Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. First just a heads-up. The ACS is coming up on May 8-10, and it looks to be a great show. Old guys like me are used to the Paint Show being in October or November since the days of loaves and fishes, so I thought I'd mention it in case like me, you're having a senior moment. Now, on to the news.
Dow announced that the Company will construct a new ethylene production plant at Dow Texas Operations in Freeport, Texas, USA as part of Dow's previously announced comprehensive plan to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks available from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas.
The new ethylene production facility at Dow Texas Operations will employ up to 2,000 workers at its construction peak. The new ethylene production unit project is currently on track for start-up in 2017, and Dow continues to develop feedstock supply arrangements for this new asset. On March 7th, Dow announced that they were finalizing detailed engineering and purchasing of long lead-time equipment for a new propylene production facility also to be constructed at Freeport. The propylene project is on track for production start-up in 2015.
In financial news, 3M Co. said net income rose 4% in the first quarter as strong sales to automotive and aerospace customers offset a continuing decline in sales to the consumer electronics industry. The company earned $1.13 billion, or $1.59 per share. That was well ahead of the $1.48 per share expected by analysts. 3M's revenue of $7.49 billion matched analyst expectations.
The company, based in Maplewood, Minnesota, USA, makes coatings and adhesives as well as consumer products such as Scotch Tape and Post-it notes. Weak spots included coatings for LCD televisions and sales in Europe.
In business news, Bomar Specialties announced its integration into Dymax Corporation, a leading manufacturer of light-curing adhesives, coatings, and equipment. As a result of the integration, Bomar Specialties will transition to Dymax Oligomers & Coatings and continue to provide innovative solutions to unique energy-cure application challenges.
Dymax Corporation co-founded Bomar Specialties in 1990. Dymax subsequently acquired 100% ownership of Bomar Specialties in 2001. Bomar, having established itself as a key industry supplier of critical raw materials, strengthened the company's innovative culture and furthered its ability to provide custom solutions to unique production challenges. The Bomar name, long synonymous with that type innovation, will be retained as a Dymax Oligomers & Coatings brand.
Increasingly, we are all spending more and more time in plastic airplanes. I often half wondered (usually at 20,000 feet in a Cessna Citation) what happened if they were hit by lightning. I knew in my heart there was an energy dissipation scheme incorporated into composite airframes, but only recently found out for sure.
Now Lord Corp. announced that it has been selected as a winner in the Innovation Challenge competition sponsored by Aviation Week magazine for its UltraConductive Coating for lightning strike protection technology.
Recognizing game-changing aerospace and defense (A&D) suppliers for their unique responses to market needs, cost improvements and positive effects on integration barriers, the 2012 Innovation Challenge brings the latest A&D advancements, pre-screened by industry leaders, to aviation buyers. The winners of the Innovation Challenge were announced on March 7 at Aviation Week's Innovation Challenge Showcase in Washington, D.C., USA.
Lord was honored as a winner in the Advanced Material Composites category for its self-assembling conductive mesh for lightning strike protection - a polymer technology that cuts weight in half and is said to be easy to apply and repair.
UltraConductive Films and Coatings offer equivalent lightning strike protection to conventional expanded metal foils at half of the weight. Due to its polymeric nature, Lord UltraConductive Coating is available as a spray-on-tool primer or surfacing film ? improving manufacturability and enabling automation. It provides good EMI protection in addition to lightning strike protection. This epoxy resin system improves surface finish, significantly reducing reliance on sandable surfacing primers required when using metal-expanded foils.
In company news, Miller Paint Co., Inc. has entered into a strategic agreement with Kelly-Moore Paint Company, Inc. to acquire the business operations and selected assets of ten Kelly-Moore Paints stores located in the Puget Sound area. Miller will maintain and operate nine locations, while a tenth Kelly-Moore store in Kent, Washington will be closed and consolidated into Miller Paint's Kent store. Between now and the transaction close date, scheduled for April 30, 2012, Kelly-Moore and Miller will work together to transition the Kelly-Moore store operations, employees and professional outside sales teams over to Miller Paint. No other changes to the store's operations initially planned.
The new strategic alliance was established to maintain the nine Kelly-Moore stores and expand the exclusive distribution of Kelly-Moore's architectural paint products in the region through Miller Paint's current eight store locations. Miller Paint has committed to maintaining and eventually expanding the distribution of the full line of Kelly-Moore products throughout Oregon, Washington and Northern Idaho, where Miller currently operates 40 stores.
"The expansion of Kelly-Moore's line through Miller Paint stores in the Puget Sound area will continue Miller Paint's commitment to provide its customers with the industry's widest range of quality architectural and industrial paint and related products," said Steve Dearborn, CEO and President of Miller Paint. "The expansion of our store locations from eight to 17 here in Puget Sound allows us to better serve our professional and retail customers who are already familiar with Miller's extraordinary level of customer service, our warm and inviting store environment, and our unique color merchandising expertise."
PPG Industries officials have announced the relocation and expansion of the Toulouse, France-area aerospace sales office. In addition to housing staff who serve regional PPG transparencies and coatings customers, the larger facility includes a paint spray booth, and a technical laboratory is being completed for transparency engineering analysis starting later in 2012.
"As with PPG aerospace sales offices and application support centers that are located strategically near key customers' operations around the world, this new office positions us closer to Airbus and other local customers, enhancing our ability to provide them with quick local sales, customer service, coatings technical service and transparencies engineering support," said Roald Johannsen, PPG Aerospace General Manager for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
The new facility includes a climate-controlled paint spray booth for product optimization and application training, Johannsen said. Additionally, the facility's laboratory for transparency engineering analysis will enhance window development and increase convenience for airframe manufacturers and airlines in the region.
In new product and facility news, the management of Inesfly Africa Project, a manufacturing company on Monday launched its product christened "Inesfly Paint"- a tool to control malaria.
Dr. Pilar Mateo, the product's inventor, launching the product in Accra explained that," Inesfly is a coated insecticide, acaricide and growth regulator of arthropods that present its active ingredients in micro-encapsulated and has a low and gradual release mechanism with a long residual action."
She noted that 300 to 500 million clinical episodes of malaria occurred annually, resulting in about one million deaths and a vast majority of these fatalities involving children less than five years old in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Mateo said, fighting malaria in sub-Saharan Africa was mainly focused on vector control through the use of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual insecticide spraying. She explained that the product was the first ever vaccine that had a special ingredient, IGR which had the ability to track the full life cycle of the insect from the egg to the adult stage.
Dr. Mateo said, the 10 million Euro project, which was established in Ghana in January would reduce the cost of malaria vaccine for buildings, create jobs and serve as the supply for the whole of Africa.
Mr. Philip Gamey, Head of Corporate Affairs at Inesfly Africa said, the paint had been certified by several tests carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency and Ghana Standards Authority to effectively control insects and mosquitoes. He said the paint is a safe malaria vaccine that should not be applied on human beings but on buildings and stressed that the product is harmless to human beings.
He noted that Inesfly Africa, as its first corporate social responsibility program, agreed with the management of 37 Military Hospital to paint the entire children's ward with support from other sponsors. He said the move was to ensure that patients who left the hospital after being treated on other ailment did not leave their wards with malaria.
As part of the launching, an agreement was signed between Dr Mateo and Mr. Hayssan Fakhry, Managing Director of Interplast Ghana as partners to set up the business in the country.
In business news from Israel, Azrieli Group Ltd., subsidiary Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd., has made an offer to purchase the public's share in its paint subsidiary Tambour Ltd.. Granite Hacarmel owns 84% of Tambour.
Granite Hacarmel is offering NIS 5.25 per share for Tambour, a 9.3% premium on yesterday's closing price of NIS 4.80. If the offer to purchase is accepted, it will cost NIS 54 million. The offer is not subject to a full response, or delisting of Tambour, and Granite Hacarmel may ultimately only increase its stake in the company.
Granite Hacarmel said that it made the offer to purchase because the low trading volume in Tambour's share and the high costs of a TASE listing. In addition, the company's pyramid structure was not in line with the regulatory trend on the structure of holding companies.
In research news, a thin polymer coating developed by materials engineers at Texas A&M University could keep cotton clothing and polyurethane-foam-based furniture from going up in flames without polluting the environment.
Jaime Grunlan, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, works with polymer nanocomposites that have properties similar to those of metals and ceramics-conducting electricity, for instance-while maintaining properties of polymers, such as low density.
In 2010, Grunlan's development of a flame-resistant polymer coating got him some attention, as he fielded calls from the United States military, the cotton industry, mattress manufacturers, and the Federal Aviation Administration, and from companies around the world.
New advancements in the area, however, should grab even more attention. "We can now make cotton fabric that doesn't burn at all," Grunlan said.
Grunlan's technology-which has been reported in Science News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nature, and Advanced Materials-involves covering every microscopic fiber in a fabric with a thin composite coating of two polymers that exhibit an intumescent effect, producing a protective carbon foam coating when exposed to high temperatures.
The thin films are about one-tenth of a micron thick, or about one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair, and are created with the layer-by-layer assembly technique in which the coating is deposited onto the surface of the fiber being coated. This layer-by-layer process allows Grunlan to control the thickness of the coating down to the nanometer level.
Grunlan says the technology will be suitable for clothing, including children's clothing; laboratory coats; and medical clothing for both doctors and patients. It can even be used in military camps, where a fire in a single tent can wipe out an entire camp.
But the technology's applications go far beyond just clothing and fabric. The coating could be used in foams, such as those found in sofas, mattresses, theatre and auditorium seats, airplane seat cushions, and building insulation.
On polyurethane foam, a coating of chitosan and clay is deposited to eliminate melt dripping during burning. The nanocomposite mixture coats the interior walls of foam. The result is that when burned, the treated foam keeps its shape instead of puddling at high temperatures like untreated polyurethane foam does. This quality eliminates the "melt-dripping" effect that further spreads fires.
"It's like we're building a nano-brick wall within each cell of the foam," Grunlan said.
That brick wall keeps the foam from being destroyed. And the coating is so thin that it adds only 4 to 5 weight-percent to the foam and does not negatively alter its color, texture, or flexibility.
With Grunlan's technique, each thread can be individually coated, in the case of cotton fabric. In fact, his coating could potentially strengthen fabric. The researchers are also looking at ways to make the coating softer and more durable to washing.
Current flame-retardant materials rely on brominated compounds, many of which have been banned due to concerns over their potential toxicity. The Texas A&M researchers were searching for an alternative to these toxic chemicals, and had previously been using a commonly known clay and a commercial synthetic polymer to make their coatings. But in order to make the coatings more sustainable, Grunlan switched to chitosan.
"Based on initial results," he said, "I really think this is going to become a widely adopted, environmentally benign alternative to current flame retardant treatments.
In other news, Lubrizol Corporation will be conducting product presentations at the American Coatings Show 2012 set for May 8-10, Indianapolis. At the show, Lubrizol will showcase innovative solutions from its Performance Coatings line of products suitable for OEM metal, wood, specialty construction, and industrial coatings as well as for adhesives applications...
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The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), will host the International Roof Coatings Conference on July 16-19, 2012, Baltimore, Maryland. This is the premiere roof surfaces and maintenance conference for those in the roof coating, building envelope, green building, cool roofing, research, or architectural communities...
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Cytec Industries Inc. announced a change in its business segment reporting structure. The new reporting structure is effective in the first quarter of 2012 and provides greater clarity on the new strategic focus of the company. It also aligns with the separation alternatives under consideration for Coating Resins and Pressure Sensitive Adhesives...
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And finally, Oxea has appointed the Rotterdam based IMCD Group as its exclusive European distributor for its line of Alkyl Amines. These chemicals are essentials for a variety of uses in industries such as life sciences or pharmaceuticals. Among others, Alkyl Amines are required for the manufacturing of rubber additives, polymers, dyes, corrosion inhibitors or fuel additives...
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