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Eastman Announces New Paint Spray Facility and Global Enhancements to Coatings Testing Equipment

Published on 2007-03-14. Author : SpecialChem

Kingsport, Tenn. -- Eastman Chemical Company announces the opening of its new state-of-the-art paint spray facility at the company's international headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn. The first of its kind by a coatings raw material supplier, the new paint spray facility is the culmination of a 12-month, multi-million dollar investment in personnel, construction, equipment and technology.

Building upon Eastman's traditionally strong applications capabilities, the new facility allows reproducible application of coatings using current industrial techniques under controlled environmental conditions. In so doing, it facilitates the development and testing of innovative coating additives that help improve the performance of automotive OEM, refinish and other coatings in a variety of industrial settings and environments.

"Our customers' demand for environmentally compliant coatings and the changeover to waterborne paints has made rigorous and innovative paint testing all the more crucial," says Dirk DiSantis, global marketing manager, coatings for Eastman. "Our new multifaceted facility will help paint formulators to faster and more effectively meet the specific environmental and performance needs of their customers."

The facility is engineered to precisely replicate the wide range of climate conditions, including temperature and humidity, faced by paint shops, as well as the line conditions of most industrial paint application lines. A robot with two interchangeable end devices is connected to an advanced computer system that can be easily adjusted to mimic automotive, building and construction, and electronics applications. "This upgrade to our research capabilities provides for a holistic assessment of product performance. In addition to traditionally measuring an additive's effect on coating film properties, the strict control systems of the new application facility will now also allow us to measure the effect our additives have on paint application performance." says DiSantis.

"Global manufacturers with widely dispersed production and assembly facilities need to ensure the uniformity and quality of color and finish across the supply chain, " says David Allen, technical director, coatings for Eastman. "Since conditions on the painting line can vary widely based on region and climate, the need for reliable coatings additives that help paint suppliers compensate for this variability is continually increasing."

To complement its new Kingsport facility, Eastman is also announcing an additional investment in new testing equipment at its Kirkby, U.K. site. New capabilities include rheometers, flame treatment, hot spray pressure, peel strength and stone chip testing equipment. These enhancements will allow the facility to respond more quickly to customer needs and ensure that Eastman continues to develop coatings additives that deliver superior performance across a variety of applications.

"We are making significant investments to help our customers develop the most intelligently designed, best-performing coatings possible," says Keith Middleton, research and development manager, coatings for Eastman. "Our new Kingsport application center and the enhanced Kirkby facility are tangible manifestations of our commitment to meeting their demands - and those of the marketplace."

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide. It provides key differentiated coatings, adhesives and specialty plastics products; is the world's largest producer of PET polymers for packaging; and is a major supplier of cellulose acetate fibers. As a Responsible Care® company, Eastman is committed to achieving the highest standards of health, safety, environmental and security performance. Founded in 1920 and headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman is a FORTUNE 500 company with 2006 sales of $7.5 billion and approximately 11,000 employees.

Source: Eastman


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