terracotta and bright colors for practical, functional vehicles.

The GenHere&Now segment addresses consumers aged between 36 and 55. They lead busy lives, are at the peak of their career and strive to maintain a work-life balance. The forward-looking Color_gen show presents intense, mid-range colors for busy families, unusual, fashionable metallics for the sporty singletons, and a refined palette of chromatic colors such as grey, black, silver, and effect white for "double income – no kids” couples.

GenLux focuses on the over 55s, the most important group of car buyers. They, generally, have the luxury of having a little more time and money, and are focused on quality. Premium effect colors, glass flakes and solid metallic variants of classic colors such as burgundy and variations of British Racing Green are among the colors likely to appeal to this demographic.

"While Axalta’s various comprehensive color insight initiatives track global automotive color trends, the Color_gen concept considers the behavior and tastes of different car buyer target groups. Every generation is exposed to different influences, so their lifestyles, ambitions and choices vary,” Elke Dirks, Axalta’s Color Designer for Automotive OEM Coatings in Europe, Middle East and Africa, explains.

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