Hello and welcome to your early week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. This week, we see more signs of organic growth in the industry and clever agreements used to increase market share. Let's get straight to it.
Luvata has broken ground on its latest facility - a coatings plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico. The plant will offer two proven protective coatings for HVACR equipment. The new facility, located 40 miles from an existing Luvata facility in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, is the company's fifteenth facility in North America.
"Our new location in Ramos Arizpe complements its sister facilities in Monterrey and Juarez in meeting the growing needs of our customers in Mexico," indicates Luvata CEO John Peter Leesi. "Our ability to provide a wide range of product solutions within the HVACR industry will help to maintain Luvata's position as the supplier of choice for our customers."
BASF expanded its coating center recently by adding a tailor-made and flexible laboratory coating and laminating facility. The new coater facilitates the development of adhesive systems for flexible packaging, labels, tapes and functional film coatings. It increases the capacity for customer tests and speeds up the development of new products as well as the adaption of existing adhesive formulations to new carrier materials.
"By expanding our coating center, we are able to further strengthen our technical leadership and innovation power when it comes to water-based adhesive systems and UV acrylic hotmelts. Our mission is the long-term success of our customers," explains Dr. Jürgen Pfister, Head of Dispersions for Adhesives and Fiber Bonding Europe. The center of competence for adhesive coatings is located in Ludwigshafen, the global headquarters of BASF. The coating experts closely cooperate with all relevant BASF R&D centers for adhesive raw materials and the respective regional business units.
Waste Management, Inc. and Renmatix, the manufacturer of biobased sugar intermediates for the chemical and fuel markets, announced they have entered into a joint development agreement to explore the feasibility of converting post-consumer waste into affordable, sufficient-quality sugars for manufacturing biobased materials. The strategic investment and alliance aims to expand the feedstock flexibility of Renmatix's proprietary PlantroseTM process beyond rural biomass to include materials derived from cost-effective and readily available urban waste material such as that managed by Waste Management.
"This collaboration is a continuation of our commitment to extract the value we see in waste and convert it into valuable resources," said William Caesar, President, Waste Management Recycling Services. "We are working with Renmatix to further scale its technology, which has quickly emerged as the lowest-cost conversion method for producing the bio-based sugar intermediates demanded by global markets."
In research news, chemists have developed a new type of military camouflage face paint that could help protect from the heat of explosions and fires. The makeup could also be used by firefighters entering burning buildings to ward off heat.
Soldiers use camouflage face paint to help them blend in to their environment and hide from enemies. But the paints are typically mineral oil-based or mineral spirit-based and provide no protection from the heat of a blast. In fact, the paint can melt or burn, increasing damage to the soldier's skin.
A team headed by chemist Robert Y. Lochhead of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg took on a task that he initially viewed as impossible: developing a paper-thin paint that was nontoxic, colorable and provided protection against heat. He noted at a Philadelphia meeting of the American Chemical Society that the thermal heat wave from a blast reaches temperatures of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit -- the temperature of a burning cigarette. The thermal blast lasts only two seconds or so, but in that time it can cook the face, hands and other exposed skin.
The team's new coating is based on silicones, which are less flammable than mineral oils because they absorb heat at different wavelengths. The team developed a formulation that could be colored with dyes that provide environmental protection to the soldiers. They also faced another challenge. Military specifications require that such face paints incorporate 35% of the insect repellent DEET, which is flammable. The team was able to minimize DEET's ability to catch fire by incorporating it in a water-rich hydrogel carrier system that protects it from heat.
Laboratory experiments showed that the new makeup could protect skin for as long as 15 seconds before its temperature raised high enough to produce mild first-degree burns. In some tests, the paint provided protection as long as 60 seconds, Lochhead said, which could give soldiers time to escape from a blast zone.
The team will continue testing the product on skin, and will study its use for protecting clothing, tents and other material from burning. They are also developing a colorless version for firefighters.
From India, the Indian Paint Association (IPA), the largest representative body of paint manufacturers, held its 49th Annual General Meeting in Kolkata last Wednesday. The IPA estimated the industry at Rs. 29000 crore with a growth rate of 15% per annum.
West Bengal Micro & Small Scale Enterprises & Textiles Minister Manas Ranjan Bhunia was the guest of honor. Speaking at the occasion, Bhunia stated with pleasure that according to a recent study, West Bengal has emerged in number one rank in the MSME sector by setting up 5792 units creating 43000 direct employees, beating Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Indian Paint Industry, especially the small scale segment has great future potential with almost 40% market share, he said. "The rapid development in infrastructure, real estate, urban and semi-urban sectors is directly related to the flourishment of the paint industry and will give a plethora of business opportunities to the players in the Indian paint industry," said Bhunia.
The investment of $ 12 billion in the JNNURM project over 63 states and the $ 13 billion investment announcement for the proposed 12th 5-year plan has ushered in tremendous growth potential for the sector, he said.
"The main challenge that we face in West Bengal is scarcity of raw material. If a steady supply of raw material can be ensured, then West Bengal can become a viable potent zone for propagation and progress of the paint industry," said the Minister. He assured all the necessary assistance from state government to industrialists who would take up initiatives to develop business in the state.
Ramakanth V Akula, President, IPA, attributed the scarcity and frequent increase in the prices of raw materials like TiO2 and pentaerythritol, the stagnation in the automobile sector, the negative retail segment hindered by sluggish demand to have adversely affected the paint industry.
"The paint industry provides direct investment to 1 lac people and indirect employment to 6 lacs people of which are employed in the SSI sector," said Akula.
In deal news, several bidders have emerged for Cytec Industries Inc.'s coatings resin business, which the company put on the market in May and which could fetch around $1.3 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
Among those eyeing the business are private-equity firms Advent International Corp., Apollo Global Management LLC and Blackstone Group LP along with Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp., these people said. The private-equity arm of New York investment banking firm Rhône Group LLC is another suitor, one of these people said.
Woodland Park, New Jersey, USA-based Cytec, a specialty chemicals and materials maker, said in May that it would sell the business and hopes to complete a transaction before year's end. Its coating resins segment develops and manufactures materials used in a wide range of products, from printing inks, papers and park benches to cars, cell phones and compact discs.
The business was the largest contributor to Cytec's top line last year with sales of $1.55 billion, about half of the company's total. Its profit margins were 4.1%, however, much lower than the double-digit levels of Cytec's three other segments. The company last month projected similar revenue and slightly higher profits for the coatings business this year.
Shane Fleming, Cytec's Chief Executive and Chairman, has said the company is trying to focus on expanding its market share in its higher-margin segments, which make adhesives and other products for aerospace and industrial applications, mining chemicals and additives for plastics.
Cytec said it hired J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. as an adviser for the coating resins sale as well as for the broader transformation. So far this year Cytec has sold its pressure-sensitive adhesives product line to German adhesive maker Henkel AG for about $105 million and paid $439 million Umeco PLC, which sells composite materials to the aerospace and industrial sectors.
In business news, PPG Industries announced several executive appointments. Effective Sept. 1, Michael McGarry, current PPG Senior Vice President, Commodity Chemicals, and Viktor Sekmakas, current PPG Senior Vice President, Industrial Coatings, and President, PPG Europe, will be appointed Executive Vice Presidents and join the company's executive committee.
McGarry will assume leadership responsibility for the company's global aerospace products and automotive refinish businesses as well as the Asia Pacific region and global information technology function. These responsibilities are in addition to McGarry's current role as leader of the commodity chemicals business and the environment, health and safety function. He will be based at PPG's global headquarters in Pittsburgh and will continue to report to Chairman and CEO Charles E. Bunch.
Sekmakas will assume leadership responsibility for PPG's global protective and marine coatings business in addition to his current oversight of the industrial and packaging coatings businesses and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. He will continue to be based at PPG' s EMEA headquarters in Rolle, Switzerland, and will continue to report to Bunch.
In addition, Cynthia Niekamp, PPG Senior VP, automotive OEM coatings, will add oversight of the company's Latin America region to her current responsibilities. She will continue to be based at the PPG automotive OEM coatings business headquarters in Troy, Mich., and will continue to report to Bunch.
PPG also announced that Pierre-Marie De Leener, Executive VP, intends to leave the company effective Oct. 31. He has been responsible for PPG's global automotive refinish, aerospace products, and protective and marine coatings businesses in addition to the Latin America region. De Leener joined PPG with the acquisition of SigmaKalon in January 2008, having previously served as that company's CEO. Prior to his current role, De Leener was responsible for PPG's architectural coatings EMEA business and the EMEA region.
"Pierre-Marie played an instrumental role in the successful integration of SigmaKalon, which has been a key strategic milestone for PPG," Bunch said. "Since that time, Pierre-Marie has continued to provide strong guidance to several PPG businesses and has strengthened the foundation for operational excellence and profitable growth in the Latin America region. I thank him for his many contributions to PPG's success and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Finally in research, the US Bureau of Reclamation has found that silicone foul release coatings may be an important tool for mitigating invasive quagga and zebra mussels' impacts to water and hydropower infrastructure. Allen D. Skaja, Ph.D., PCS, of Reclamation's Technical Service Center tested more than 50 coatings and metal alloys over three years at Parker Dam on the Colorado River.
"The silicone foul release coatings were found to reduce the rate of mussel settlement, and any attached mussels were easy to remove," said Skaja. "In many cases, it was found water flowing at 0.1 feet per second provided sufficient force to remove mussel colonies." Parker Dam provided an excellent field test site to evaluate coatings in still and flowing water because the quagga and zebra mussels infesting this location reproduce throughout the year and have a high growth rate.
Quagga and zebra mussels have the potential to disrupt water delivery and hydropower generation functions, as well as create long-term impacts. To mitigate invasive quagga and zebra mussels' impacts to water and hydropower infrastructure, the Bureau of Reclamation has found that silicone foul release coatings may be an important tool. Allen D. Skaja, Ph.D., PCS, of Reclamation's Technical Service Center tested more than 50 coatings and metal alloys over three years at Parker Dam on the Colorado River.
The coatings and metal alloys tested can be divided into six broad categories: conventional epoxies (no fouling control), foul release coatings, antifouling coatings, fluorinated powdered coatings, metallic coatings and metal alloys.
The coatings were tested in still water and flowing water. For still water, three, 1-foot-square steel plates were tied on a nylon rope and lowered into water approximately 50 feet deep near the face of the dam. For the flowing conditions, one 18-inch by 24-inch coated floor grate with 1-inch spacing was suspended 40 feet below the water surface downstream from the forebay structure.
One problem with silicone foul release coatings is they are not very durable in this application. Initial research found the silicone foul release coatings were soft and were easily damaged by floating debris or mechanical abrasion, such as a trash rack being cleaned. Further research is already underway to find a silicone foul release technology that will meet the abuse coatings on facilities must take.
In other news, NUtec Digital Ink (stand M11-16) is showcasing its growing range of Mild Solvent, Eco Solvent, Environmentally Responsible, (ERP) and UV cured digital inks and liquid laminates at the Sign Africa Expo, taking place at the Sandton Convention Center from 22-24 August at the Sandton Convention Center...
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The U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is poised to become the country's leading producer of forest-based nanomaterials with the opening of a USD1.7 mn nanocellulose pilot plant. The facility will support an emerging market for new wood-derived renewable materials that will create jobs and contribute an estimated $600 billion to the economy by 2020...
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Nordson reported the strongest quarterly sales, operating profit, net income and diluted EPS in its history. For the quarter ending July 31, 2012, sales expanded to USD380 million, a 22% rise over the prior year's Q3 sales. This rise in sales included a 16% rise in organic volume, a 10% rise related to the 1st year effect of acquisitions, and a negative 4% impact related to unfavorable effects of currency translation...
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And finally, Evans Analytical Group (EAG) announces that EAG Coatings Solutions (formerly CAS-MI) is moving to Missouri and joining their sister company, CHEMIR. Now called CHEMIR a division of Evans Analytical Group, the company will continue to offer outstanding analytical and product development services to the paints and coatings industry...
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