Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. It has been busy and we have a lot of area to cover, so let's get started.
In business news, Elementis Plc agreed to acquire Watercryl Quimica Ltda. of Brazil for $24 million to expand in the Latin American market for coatings additives. Watercryl generated sales of $9.3 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2.3 million in the year through May, and the deal is expected to close in the second half, the London-based company said in a release this week.
Elementis will combine Watercryl with its existing Specialty Products offering to accelerate growth in Latin America. The company is seeking out other investment opportunities to pursue expansion in high-growth markets, Chief Executive Officer David Dutro said.
As opposed to what happened with DuPont last year, here is a TiO2 deal that seems to be progressing properly. PPG Industries announced this week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Henan Billions Chemicals Co., Ltd. by which PPG will license some chloride-based technologies to Billions for use at Billions' titanium dioxide refinement facilities in China. In addition, PPG has signed a long-term purchase agreement for titanium dioxide with Billions. Commercial terms of the agreements and license proceeds from Billions to PPG were not disclosed.
PPG intends to use the chloride-based TiO2 manufactured by Billions for various end-use applications, including paints and other coatings. The TiO2 also would be available for sale to third parties. "This agreement with Billions provides further evidence of PPG's commitment to utilize our existing expertise to expand and secure additional global supply of titanium dioxide," said Charles F. Kahle II, PPG Chief Technology Officer and VP, Coatings R&D.
In other business news, DSM announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Kensey Nash, through the merger of its subsidiary Biomedical Acquisition Corporation with and into Kensey Nash. As a result of the merger, Kensey Nash is now an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of DSM. The acquisition, announced in May of 2012, will strengthen DSM's biomedical business, one of the three Emerging Business Areas of DSM. The acquisition had a total enterprise value of approximately US$ 360 million.
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the DSM Managing Board said: "This acquisition fully fits with our strategy "DSM in Motion: driving focused growth." Biomedical is one of the key areas where we are able to fully leverage our unique science-based expertise in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences.
OK, I admit it; I'm a member of the "hippie" generation. I wore love beads and scrawled peace signs on everything, so flowers and guns in the same thought conjures up images of flower power in me, but in this case, we'll be talking about coating bullet casings in lily pollen to help forensic teams identify gunmen.
It is difficult to get useful DNA evidence from a spent bullet casing: copper and zinc ions from the brass alloy react with sweat to break down DNA, destroying evidence about who may have loaded a gun.
To combat this, Paul Sermon, a Nanomaterials Engineer at Brunel University in London, is leading a government-funded team to develop forensic coatings for brass bullet cartridges. The initial idea was to coat a bullet with a biochemical that stuck to the hands of those who touched it, allowing police to test the hands of suspects. Then they hit on a technique that could also stash away skin cells from that person. "We've combined these to increase the probability of obtaining useful associative evidence," says Sermon.
They faced two challenges: the coatings had to be compatible with the way bullets are made and cope with the heat generated when a bullet is fired. After years of experiments they say they have hit on a promising coating - and a way to apply it. "It's as simple as dunking a biscuit in a cup of tea," says Sermon.
Their first trick is to roughen the surface of the cartridge by dipping it in a solution of aluminum oxide and urea. When dry, this leaves an abrasive, ridged surface on which far more skin cells can be captured, increasing the chances that usable DNA can be recovered. Tested on bullets from a 9 mm Browning pistol, the team found that 53% more viable DNA could be harvested from these spent casings than from normal ones.
To label the hands of anyone who touches the bullet, they took the sticky pollen grains from the Easter lily, Lilium longiflorum, and coated them in titanium dioxide before dropping them in the resin. This solution was used to coat the bottom of the bullet casing. While the pollen is not uncommon, and TiO2 is found in paints, makeup and sun lotions, together they form a unique tag, said Sermon.
"It's a fascinating development we'll watch with interest," says Mike Sweeney of BAE Systems, which makes ammunition for the British army.
In business news,(and while we're on the topic of DNA...) in the first quarter of 2012 The Renewable Corporation executed an Asset Purchase Agreement with SMT Manufacturing of Palm Coast, FL and its patent owners. The Agreement was executed using common shares of The Renewable Corporation to acquire the assets.
Anthony A. Gedeon, President of SMT and Samuel J. Ferguson, Director of Research & Development were retained as executive employees of EcoSmart Surface Technologies and EcoSmart Coating Technologies both newly formed wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company. Brian Ireland, a successful custom home builder in Palm Beach County, Florida was appointed President of the EcoSmart Companies.
The company also engaged Dr. Yin-Xiong Li, MD, PhD, Professor, as an Advisory Board member. Dr. Li is currently the Chief Medical Officer for the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has perfected and patented a method to prevent DNA damage in the skin from UV and radiation. His work has been developed into Renewable's DNA sun block lotion. The lotion is expected to be used to lessen the risk of skin cancer from sunlight and to act as protection against skin damage during radiation procedures. The new product line including acne treatment, anti-aging cream and skin rejuvenator will be available to consumers in the immediate future.
Gerald C. Parker, Chairman of Renewable stated, "We are pleased to expand Renewable's corporate footprint through the acquisition of these sustainable manufacturing and distribution assets including cutting edge flooring and coating solutions, proprietary technology and several extraordinary executive employee owners."
"We believe this acquisition will enhance the Company's original E3 Cubed distribution platform by providing superior cost effective solutions to a host of today's environmentally complex industrial and healthcare needs. We encourage our shareholders and interested parties to view our newly released websites and links to the Company's expertly prepared Executive Summary."
EcoSmart Surface Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Renewable Corporation Inc., has developed a new alternative in decorative floor surface coverings. Innovative and unique process (patents pending) achieve a highly desirable appearance that's extremely durable, also provides superior quality and performance, and offer a more environmentally friendly choice than conventional flooring options. EcoSmart Surface technologies' products and processes can even seal and encapsulate hazardous materials such as asbestos, and place it in a permanent chemical bond. Application also requires less energy consumption and is safer than conventional processes. Interior and exterior flooring, countertops and many other horizontal surfaces can all be enhanced using these new methods.
The Renewable Corporation was established in 2004, adopted its present name in 2008, and is based in Lake Park, Florida. It develops and supplies products, services, and technologies that use efficient, renewable resources. TRC knows there is significant interest in clean, green, and lean methods that offer superlative quality at a cost that is a reasonable alternative to traditional choices, and will have a less hazardous impact on the environment and human health.
In research news, scientists at the UPNA-Public University of Navarre, 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 R+D Centre, 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.
In coatings industry litigation news, Southern California air pollution authorities may require pollution controls based on technologies that do not exist but may be reasonably anticipated, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday.
The state high court decision was a victory for environmental agencies that set standards intended to spur the development of new, greener technology, though manufacturers wisely warned that consumers may be forced to buy inferior products as a result.
Justice Goodwin Liu, writing for the court, said pollution standards that depend on future advances are permissible as long as the new technology is "reasonably anticipated to exist by the compliance deadline."
The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by paint manufacturers against the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which regulates pollution from sources other than vehicles.
The American Coatings Association, challenging standards that limited pollution-causing substances in paints and other coatings, contended that new rules should rely on the best available technology. The regulations that prompted the suit were proposed in 1999, amended in 2002 and required full compliance by July 2006.
The court rejected contentions that the requirements would drive manufacturers out of the Southern California market because they would be unable to reformulate their products quickly enough. It noted that none of the manufacturers had applied for a variance because of an inability to comply.
The fact is that when I worked and lived in southern California in the late 1980's and early '90's, paint companies that actually manufactured in California were already getting thin on the ground. I noticed on a recent visit that even more have left, many moving to other states like Nevada, where regulation is not quite as draconian...yet. This point was made in court.
Jeffrey B. Margulies, an attorney for the paint makers, said some manufacturers stopped selling in Southern California, conceding the market to inferior products.
"Generally, coatings of much lesser quality are being used," Margulies said. "There are instances where people are smuggling coatings into the district because they want the high-performance coating."
Loyola Law professor Daniel P. Selmi, who represented the air district, praised the court for overturning an appeals court ruling that would have limited regulations to existing technology.
"The district's mandate is to obtain health-based air quality standards, and it can't do that unless it is able to adopt rules that force the development of technology," Selmi said. The rules are now in effect, "and the sky hasn't fallen."
Our industry group contended the district relied too much on product data sheets, rather than field testing, and overstated the expected breakthroughs in technology. The district insisted its data were reliable and pointed to extensive field and laboratory testing.
"These disagreements do not establish that the district's regulations were arbitrary, capricious, or entirely lacking in evidentiary support," Liu wrote.
"It is going to be a much higher-stakes game in the future as they have to reduce emissions," Margulies said.
In my book, truer words were never spoken. I really don't see an upside on this one.
In other news on the site, Diatec enhances its Swiss industrial activities, increasing production capacity of media for Digital Imaging, and debuts in light-sensitive films for the electronic industry. The acquisition is situated North-West of Zurich and one hundred kilometers away from Bern, where Diatec already owns a modern plant specializing in Graphic Art and excellence center for vinyl, polymeric films and canvas...more
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Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received nine R&D 100 awards. The awards, presented by R&D Magazine, recognize the top 100 innovations of 2012. NanoSHIELD is a protective coating that can extend the life of costly cutting and boring tools by more than 20 percent, potentially saving millions of dollars over the course of a project...more
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More than 150 attendees of CHINACOAT 2012 Chengdu Conference, June 7 to 8, learned about Dow Corning's effective silicone-based solutions for waterborne and solvent-based paints, inks and coatings. Dow Corning China Coatings Technical Specialist presented the introduction for Dow Corning® family of slip and leveling additives...more
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And finally, Abakan Inc. announced that MesoCoat and Powdermet's revolutionary, high performance PComP™ nanocomposite coatings, which are used to extend the life of mechanical components such as valves, pumps, hydraulic cylinders, bearings, actuators, motors and drive shafts, have been recognized as the most significant materials science innovation of 2012 by R&D magazine...more
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