NatureWorks to Offer Lactides, Argex Scales Up, Yamaha Retaps DuPont
- Sep 13, 2012
Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. The industry has been a little slow this week, so we will take this opportunity to be brief. Some significant things happened, though, and here they are.
In sustainables news, NatureWorks and Sulzer Chemtech announced that Sulzer has shipped proprietary production equipment to NatureWorks' Blair, Nebraska, USA facility that will enable NatureWorks to increase production of Ingeo biopolymer and produce new, high-performance resins and lactides. NatureWorks and Sulzer have been working on this capital improvement project for more than a year. Each company has contributed to the project with NatureWorks bringing its operational experience and intellectual property in lactides processing, and Sulzer bringing its proprietary equipment and engineering design expertise in this field.
NatureWorks will be the world's first and only company to offer commercial quantities of a high-purity, polymer-grade lactide rich in the stereoisomer meso-lactide. Identified as Ingeo M700 lactide, this new commercial material will be used as an intermediate for copolymers, amorphous resins, grafted substrates, resin additives/modifiers, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, surfactants, thermosets and solvents.
From Canada, Argex Titanium announced that it has successfully completed the production scale up of high purity titanium dioxide at its pilot plant. Production capacity has increased from 0.3 kg/day to 10kg/day, a 3,000% increase in production. This was achieved in two stages. First, the 3 kg/day capacity plant was installed and tested. A new 10 kg/day capacity plant was then constructed in an adjacent building. The pilot plant is located at PRO in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
"This successful scale-up provides another affirmation of our CTL chemical technology process. The primary purposes of the scale-up were to decrease pilot plant operating costs and increase TiO2 production volume, thus permitting end-user sampling on a much larger scale for use in their paint production. We can now produce more than three tons of TiO2 per year from our Mississauga plant," said Enrico Di Cesare, COO & VP Technology for Argex. "Scalability was never an issue. The delays experienced in the scale-up of the pilot plant were due to delivery delays and minor - but necessary - design changes to the building. This will not be a factor in the construction of our industrial plant."
And for the third consecutive year, Yamaha Motor Racing renews its successful partnership agreement with DuPont Refinish Italy. The prestigious Japanese constructor will continue to use the highly-productive DuPont Refinish paints on the racing bike parts.
Adelio Casati, DuPont Refinish Country Business Manager Italy and Greece, says, "The renewal of this partnership agreement with a group that is so dynamic is wholly in line with the DuPont Refinish brand. We are delighted to be working with Yamaha Motor Racing again, and we will continue to offer the support the team needs. We of course wish the team good luck for the current season." Marco Riva, Yamaha Motor Racing General Manager, says, "The partnership between DuPont Refinish Italy and Yamaha Motor Racing has developed from a solid business foundation and focus on sustainability.
The good thing about partnerships between industrial corporations as a method to gain marketshare is that they can take the participating companies almost anywhere. For instance, Five years after Huntsman Polyurethanes teamed up with renewable resource-based polyol producer Alberdingk Boley to co-develop polyurethane solutions for the coatings market, the two companies are taking their alliance to a new level by targeting applications in the adhesives and elastomers markets.
When the two companies originally announced their informal partnership in 2007, their shared vision was to champion product innovation in the floor coatings market. The aim was to collaboratively develop new concepts for two-component polyurethane coatings free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Today, innovative solutions based on advanced MDI SUPRASEC technology from Huntsman Polyurethanes and Alberdingk Boley's ALBODUR range of polyols, castor oil-based and solvent-free products are helping to deliver high-performance coatings solutions to customers in Europe, America and the Middle East.
The products improve ease of use and deliver many technical and operational advantages, as well as complying with strict environmental regulations. Widely used in hospitals, offices, factories, warehouses and other industrial or heavy-duty environments they are particularly useful where high-wear resistance and low-maintenance are essential requirements.
Ian Rimmer, Commercial Manager Coatings EAMEI for Huntsman Polyurethanes, said: "In 2007 our partnership with Alberdingk Boley was a huge step forward for product development in the coatings sector. Bound by a mutual commitment to move the industry forward, we demonstrated that combined technical support and expertise can significantly benefit flooring customers and coating formulators around the world, taking the market in new directions."
Thorsten Gurke, Platform Manager Adhesives, Coatings and Elastomers for Huntsman Polyurethanes, added: "Now we will replicate this successful model across adhesive and elastomer applications, co-developing solutions based on renewable resources while offering mechanical properties such as low viscosity and high hydrophobicity."
Thomas Baur, Manager of New Business Development at Alberdingk Boley, said: "Together with Huntsman we can supply tailor-made raw material solutions based on a joint commitment that marries our chemistries and expertise. This proposition adds tangible value and competitive advantage to customers. By combining our complementary strengths we can engineer innovative adhesive and elastomer solutions for a diverse range of applications, backed by highly responsive technical support. It's a very exciting development and we look forward to extending the scope of our work with Huntsman."
In new product news, 3M will introduce an innovative new coating for photovoltaic (PV) modules and concentrated solar power (CSP) mirrors at Solar Power International, September 10-13 in Orlando, Fla. 3M Anti-Soiling Liquid is an easy-to-apply coating designed for aftermarket use that helps solar modules stay cleaner, longer. The product significantly reduces dry dust accumulation that often occurs on sun-facing surfaces. This helps increase light transmission to the photovoltaic cells and improve overall power output. Data has shown that modules coated with the 3M Anti-Soiling Liquid generate five to ten percent more energy than uncoated modules.
Designed for use during regular cleaning and maintenance operations, the liquid is easily applied with hand tools, is water-based, and is safe for both the environment and for workers with recommended application techniques.
"3M has performed extensive testing on this product -- not just in the lab, but in the field as well. Customers will see that it delivers results in real-world conditions," said Dr. Dan Chen, business development manager, 3M Renewable Energy Division. "We are proud to offer this pioneering product to the solar industry."
In research news, the discovery of bacteria-resistant polymers is being hailed as a potential biomedical breakthrough that could be used to create coatings for surgical and hospital devices, reducing the risk of infection.
Researchers with the University of Nottingham tested the new class of polymers on the surfaces of some medical instruments and found that they effectively repelled bacteria.
The formation of slimy "biofilms" can result when the microbes pack together into dense communities, but British and U.S. scientists found that the new class of materials prevented the bacterial build-up by more than 96% compared to commercial silver coatings.
According to a 2002 study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the sticky biofilms account for more than 80% of microbial infections in the body.
With the help of state-of-the-art equipment provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the researchers were able to screen thousands of materials at the same time in a bid to identify new materials that had the right bacteria-fighting properties.
Morgan Alexander, with the University of Nottingham's School of Pharmacy, credited the MIT team with developing the technology that allowed researchers to narrow the search for the new class of polymers.
"We could not have found these materials using the current understanding of bacteria-surface interactions," he said in a press release. "The technology developed with the help of MIT means that hundreds of materials could be screened simultaneously to reveal new structure-property relationships."
The material has been compared by Britain's Wellcome Trust science funding initiative to the non-stick coatings on frying pans.
"Just as materials science gave us the non-stick saucepan, so we look forward to the day of the 'non-stick' medical device," said Ted Biano, Director of technology transfer for the charity, which gave the British team a £1.3-million grant for their research.
Alexander noted that medical devices are often given toxic coatings to kill bacteria, and added that materials such as silicone rubber weren't designed as biomedical materials.
The full findings were published in the latest edition of the academic journal Nature Biotechnology.
In other corporate cooperation news, AkzoNobel and OM Group reported on Sept. 5 that they have signed an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement for OMG's Borchi Oxy Cure accelerators. The agreement is limited to the curing of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins in the composite industry.
Steve Hunt, sBU Director XTP for AkzoNobel Functional Chemicals, explains: "OMG's Borchi Oxy Cure products are an important addition to our Nouryact Cobalt replacement portfolio. The partnership with OMG perfectly fits our sustainable growth ambitions and strengthens our position as the world's leading supplier of thermoset curing systems."
"We are extremely excited about our partnership with AkzoNobel," adds Mike Stanko, VP and General Manager for OMG Advanced Organics business. "Their expertise and global distribution network will help us bring the Borchi Oxy Cure product range to customers in the composite industry. At the same time, it allows us to fully focus on our core markets."
The Borchi Oxy Cure Iron ligand technology was originally developed by Unilever for detergents and has recently been acquired by OMG.
Anticipating increasing environmental pressure on cobalt, both AkzoNobel and OMG have developed sustainable alternatives. Cobalt salts are an essential part of the curing mechanism of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins. Induced by REACH, cobalt salts like cobalt octoate are under evaluation by ECHA. This evaluation has already initiated two reclassifications of which the latest took place last month and is a reclassification to "reproductive toxin category 2" under CLP. The evaluation process by ECHA is not yet closed and further reclassification might take place.
In other news, most large commercial aircraft are powered by huge gas turbine engines. EU-funding enabled scientists to develop better and economical protective coatings for gas turbines to reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs. European scientists identified goals of enhancing the APS process and resulting coating, developing alternative coating technologies to EB-PVD and developing innovative coating materials...
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Cytec Industries Inc. announced that it will exhibit its innovative UV technology for electronic applications and plastics at the Coatings Trends & Technologies 2012 show in Oakbrook, Illinois on September 11. Specifically, Cytec will focus on communicating the benefits and key features of the EBECRYL® UV resins and UCECOAT® water-based UV resins...
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PPG Industries' flat glass business exhibited its complete line of ultra-low-iron and coated glass products for the solar industry during Solar Power International 2012 in Orlando, Fla. Solarphire HVM solar mirror glass combines a highly transmissive, ultra-clear, low-iron float glass with a proprietary vapor-deposited mirror coating and a lead-free protective encapsulant...
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And finally, EU-funded researchers sought to raise the bar by developing natural coatings that encourage cell activity and colonization of implants at the same time. Medical devices that come in contact with human tissue must be carefully designed. Minimizing adverse biological effects while maximizing the therapeutic benefits for which they were intended is key...
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