Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. There are not a lot of big stories for this issue, but there are numerous smaller items that will enrich your professional life until Thursday.
Taking another stride towards developing India as an international competence center, BASF Coatings (India) Private Limited has set up a new Coatings technical support lab at Mangalore, India. This new facility at Mangalore will support lab activities including product development, analytical testing, certification and new pigment qualification, catering to coatings customers of BASF outside of India.
Prasad Chandran, Chairman, BASF Companies in India & Head South Asia, said, "India will continue to be a thriving market for automotive coatings. BASF's operations have the quality and potential for sustainable growth: a qualified and committed team, state-of-the-art operations, a favorable cost structure and strong customer focus within an overall favorable business environment."
In distribution news, following the overall review of the Perstorp Group's use of sales channels, as well as the Group's greater focus on its South American activities, Perstorp announced that a new, extended distribution agreement has been signed between Perstorp and Oxiquim Quimica Ltda. As of Q1 2012, Oxiquim Quimica Ltda will be responsible for distributing the wider range of Perstorp's products for the coating resins market with the main focus being on Perstorp's various polyalcohols such as Pentaerythritol, Trimethylolpropane and Neopentyl glycol.
"As a result of the sales channel review, Perstorp has identified key players who have the capabilities of being chosen as Perstorp partners for the various core segments in which we operate. Oxiquim Quimica Ltda is one of these. With their history in the industry and effective operation in Brazil, we are convinced that they will support our growth targets in Brazil and South America," says Per Westberg, Sales Director at Perstorp.
In sustainables news, Galactic is to be actively involved in the ECLIPSE project launched by the European Community as part of the 7th Framework Program. The aim of this project is to use microalgae 'waste' from the biodiesel process as a raw material for producing lactic acid by fermentation, which in turn will be used to produce PLA (polylactic acid). The project was chosen over several others because of its scientific excellence. At an estimated cost of 5 million Euros it will bring together 13 industrial players and research centers.
Currently, raw materials employed in the production of lactic acid require the use of 'food' crops. First-generation biomass consists of beet and cane sugar, or corn and wheat starch-based glucose. For this reason third-generation biomass, which is based on microalgae, appears to be an interesting option. This type of biomass, which is produced in an aquatic environment, has no need for fertile land and provides a high yield per hectare.
From our ephemera file, here is proof positive that no matter how well we write use instructions or do consumer education; there is someone out there that will screw up the use of our product big-time. This story is from Brazil, where a local celebrity (of sorts) prepared for a marathon by painting his body with green industrial maintenance coating. The muscle-bound Brazilian deejay decided to paint himself green like the Marvel comic book character so he could stand out from the other runners in the race.
But instead of using body paint, 35-year-old Enrique dos Santos opted for an industrial paint the military uses on ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines, local papers reported.
It took 24 hours of scrubbing by his frantic mother as well as countless friends before they were able to return Dos Santos to something close to his normal color. As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, one of the town's papers ran a photo of Dos Santos' exasperated mom scrubbing her son and identified her as his girlfriend.
Like I said, no amount of consumer education can save some folks, maybe especially those who want to look like comic book characters.
In research news, scientists at the UPNA-Public University of Navarre in Spain have developed a type of coating for construction materials that eliminates certain air pollutants when it interacts with sunlight. The nanoparticle coatings are the outcome of the Ecofotomat project, which involved the university and the L'Urederra Research and Development Center, plus construction company Obras y Servicios TEX.
Researcher Javier Goicoechea said the coatings have special nanoparticles with a photocatalytic effect.
"The nanoparticles interact with the light, thus triggering a series of chemical reactions that clean the air and break down the dirt," he said.
According to a statement, concrete was used as the basic construction material. L'Urederra manufactured the nanoparticles and adapted them so that they could be incorporated into the coatings, while TEX provided the concrete and the technical specifications on the building material.
"There are ceramics that have these types of coatings, but here we are working with concrete and with liquid solutions, because we want the final coating to resemble a paint as much as possible: one that can be applied on site, has a cost that is not too high, and is sufficiently tough to withstand the elements," said Goicoechea.
"The good thing is that we are talking about very thin coatings of less than a micron and that adapt very well to the profile of the material. For example, concrete is always very porous and this coating will cause the whole porous surface to become active when the sunlight hits it," he added.
The coating is also claimed to be capable of degrading certain chemical compounds that become attached to the surface, and that way the spread of bacteria or fungi, for example, is hampered.
"This is not like when one speaks about coatings with an anti-bacterial agent that is gradually released, and the moment comes when it runs out, and consequently stops working," said Goicoechea. "What we are talking about here is a material that has a built-in property: when the sunlight hits it, it produces free radicals on its surface that attack the air pollutants, specifically the monoxides and the nitrogen oxides.
"What we need to come up with is a matrix that is tough and permanent enough to immobilize those nanoparticles on the surface and that ensures that the coating remains in place; and all that at an affordable cost."
Ecofotomat has been partly funded by the Spanish Ministry for the Economy and Competitiveness and by the European Regional Development Fund. The project is expected to end in June 2013.
I love simple solutions to complex problems. I once made a batch of automotive paint in a tri-shaft mixer, eliminating the use of an expensive, maintenance-happy media mill. I always try to use power rather than chemicals to get a formulation, because a couple of ml of a wetting agent, for example, in the lab can cost millions in a products lifecycle. I love the idea that we can reduce our carbon footprints by painting our roofs white, especially because I'm in the paint industry.
And what could be simpler than painting a roof white? Turns out, it's also an important solution for reducing energy use and lowering carbon dioxide emissions.
A NASA survey of New York City's rooftops last July showed that dark, heat-absorbing rooftops were up to 42 degrees F hotter than white rooftops. And that difference in heat can make a big difference in on-site energy use; painting a roof white can reduce air conditioning demand as much as 20%.
In February, researchers at Concordia University estimated that painting 1% of the world's urban surfaces white (rooftops and pavement) could reduce CO2 emissions by 130 gigatons over the next 50-100 years. In 2011, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion reached 31.5 gigatons.
Clearly, white roofs are a major opportunity. But while we've seen a proliferation of companies selling on-site solar and efficiency services, there's been only modest activity in this market. Why aren't more companies jumping on this around the country?
"I'm not sure why an organization doesn't exist like this in every city. And it should," says Juan Carlos, Founder of the White Roof Project, a non-profit based in New York City that harnesses volunteers to provide roof painting services.
Having found a good niche with decent demand, the organization is now trying to branch out of New York and take its rooftop painting model nationwide. According to Carlos, painting 5% of the world's rooftops white per year by 2030 could save enough emissions to equal the world's carbon output in 2010.
"That would essentially turn off the entire world for an entire year," he said.
In business news, Stahl is investing in a €1 million expansion in India to support current double digit growth to meet the ever increasing demand for its innovative products and leather processing and finishing solutions.
Production facilities at Ranipet and R&D and applications laboratory facilities in Chennai will both benefit from this investment. The new facilities are expected to open during the first quarter of 2013.
The new laboratories in Chennai will ensure that customers receive the high level of services that they require and can also receive on-site training.
The design of the new buildings and installations contributes to Stahl's sustainability pledge and to making the most efficient use of resources. The laboratories are partially cooled using natural air flow. Elsewhere, full use is made of solar power and wherever possible rainwater is collected and stored for future use. The most energy efficient materials have been selected for installation throughout the new building.
Stahl is confident that the Indian leather industry is still booming and supports this growth by ensuring timely supply and service close to its customers.
In auto industry coatings news, Hyundai Motor Group on Thursday downplayed news reports that the Korean automaker had discriminated against local consumers by providing zinc coatings only to vehicles sold for overseas markets.
Hyundai, which owns Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, said that it has adopted the protective coating on more than 70% of cars sold in their local market since late 2006, a similar level as that of the U.S. and Europe.
"We have applied the zinc coatings to more than 70% cent of medium-sized cars such as Sonata and bigger ones since late 2006. Since last year, the coating has been applied to more than 70% of all vehicles," the company said in a statement.
The zinc coating prevents steel from rusting when exposed to calcium chloride, which is usually sprayed on streets after snowing. Even though cars in Korea are not required to have the zinc coating due to less frequent snowfall there, the company explained, it has adopted the protective measure to better serve Korean consumers.
According to the National Association Corrosion Engineers, Korea, along with countries like China and eastern Australia, is categorized as irrelevant to corrosion prevention, while the U.S. and Europe are cited as seriously vulnerable to corrosion.
Just two questions -- how much does it really cost, and how'd you like to be one of the unlucky 30%?
In other news, Air Products has won the 2012 Ringier Coatings Technology Innovation Awards for its Airase™ 8070 deaerator, a high performance, siloxane polyether-based deaerator for controlling microfoam and pinholes in waterborne coatings, especially those applied with high-speed techniques such as airless or air-assisted spray. It's the second consecutive year for Air Products to receive the awards...more
about this news
BASF Coatings has received an important distinction in the growth market of Russia: Automotive manufacturer GM-AvtoVAZ has presented the company with the 2011 Supplier Award. Ilya Agapov, BASF Coatings Regional Account Manager, accepted the award from Julia Tril, responsible for quality at GM-AvtoVAZ, and Procurement Manager Denis Schurowsky...more
about this news
Momentive Performance Materials Inc. continues to leverage its recent facility expansions in urethane additives to meet growing demand. Momentive has focused on making strategic investments in its manufacturing operations in China, India, Brazil and Belgium to better serve its customers outside North America...more
about this news
And finally, one of the members of the Greater Edmonton Regional Technology Alliance, NINT's specialty is the world of individual atoms or molecules. The institute's research is about integrating nano-scale devices and materials (e.g. nano-coatings) into complex nanosystems connected to the outside world (e.g. heat or wear-resistant pipes or lab-on-chip devices similar to a blood glucose test for diabetics)...more
about this news