Industry News

Plascore to Commercialize 'Green' Protective Coatings Developed by EMU Researchers

Published on 2012-04-13. Author : SpecialChem

An Eastern Michigan University professor has partnered with a Michigan-based company to help commercialize "green" protective coating developed by his research team at the University.

Vijay Mannari, along with a group of students and other researchers at EMU's Coatings Research Institute, located in the College of Technology, have focused their efforts on developing sustainable polymers and coatings that use renewable sources.

The results of their hard work over the past seven years are six new patent-pending inventions. The coatings developed are designed to protect metal, wood, plastic and building materials, and are used on industrial products within the automobile, aerospace, transportation, packaging and building industries.

"Development of 'green' coating materials and technologies is more important than ever before, and the Coatings Research Institute has the unique capability to help the state and the country, through the innovation and commercialization of its in-house research," said Mannari.

One of the products Mannari's team developed is a chromate-free, anti-corrosive pretreatment for metals - basically a protective coating that inhibits rust.

"The product is an innovative system based on Sol-Gel technology that is much safer than existing products, yet comparable in performance," said Mannari.

This unique coating has the potential of replacing materials currently on the market that are based on hexavalent chromium, a proven carcinogen.

The team was recently awarded two grants by the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, totaling $125,000, to help fund the commercialization of Mannari's inventions.

Mannari, along with Philip Rufe, a technology commercialization coordinator at EMU, will lead the initiative.

Mannari's group will take one of its coating innovations to the next level through a partnership with Plascore, Inc., a Michigan company that is eager to embrace sustainable "green" technologies by offering safer and greener products to its customers.

Plascore, Inc., with headquarters in Zeeland, MI, is a global manufacturer of honeycomb core and composite structures used in aerospace, marine, military, safety and transportation industries that utilize coatings on many of their products.

"We are very excited about our partnership with Plascore," said Mannari. "It will not only help bring new and safer 'greener' products to the market, but will also help propel Michigan's economy and provide great experience to our students."

Other green technologies Mannari's team is developing include "UV-curable" coatings (cured with ultraviolet light) made from soybean oil.

About Eastern Michigan University

In 1849, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Michigan formally paved the way for the establishment of Michigan State Normal School, with the exclusive purposes of instructing persons in the art of teaching; providing a good common school education; and giving instruction in the mechanic arts, husbandry, agricultural chemistry and the laws of the United States. Since its inception, Eastern Michigan, first as a Normal School, then as a College and finally as a University, has grown and developed to respond to the ever-changing needs of society. Over the years, EMU has educated thousands of sons and daughters of Michigan, the nation, and the world.

The University currently serves 23,000 students who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 200 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school.

Source: Eastern Michigan University

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