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Cognis at APCS: introducing innovative surface chemistry solutions and a new marketing-oriented approach

Published on 2005-05-13. Author : SpecialChem

Cognis' Polymers, Coatings & Inks business unit (PCI) is aiming to develop from a supplier of specialty chemical products into a provider of customized formulations, services and sustainable solutions to customers in five global markets: industrial coatings and adhesives, consumer coatings, graphic arts products, emulsion polymerization technologies and polymer building blocks. At the 2005 Asia Pacific Coatings Show (APCS) in Singapore, Cognis introduced its new marketing-oriented approach for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region. The company used the show to exhibit its latest integrated, market-ready concepts and solutions, and to hold presentations on Versamine® LTC and S, a range of epoxy curing agents which increase the proportion of solids at lower viscosities in heavy-duty applications, and Edenol® EFC-100, an emission-free, non-yellowing, low-odor coalescing agent for use in all decorative paints.

The Versamine® LTC and S series are the latest development in epoxy curing agents. These technologies are based on renewable resources and offer higher solids at lower viscosity, lower color and temperature cure, and improved adhesion to imperfectly prepared substrates, making them particularly suitable for heavy-duty and marine equipment. By using Versamine LTC and S series products either alone or in combination, formulators can develop products that are easier to use in all the different kinds of weather conditions encountered in marine, protective and civil engineering applications.

Stringent restrictions on the use of VOCs have forced formulators of decorative paints to seek new coating additives that allow them to develop products which comply with the new regulations, with no detriment to their application and film properties. In response to this demand, Cognis has developed specialized polymerization surfactants for latex producers, and specialized rheology modifiers, defoamers and wetting aids for paint producers. Edenol® EFC-100, the latest additive developed by Cognis, is an emission-free coalescing agent produced from renewable fatty acids which is ideally suited for use in all decorative paints. It is cost-effective, easy to incorporate and improves the efficiency of rheology modifiers. It also offers higher gloss, improved scrub resistance and cost savings when used in quality formulations with non-ionic associative rheology modifiers.

Cognis also exhibited several other innovative solutions and concepts, for example, the new Starfactant™ line. In order to apply coatings effectively to water-repellent surfaces such as plastics or oil-contaminated steel, the coating industry requires polymers that can lower static and dynamic surface tension and help to eliminate foam. The Starfactant line of wetting agents meets these demands, and moreover it successfully reduces static and dynamic surface tension while reducing foam in waterborne formulations. By increasing the level of hyperbranched wetting agents, the amount of foam in a formulation can be reduced. The polymers are effective in waterborne polyurethane, epoxy and acrylic systems, as well as 100% UV formulations, used for coatings and adhesives.

Today's construction industry prefers coatings that are water-based, as these are easier to handle, present a significantly lower health risk, and are more environmentally compatible than older products, which released volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. In response to this demand, Cognis has developed its Waterpoxy® range of water-based epoxy coating systems. They are designed to provide high-performance protection against corrosion in construction and civil engineering applications. For example, Waterpoxy 760 was developed to provide dimensionally-stable high-thickness self-leveling floorings, one of the most important applications of modern, water-dilutable epoxy resins.

EU legislation aims to ban nonylphenolethoxylates (NPEOs), this means that manufacturers have to find alternatives. At the ECS Cognis presented alternative surfactants based on renewable raw materials. These will benefit manufacturers, as they will help them obtain the European Eco-labeling for indoor paints and varnishes. Disponil® AFX is a high-performance non-ionic surfactant series suitable for a wide range of emulsion polymerization applications and polymer dispersions. Such alkylphenol-free emulsifiers are much less harmful to the environment, and are becoming key ingredients in ecologically sound emulsion polymer solutions.

Customers will benefit from both the Market Awareness Process, Cognis' systematic new mechanism for identifying new market trends, and a new technology organization within the PCI Business that will encourage more customer-oriented innovations, and ensure these are brought to market with maximum speed and efficiency. Comments Patrice Pinsard, Vice President Polymers, Coatings & Inks: "The Asia-Pacific region is a promising economic growth market. We expect rising demand for our high-performance polymers, paints, coatings and adhesives based on our chemical and engineering expertise founded on a broad multi-technology approach. Our focus is to provide our customers in this important market with specific, integrated solutions that combine environmental sustainability, reliability, consumer safety and superior performance. These new initiatives will ensure that we are able to help our customers to be successful in their markets."

About Cognis

Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients. The company employs about 8,100 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Additionally, Cognis provides solutions for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles and plastics, as well as agriculture and mining.

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2004, Cognis recorded sales of 3.07 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and exceptional items) of 362 million euros.

Source: Cognis

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