Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. We have a lot of expansion and research news in areas that you might not suspect in this issue, so let's get started.
Cabot Corp., the world's largest manufacturer of aqueous inkjet pigment dispersions, has completed a $10 million capacity expansion project at its Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA inkjet facility. Cabot's Haverhill expansion project started in summer 2011 and was officially completed at the end of March 2012. During the construction of the project, Cabot achieved a major safety milestone by logging over 31,000 contractor hours without any recordable injuries.
The project further supports Cabot's growth in the emerging office segment of inkjet printing, and the commercial inkjet printing market. The new expansion doubles the production capacity of Cabot's CAB-O-JET small molecule color and polymer-attached pigment dispersion lines. Cabot's inkjet business benefits from an important technology shift in the commercial printing segment in which inkjet technology is increasingly being adopted in order to adapt to changes in volume and demand. Market analysts predict that the inkjet market for commercial print will achieve a compound annual growth rate of more than 35% over the next three years.
In industrial application news, Nordson Corporation announced that it is launching a line of new non-electrostatic guns, stainless steel pumps and plural component metering systems for liquid coating applications. The new products complement Nordson's existing portfolio of airless equipment, rotary atomizers, electrostatic spray guns, voltage blocking systems and nozzles, rounding-out a complete line of products for most any liquid coating need. The investment represents the largest liquid product line expansion to date and Nordson's commitment to the long-term growth of its liquid coatings business.
"Nordson brings nearly 60 years of expertise to liquid applications and this market is key to the long-term growth of our Industrial Coating Systems group," explains Brad Syrowski, Global Liquid Business Development Manager, Nordson Liquid Systems. "For the last 18 months, we've been laying the groundwork for this expansion, and we are excited to offer customers in all of our geographies a more comprehensive line of liquid coating equipment."
Here's a piece of news for those of you who make liquid CARCs. The U.S. Government's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) has selected Sherwin-Williams Product Finishes Division to lead a $1.4 million research and development project to develop a Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) Powder Topcoat for use on military vehicles and support equipment SERDP is a Department of Defense environmental research program.
Currently, only liquid CARC coatings are available from coating suppliers. While liquid coatings are effective in protecting personnel from chemical agents, the use of these coatings emits approximately 5.2 million pounds per year of volatile organic compounds into the environment. Powder coatings provide environmental benefits because they emit no VOCs.
New environmentally friendly bottom paints have been developed in Sweden to prevent biofouling on ships' hulls. Researchers at Gothenburg University and Chalmers University of Technology have spent nine years developing environmentally friendly and effective anti-fouling paints through a joint research program called Marine Paint.
According to a statement, the focus has been on a substance called medetomidine, which has proved highly effective against barnacles, which are considered to be the most problematic fouling organism.
To tackle other types of fouling as well (such as algae, mussels, sea squirts and moss animals), the researchers have developed a concept for producing optimized combinations of different anti-fouling agents, or biocides. The idea behind these optimized blends is to combine many different biocides that are effective against different fouling organisms and adjust the balance between them to eliminate all types of fouling.
To produce the recipes for these optimized blends, the researchers have also developed a model system where they weigh the effect of different biocides on different fouling organisms against their expected environmental risk. The blends are all equally effective but offer different levels of expected environmental risk.
The optimized blends have been combined with high-tech paint systems based on microcapsules made out of a polymer material that slowly release the biocides from the paint into the water. Field trials of painted test panels at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences in Kristineberg are said to have shown that the concept of optimized anti-fouling blends in bottom paints works well.
Marine Paint's research results for medetomidine have been passed to commercial partner I-Tech AB, and the product is now being marketed under the name Selektope.
Meanwhile, above the water line, scientists in the Chemistry Division at the Naval Research Laboratory have developed a new two-component siloxane-based non-skid coating for use on flight-decks and walk-ways of U.S. Navy ships. The new coating is more durable, color retentive, chemical resistant and cheaper due to a longer life expectancy than traditional epoxy-based coatings. This research is funded by the Office of Naval Research's Future Naval Capability Program and supported by Naval Sea Systems Command.
Mr. John Wegand, Program Team Member, at NRL's Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering, explains "The new siloxane-based coating possesses greater external durability in harsh operational environments, improved traction capabilities, ease of application and most importantly, a longer life-span reducing the overall cost of the elements compared to the current epoxy and amine component coating. The new coating is quite versatile; it can be rolled or spray-applied over either a primed or bare-metal surface. We have noted extremely positive results from our recent demonstrations conducted on several Navy ships based in Norfolk, Virginia."
Demonstration results of the newly developed silicon based non-skid coating have shown it to be much stronger, durable, color retentive, chemical resistant and much more forgiving in the application process than the current coating. Its versatility allows for application by either spraying or rolling over either primed or directly to clean and blasted steel surfaces, because of its improved bonding capabilities. "Test results proved our new coating material greatly outperformed the current coating and met all research goals for this program, especially with regard to UV and chemical resistance," concluded Mr. Wegand.
As the technical lead for ONR and NAVSEA, the NRL research team's main objective was to extend the service life of Navy non-skid systems. This includes identifying, developing and/or testing next-generation non-epoxy alternatives for extended durability flight and general deck performance, as well as addressing heat-resistant issues associated with current and future vertical launch aircraft requirements.
You all know how I go on about coatings-based electronics, because they are a convergence of my two favorite things on earth, and I still predict a printed computer in my lifetime. Here is some news of a great coatings based electronics application. University of Utah physicists developed an inexpensive, highly accurate magnetic field sensor for scientific and possibly consumer uses based on a "spintronic" organic thin-film semiconductor that basically is "plastic paint."
The new kind of magnetic-resonance magnetometer also resists heat and degradation, works at room temperature and never needs to be calibrated, physicists Christoph Boehme, Will Baker and colleagues report online in the Tuesday, June 12 edition of the journal Nature Communications.
The magnetic-sensing thin film is an organic semiconductor polymer named MEH-PPV. Boehme says it really is nothing more than an orange-colored "electrically conducting, magnetic field-sensing plastic paint that is dirt cheap. We measure magnetic fields highly accurately with a drop of plastic paint, which costs just as little as drop of regular paint."
The orange spot is only about 5-by-5 millimeters (about one-fifth inch on a side), and the part that actually detects magnetic fields is only 1-by-1 millimeters. This organic semiconductor paint is deposited on a thin glass substrate which then is mounted onto a circuit board that measures about 20-by-30 millimeters.
The sensor is the first major result to come out of the new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center launched by the University of Utah last September: a six-year, $21.5 million program funded by the National Science Foundation, the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative and the university.
University of Utah physics professor Brian Saam, one of the center's principal investigators, says the new magnetometer "is viewed widely as having exceptional impact in a host of real-world science and technology applications."
Boehme is considering forming a spinoff company to commercialize the sensors, on which a patent is pending. In the study, the researchers note that "measuring absolute magnetic fields is crucial for many scientific and technological applications."
Boehme believes the devices could be on the market in three years or less - if they can be combined with other new technology to make them faster. Speed is their one drawback, taking up to a few seconds to read a magnetic field.
The sensors are based on a field of science named spintronics, in which data is stored both electronically in the electrical charges of electrons or atomic nuclei and in what is known as the "spin" of those subatomic particles.
Described simply, spin makes a particle behave like a tiny bar magnet that is pointed up or down within an electron or a nucleus. Down can represent 0 and up and represent 1, similar to how in electronics no charge represents 0 and a charge represents 1. Spintronics allows more information - spin and charge - to be used than electronics, which just uses charge.
The new magnetic field sensor paint contains negatively charged electrons and positively charged "holes" that align their spins parallel or not parallel in the absence or presence of a magnetic field - but only if radio waves of a certain frequency also are applied to the semiconductor paint.
So an electrical current is applied to the new device. Electrical contacts in the device act as tiny broadcast antennas to bombard the plastic paint with radio waves, which the researchers gradually change in frequency. If a magnetic field is present, the spins in the polymer paint will flip when the frequency of the radio waves matches the magnetic field. The change of spin in the paint is converted to an electrical current the researchers then read to determine magnetic field strength.
Boehme says new experiments will determine how much smaller the 1-square-millimeter sensing area can be made and still have it accurately detect magnetic fields. He is aiming for 1 million times smaller: "It's a matter of microfabrication."
For four years, the PPG Pittsburgh Paints Trade School, operating out of a New Jersey storefront, taught city residents how to paint, free of charge, giving the school's graduates the tools they would need to become entrepreneurs. Of the roughly 110 graduates to date, 90 percent of them have jobs, and eight have their own businesses, according to one of the Jersey City school's teachers, Raj Matthis.
But Matthis and the school's students are wary of a recent move that puts control of the school in the hands of the Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST). Matthis is the school's director of empowerment, placement and business coaching. He said he fears the program will be "watered down" now that it's under the HCST umbrella.
"We're professionals that are dedicated to the success of the program," he said, referring to himself and another instructor. "We take a personal interest in seeing that our students perform, that they get their best life."
The school, funded by PPG doesn't just teach painting skills, according to Matthis. It teaches its students, many of them former convicts, how to empower themselves and how to overcome adversity, he said. Students attend 16 weeks of class, eight in-classroom learning from a text and eight out in the field painting for local nonprofits. Recently, students spruced up a community center attached to the Good News Baptist Church in the Marion section.
HCST Superintendent Frank Gargiulo said there have been "no changes" to the program as a result of its move to the HCST catalog. "In fact, we are continually improving it, as we do all our programs," Gargiulo said.
PPG spokesman Jeremy Neuhart stressed that the class will still be free for Jersey City residents from low-to-moderate income families and that PPG will still provide all tools and supplies at no cost to students. Allowing someone else to manage the school was always envisioned, Neuhart said.
"We feel now is the right time to make the transition to HCST," he said. "With more than 100 graduates, the overwhelming majority of whom are employed, the program enjoys a good reputation and future students will benefit from a strong network of mentors in the trade and community."
In other news, Dunn-Edwards received the Sustainability Award this month by the Arizona Manufacturers Council (AMC) as part of its Manufacturer of the Year Awards. The AMC recognizes top manufacturing businesses in the state each year in four categories: Manufacturer of the Year (Small and Large), Sustainability and Innovation...more
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The material and energetic utilization of biomass can contribute towards covering the worldwide raw materials and energy supply needs. In addition, it reduces the emission of gases harmful to the climate, diversifies the raw materials supply and stabilizes it long-term. From June 18 to 22, Fraunhofer UMSICHT is exhibiting the Innovation Cluster Bioenergy at the Achema 2012...more
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Solvay announced that its Thai affiliate Vinythai will serve the vast and growing Chinese epichlorohydrin market with a new production plant in Taixing, China. The plant with an initial capacity of 100,000 tons epichlorohydrin per year requires an investment of EUR 155 million and should become operational in the second half of 2014...more
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And finally, Enerkem Inc. announced the initial production of cellulosic ethanol from waste materials at its demonstration facility in Westbury, Québec. The newly installed equipment for the conversion of Enerkem's methanol into cellulosic ethanol is now used in combination with the larger methanol equipment already in operation at Westbury...more
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