Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. Although we're in a traditionally slow, destocking time of the year, activity continues unabated primarily due to expansion, shows and research. Let's start with an example of each.
On May 24, AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals celebrated a decade of its monochloroacetic acid (MCA) plant in Taixing, China. This was combined with the ground breaking ceremony for an ambitious expansion plan for the site, which will increase MCA Taixing's annual production capacity to 100,000 metric tons. "This investment reflects our determination to capitalize on the enormous opportunities of China's high growth market," said Knut Schwalenberg, Managing Director of Industrial Chemicals. He continued: "During the last 10 years we have made significant progress in growing our MCA business, with strong support from local government, our customers and suppliers."
"The expansion of our Taixing operations will further enhance our competitive position in the global market and provide more value to our customers and the industry", added Jürgen Baune, General Manager MCA.
Evonik was one of the winners in the 16th edition of the Paint & Pintura Award, ranking first in two categories surveyed: Silica and tintometric systems - colorants. The trophies were given out to the winners on May 04, at Espaço Vila dos Ipês, in São Paulo, in a ceremony that gathered over 900 people.
"We repeated the good performance we put in last year and feel honored to be among the best suppliers in the paint industry," says Camila Percerini, Evonik Inorganic Materials Product Manager. Being recognized in these two categories has now become tradition. Evonik has achieved the first place in the category Tintometric Systems - Colorants in all editions of the Paint & Pintura Award.
In research news, it would make life a lot easier if the surfaces of window panes, corrosion coatings or microfluidic systems in medical labs could keep themselves free of water and other liquids. A new simulation program can now work out just how such surfaces have to look for a variety of applications.
But exactly what characterizes surfaces that do the best job of cleaning themselves? Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg have now developed simulation software that provides the answers. "Our simulation shows how various liquids behave on different surfaces, no matter if these are flat, curved or structured," explains Dr. Adham Hashibon, Project Manager at the IWM. The program simulates the form the liquid droplets take on the surface, indicating whether the liquid distributes itself over the surface, or contracts to form droplets in order to minimize contact with the surface. The program is also able to calculate the flow behavior in terms of how liquids move across different surfaces, whereby the determinant factors at different scales of measurement are integrated, from atomic interactions to the impact of microscopic surface structure.
In the USA, the democrat party traditionally favors government involvement in private industry and has no problem with the concept of spending money to bring this about. The republicans, on the other hand, believe in industrial self determinism and claim, at least, to be highly spending adverse. How do they get anything done? Usually, they do it slowly and bilaterally, as is the case with lead removal legislation. But you have to give them points for persistence.
U.S. Representative John Sullivan and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe have introduced companion bills aimed at federal regulations on lead-based paint removal.
The measures are the next round in an ongoing fight over the Environmental Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which attempts to raise compliance testing for renovation and improvement projects involving homes, child-care facilities and schools built before 1978.
Inhofe's Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act, introduced in March, and Sullivan's House Resolution 5911, introduced Thursday, would restore an earlier "opt-out" provision for buildings without children or pregnant women present, and would also suspend the rule altogether if commercially available test kits are not available.
"This is a good government solution to ensure EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule is both workable and achievable for businesses to comply with," said Sullivan, R-Oklahoma.
"Since EPA implemented this rule in 2010, numerous complications and unintended consequences have arisen that makes compliance with the rule almost impossible for anyone involved with renovation and remodeling."
Inhofe, siding with construction contractors who have contended the rules are too onerous, said he has "always supported the intent of LRRP - to protect children and pregnant women from lead exposure - but EPA's implementation of the rule has long been botched and in need of a legislative fix."
The rule was adopted in 2008 and scheduled for implementation in 2010. As the implementation date drew near, contractors complained that they had not been given enough notice and that so few inspectors had been trained that commercial renovations would come to a halt.
Responding to those complaints, Inhofe, R-Oklahoma., and other senators had the rule's 2010 implementation delayed. In 2011, the Senate again pressured the EPA into dropping a new lead paint rule, this one involving a procedure called "clearance testing."
What will happen? Let's hope something this time, read about it here In the future.
OK, so TiO2 is in pretty short supply just about everywhere in the world, but can the industry catch a break? No such luck, everybody's developing good new applications for the stuff.
Titanium dioxide, better known as a key ingredient in white paint and bad coffee creamer, is beginning to carve out an all-purpose spot for itself in the field of air pollution control. While not yet up to the Lestoil standard for range of applicability, the substance could be on the verge of playing an even larger role in sustainability-related fields, as scientists at the University of Washington have unlocked the mechanism behind its strong reactive powers.
We all know that titanium dioxide has photocatalytic properties, meaning that sunlight sets off a reaction on the surface of its molecules.
Alcoa has already developed this property into a titanium-based coating that enables buildings to "eat" smog by converting airborne nitrogen oxide (a major contributor to smog and acid rain) to nitrates. A company called Pureti has been developing a similar concept for a surface treatment that could be applied to roads, to neutralize nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles.
The sensitivity of titanium dioxide to airborne pollutants has also led to the development of a bomb detection device inspired by silkmoth antennae.
In addition to its pollution-fighting capabilities, titanium dioxide is being explored as a means of increasing the efficiency of solar energy conversion. Specifically, a solar cell enhanced with titanium dioxide would provide an emission-free way to produce hydrogen for use in fuel.
According to a long body of research into metal oxides like titanium dioxide, chemical reactions on the surface are comprised of a transfer of electrons, while the atoms themselves stay put.
The Washington research revealed that in some cases, the transfer can also include electrons coupled with protons.
As explained in a prepared statement by chemistry professor James Mayer, this discovery could lead to new technologies based on more efficient reactions.
"Research and manufacturing have grown up around models in which electrons moved but not atoms... In principle this is a path toward more efficient energy utilization."
As a corollary to more energy efficient pathways, the electron-proton coupling could lead to the use of common, low-cost substances to produce energy from chemical reactions, helping to lower the cost of fuel cells and solar cells.
Titanium dioxide is not the only candidate in this regard. The Washington team observed the same phenomenon in another common substance, zinc oxide, which is already being studied for its potential in developing the next generation of low cost solar cells.
In new product news, Dual Paint and Primer, the latest innovation from Krylon, is now available in a broader portfolio with the addition of popular hammered and metallic finishes. Dual primes the surface for adhesion, durability and coverage, while delivering a quality finish... all with one can, one step.
I used a couple of cans of this last Thursday on my mother's wrought-iron tea cart. After hitting it with a steel brush and scotchbrite to take care of rust, I sprayed a couple of coats to a high finish - I didn't really remember being that good with a rattle can.
"Dual is an extremely versatile product," explained Denise Patterson, Krylon Product Manager. "It can be used on metal, wood, masonry, concrete, wicker, ceramic and even glass -- all with one easy step. Consumers can now not only achieve a superior finish that lasts like it was primed, but they can do so in the most desirable finishes."
"Increasing the amount of finishes within the Dual portfolio demonstrates Krylon's dedication to leading the way in delivering high-level performance -- and design -- in home projects," added Patterson.
In research news, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is one of nine universities to share in $2.7 million in federal funding for research projects that will support the continuing innovation and development of clean-coal technologies.
The Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI won a $293,519 U.S. Department of Energy award to research a manufacturing process to improve the high-temperature corrosion resistance coatings on turbine blades and other components used in coal-fired power plants, school officials have announced.
The Lugar Center will research the production of novel high-temperature oxide-based double-layer thermal barrier coatings. Compared with conventional thermal barrier coatings, the proposed novel oxides have demonstrated lower thermal conductivity and better thermal stability -- characteristics crucial to extending the life and improving the performance of turbine components used in advanced coal-fired plants. These novel coating materials can tolerate the harsh operating temperatures in power generation equipment and can potentially enable operation at conditions that would improve generation efficiency, conserve fuel and reduce carbon pollution.
Under the supervision of principal investigator Jing Zhang, the Lugar Center, including student researchers, will collaborate with Praxair Surface Technologies of Indianapolis, Indiana to design and fabricate the novel high-temperature oxide-based coatings, evaluate and characterize the coating properties in real-operating conditions, and develop computational models to study the coating performance.
"We're thrilled to be selected by the Department of Energy as one of the nine universities in the country to help advance American clean-coal technologies," said Zhang, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IUPUI and faculty researcher at the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy.
"Together with Praxair Surface Technologies, we'll leverage our advanced energy research strengths to develop novel thermal barrier coatings for key components of stream turbines used in electric power generation -- a technology that can lead to longer component lifetimes, greater reliability and eventually lower production costs for electricity.
"These results could benefit any type of power plant that uses heat, including those which run on coal, uranium, biomass, municipal solid waste or concentrated solar power. Ultimately, our goal is to contribute to the improvement of our national energy security."
The university research projects funded include those that will focus on the development of high-temperature, high-pressure corrosion-resistant alloys, protective coatings and structural materials for advanced coal-fired power plants and gas turbines, as well as projects to develop new processes and computational design methods to develop these materials, improve efficiency and reduce the costs of cleaner power generation systems.
In other news, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the proposed addition of 12 biobased product categories to become eligible for Federal procurement preference. Once the proposed rule is finalized, more than 2,300 additional biobased products will be offered for preferred purchasing consideration by all Federal government agencies and contractors. The proposed rule is published in the Federal Register...more
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Industrial Nanotech, Inc. announced that the Company's plan to open a Corporate sales office in India is making significant positive progress. The company has already begun filling sales orders from new India manufacturing customers and has forged an alliance with an established equipment manufacturer in Bangalore who will act as a sales representative and applicator...more
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Arkema Rilsan® Fine Powders exhibited at Aquatech China 2012 in a joint booth with distributor Huipu from June 6 to June 8 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. Arkema focused on "Rilsan® Polyamide 11 coating: an alternative to stainless steel to cut costs (CAPEX and OPEX) in the water industry...more
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And finally, the front door is the optical visiting card of the house and one of the most important architectural design elements of the facade. This means: They should be glossy! This is why ADLER has the Aquawood-Protor system that has been making the entrance a successful one since two years, and soon with a shimmering finish: Aquawood Protor-Finish Pearl gives the front door the gloss that it deserves...more
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