News Update

12/11/2014 - Crown Group plant earns partner level from John Deere

WARREN, Mich.—The Crown Group Waterloo Plant has earned recognition as a partner-level supplier in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program. The company supplies coating services to John Deere's Tractor Cab and Assembly Operations in Waterloo, Iowa. The partner-level status is Deere & Company's highest supplier rating. The Crown Group was selected for the honor in recognition of its dedication to providing products and service of outstanding quality as well as its commitment to continuous improvement.


12/10/2014 - ASTM International develops new coatings standard

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.—An ASTM subcommittee is developing a proposed standard to test the slip coefficient properties of coatings used in slip-critical bolted connections.

The test is based on an appendix in the “Specification for Structural Joints Using High-Strength Bolts,” published by the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC). RCSC is a nonprofit, volunteer organization comprised of experts in the fields of structural steel connection design, fabrication, erection, and bolting. Research projects funded by the RCSC serve to provide safety, reliability, and standard practice for the steel construction industry.

“ASTM WK45390, Test Method for Slip Coefficient and Tension Creep Testing of Coatings Used in Slip Critical Bolted Connections, is being developed by Subcommittee D01.46 on Industrial Protective Coatings, part of ASTM International Committee D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications. The proposed ASTM standard will expand on the RCSC standard by describing the preparation of test specimens in detail and by conducting an interlaboratory study that will allow for the inclusion of precision and bias statement.

Once approved, the standard will be used by coating manufacturers, testing laboratories, and bridge/building designers. Manufacturers will have their coatings tested according to the standard while laboratories will use it to properly prepare coated test plates and generate reliable test data.


12/9/2014 - Plan to target toxic chemicals creates debate

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Industry manufacturers are objecting to a California plan that would target toxic chemicals used in paint stripper and spray polyurethane foam. Paint strippers containing methylene chloride and spray polyurethane foam (SPF) systems containing unreacted (uncured) diisocyanates are two of the three products newly targeted by the state's Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC).

The first-ever draft Priority Products list is aimed at consumer goods that each contain at least one toxic chemical with the potential to significantly harm people or the environment, DTSC announced. But associations representing the products' manufacturers say federal agencies have already taken steps to warn about the dangers the chemicals pose and ensure their safe use. Methylene chloride is a known carcinogen and neurotoxin that has been linked to multiple deaths; diisocyanates can irritate the respiratory tract, cause asthma and cancer, and are known skin irritants.

The American Coatings Association (ACA) has called the regulations burdensome and problematic for those involved in the regulated community. ACA says it will work with its members to address issues created by the DTSC initiative. The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) has also stated its disappointment in the draft list, saying it has collaborated with federal agencies over the last 5 years on the safe use of spray foam ingredients and systems. Other agencies expressing concern include the American Chemistry Council and the Consumer Specialty Products Association.

“This is not a ban. We are starting a conversation with manufacturers,” said Debbie Raphael, DTSC director. Raphael said the agency is “signaling to manufacturers to examine their products and find safer alternative ingredients.” DTSC says it could take up to 2 years to finalize the initial Priority Products list, which isn't official until the rulemaking process is complete. That process won't begin until late 2014 and could take up to a year to complete.

Once the list is finalized, manufacturers will have to notify the state if they make a product containing one of the named chemicals, followed by conducting an Alternatives Analysis to determine if safer ingredients are available and feasible. DTSC will then use the findings to determine if there should be a regulatory response. Regulators expect to analyze and make rulings on three to five products per year.

Making the list doesn't equate to being taken off the market, but it does represent the first set of product-chemical combinations DTSC will consider regulating under the Safer Consumer Products regulations.


12/4/2014 - OSHA cites Houston company for 8 willful violations

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following an incident where a machine operator's arms were crushed, the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Custom Rubber Products LLC with eight willful, egregious violations. The company created a dangerous work environment by failing to guard machines, which exposed workers to life-threatening hazards. Proposed penalties for the Houston facility total $560,000.

OSHA began the inspection in response to a complaint that a worker was severely injured while operating an unguarded machine. During the inspection, OSHA became aware of two other incidents that occurred previously at the facility; both involved severe injuries to employees while operating similar machinery.

The eight willful violations, with a penalty of $560,000, were cited for failing to provide one or more methods of machine guarding to protect the operator and other workers in the machine area from hazards created by rotating parts while operating seven manual lathes and other equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Custom Rubber Products, owned by Paris-based Flexitallic Group, employs about 280 workers and manufactures products for the oil and gas industry. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to respond.


12/2/2014 - EPA releases decontamination project results

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with federal partners, has announced the results of a multi-year project called Bio-Response Operational Testing and Evaluation (BOTE) that tested and evaluated decontamination techniques for a biological incident. The EPA plays an important role in helping to prepare and protect the country against chemical, radiological, and biological threats. As part of that role, it is necessary to test decontamination techniques in real-world situations to put the best methods into practice. This project also examined the associated costs of each method and the expense of managing the waste cleanup.

Researchers released Bacillus atropheus, a harmless anthrax substitute that mimics the behavior of biological spores, into a test facility that was modeled on common layouts found in homes and office buildings. Each room included a variety of materials that required decontamination, such as carpet, fabric, and wood. Three decontamination methods were tested in the facility. One method used a pH-adjusted bleach while the other scenarios employed the use of two different fumigants. The study found that the effectiveness of each decontamination method varied based on certain conditions, such as the amount of humidity and temperature in the room. The information gained during this exercise will help guide future decontamination decisions and help to ensure a more effective response to biological incidents.

The BOTE project involved more than 300 participants, including on-scene coordinators from around the US and National Guard Civil Support Teams that may be called in to help in such an incident. Findings have already been used as a guide to help decontaminate other incidents, including decontamination following the 2013 ricin events. The results of this research will help provide state and local leaders, on-scene coordinators, waste managers and others with a guideline for effective decontamination in the event of a biological threat.


12/1/2014 - Poly-Plating recognized by OSHA for safety achievements

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Poly-Plating, located in Chicopee, Mass., is nearing the completion of a two-year exemption of a scheduled Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection as an honored participant in the organization's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Poly-Plating earned the recognition for “exceptional achievement in the field of occupational safety and health” in May 2012. The recognition is the highest honor bestowed on small businesses by OSHA.

Poly-Plating's record of innovation and environmental stewardship began with the development of Poly-Ond, a dry, durable, and slippery coating that offers a range of unique performance properties unmatched by any other metal plating technology. The exclusive liquid bath process makes a chemical deposition of nickel and phosphorus, impregnated with polymers, on the surface of metals. The company also touts its longstanding record of environmental stewardship, earning a design patent for a groundbreaking diffusion dialysis system that allows for the recycling of large volumes of contaminated acids.

The SHARP recognition is consistent with the company's commitment to quality, service, and safety. SHARP is designed to provide incentives and support to smaller business owners to develop, implement, and constantly improve effective safety and health programs at their worksites. SHARP participation initially grants the business owner up to a two-year exemption from an OSHA scheduled inspection if the worksite continues to protect the safety and health of its workers. After this exemption period is over, the employer may be awarded a renewal of up to three years.


11/26/2014 - SSCT issues call for papers

HATTIESBURG, Miss.<\#209>The Southern Society for Coatings Technology (SSCT) is currently seeking technical speakers for its annual conference. The 2015 SSCT Annual Technical Meeting-Conference will be held April 12-15, 2015, at the Marriott West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. This year's theme is “Innovation and Sustainability.”

Any interested parties should email Rick Diener, SSCT vice president, at ssctorg@gmail.com. An abstract for the presentation must be submitted in its entirety by December 1, 2014. Abstracts can be submitted via http://ssct.org/speaker-abstract. A biography must also be submitted by December 1, 2014, via http://ssct.org/speaker-biography. Presentations should be 20 to 30 minutes in length.

SSCT will review the presentations solely based on their technical content and contribution. The goal is to have educational technical presentations that improve the understanding of the science of coatings. SSCT aims to challenge traditional methods of formulation as well as solve conventional issues that have plagued formulators utilizing new technologies and approaches.


11/25/2014 - Defense manufacturer expanding in Buncombe County, N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C.—Governor Pat McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have announced that Kearfott Corp. is planning to expand its North Carolina manufacturing operations in Buncombe County. When the One NC grant is carried through to completion, it will result in the creation of 75 jobs and an investment of approximately $11.8 million over the next 3 years in Black Mountain, N.C. Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will likely exceed $46,000 plus benefits. The Buncombe County average annual wage is $35,784.

Kearfott is a full-service design, manufacturing, and support center for a variety of guidance and navigation systems for commercial and military applications. These include aircraft, spacecraft, sea systems and land vehicles. Kearfott currently employs 336 workers in North Carolina.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $75,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Buncombe County, and the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County.


11/24/2014 - Heraeus acquires heating systems expert Vulcan Catalytics

HANAU, Germany—Heraeus Nobelight, a precious metals and technology group, has concluded an asset deal to acquire the business activities of Vulcan Catalytics Systems Ltd., Portsmouth, R.I. The acquisition expands the process heating portfolio from Heraeus Noblelight to include both gas and electric heating systems for industrial applications. Mike Chapman, John Martin, and other key Vulcan Catalytics personnel will remain with the company, supporting the existing customer base and developing new markets. “Vulcan Catalytics and Heraeus share a common goal: to consistently exceed customer expectations,” Michael Chapman, president of Vulcan Catalytics, pointed out. “Joining the Heraeus network will offer us numerous opportunities to introduce our products and expertise to new markets.”


11/20/2014 - Valspar's new coating technology provides edge corrosion resistance

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—The Valspar Corp. has announced that its Valde Edge Coverage Powder (ECP) coating technology has delivered real-world results, achieving best-in-class edge corrosion resistance for the heavy machinery market. In May 2014, nearly 2.5 years after the first Valde ECP coated machine went into field testing, Valspar conducted its latest field audit of a skid steer loader. This skid steer loader was deployed for a variety of extreme uses, including asphalt grinding. Results show that the edges of the loader held up as well or better than anticipated, especially when compared to sharp edges on machines coated with traditional coatings. The innovative coating was designed to provide high corrosion resistance while achieving the same smooth appearance customers have come to expect, and all at the lowest possible applied cost.

With Valde ECP, the powder primer and top coat are applied in a single cure stage, eliminating the capital and operational expenses associated with a second curing oven. The coating provides tough, longer-lasting edge corrosion protection than traditional products while delivering a smooth coating finish. Valspar is a global leader in the paint and coatings industry.


11/19/2014 - New concrete claims faster, denser cure

CLEVELAND, Ohio—A new concrete claims to eliminate the harmful effects of hydration and the need for expansion cuts, according to CoolCrete Technology Group, a venture company of K&E Chemical Co. Inc., a developer of eco-friendly restoration products. CoolCrete is made from Portland cement, sand, and stone, but it modifies the typical hydration reaction, resulting in concrete that behaves differently when mixed. The product alters the chemistry through which concrete cures, eliminating the first-phase heat of hydration. According to the company, CoolCrete has a pH of 11.5 and eliminates chemical burns. The product is less porous than conventional concrete and thus less susceptible to the freeze-thaw cycle. It also shrinks less while drying and is denser when fully cured. It does not require saw cuts or caulking, can be poured in hot weather, and is ready for use at 4 days with a strength of over 6,700 psi at 7 days.


11/18/2014 - Thousands of construction jobs slated for US veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Some 100,000 US veterans are in line for good-paying jobs over the next 5 years under a new initiative backed by the construction industry. More than 100 construction associations and companies—many of them direct competitors—are collaborating on the initiative. The initiative was announced earlier this year at “A National Symposium: Veterans' Employment in Construction.” The symposium was hosted by the US Department of Labor and Joining Forces, an organization led by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden that assists US military families.

Private-sector employers support the jobs initiative “not just because it's the patriotic thing to do, and not just because they want to repay our veterans for their service to our country, but because they know that it's the smart thing to do for their business,” First Lady Michelle Obama wrote in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. The US construction industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, outpacing the growth of the economy as a whole, Michelle Obama wrote.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls construction one of the fastest-growing industries in the US, with more than 1.5 million additional jobs expected by 2022 at an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent. Employers have expressed concern about being able to staff adequately for the expected boom. Large and small construction contractors and subcontractors are participating in the veterans' employment initiative, officials said. “All men and women who have sacrificed for our country in our armed services deserve opportunities for good jobs worthy of their character and their achievements,” said DOL Secretary Thomas E. Perez. “The Department of Labor will do whatever it takes to help our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs, and I am inspired by the commitment displayed today by the construction industry and all our partners in helping to achieve that mission.” More than 80 additional companies are committing their existing training and employment programs to fill new construction jobs with veterans.


11/13/2014 - Anti-corrosion spray in development

ORLANDO, Fla.—A graphene-based spray coating that would help multiple industries easily and inexpensively fight corrosion is the focus of a new program at the University of Central Florida's NanoScience Center. The center is building on the recent success of UCF spinoff Garmor Inc. in making a powder form of graphene available. In July, the university announced that Dr. Richard Blair and graduate student David Restrepo had developed a scalable mechanism to produce graphene products. “Manufacturers can make tons at a time,” Blair said at the time. Garmor has licensed Blair and Restrepo's technology.

Interest and investment in graphene-based coatings has skyrocketed worldwide in the 4 years since the flake of carbon was the focus of Nobel Prize-winning research. Able to conduct electricity and heat, and unparalleled in thinness and strength, graphene is being studied to create a new generation of coatings that protect surfaces, resist UV degradation, fight corrosion, create ultra-water-resistant surfaces, resist fouling, and even harvest energy. Cambridge University is 3 years into a 10-year, $1.4 billion graphene research project supported by the EU.

“We can use graphene and composite materials to produce new ways for automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, the military, and even the medical industries to take advantage of this extremely powerful material,” said Sudipta Seal, director of the NanoScience Technology Center and Advanced Materials Processing Analysis Center and a professor of materials science and engineering. Seal has published articles on the strength and flexibility of aluminum composites reinforced with carbon nanotubes that is central to the process.

The goal of the UCF program is to provide a cost-effective, large-area polymer/graphene-based coating technology to both strengthen mechanical components and protect materials from corrosion. The research program will also focus on developing graphene oxide, a plastic host, and a plasma spray. The scientists will modify graphene, which originates from graphite similar to that found in pencil lead, so that it can be sprayed onto a surface while retaining its innate strength and elasticity. NanoScience Professor Lei Zhai will focus on developing a plastic material to host the graphene and ensure that it keeps its electrical and mechanical performance when embedded. The composite development element is being led by Seal, who will configure the graphene agent for performance testing on steel, aluminum, and high-strength plastic. The coated substrates will be evaluated for both their mechanical (abrasion and strength) and corrosion performance.


11/12/2014 - Allnex opens headquarters, technology center

ALPHARETTA, Ga.—Allnex has announced the official opening of its Americas headquarters and technology center in Alpharetta, Ga. The new center brings together the sales, marketing, technical service, and research and development organizations and several functions that support Allnex's four key business groups in a modern building with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. The center facilitates paint formulation, technical service, raw material research, resins modification, and new resins development.

The uniting of several smaller research laboratories and the talents and expertise of approximately 95 employees under one roof will help the company further develop the Allnex brand and foster teamwork, creativity, innovation, and customer focus. At the same time, attractive financial incentives are helping offset relocation expenses from Smyrna, Ga., and to create a comfortable and welcoming work environment.


11/10/2014 - Furniture company selects North American manufacturing headquarters

RALEIGH, N.C.—Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have announced that BuzziSpace Inc., a Belgian furniture company, will locate its North American manufacturing headquarters in High Point, N.C. The company plans to create 113 jobs and invest more than $1.75 million during the next 5 years. BuzziSpace will operate out of a renovated building. Salaries will vary by job function, with an average annual wage of $45,000 plus benefits. The average annual wage in Guilford County is $43,326.

BuzziSpace's products are developed for the workspaces of tomorrow and offer functionality, lightness, and flexibility. The aspect of multi-functionalism is always the main interest of the design. The intention is to present unique products that may be used in diverse ways, in any room, and are effective acoustically. BuzziSpace products focus on acoustics, ecology, and flexibility with a special emphasis on recycling, environmentally friendly processing of materials, and the sustainable use of raw materials and energy.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $100,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches. The state grant will be based on the company creating 50 jobs over the first 3 years of the project. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Guilford Technical Community College, Guilford County, High Point Economic Development Corporation and the City of High Point.


11/6/2014 - New coating offers steel and aluminum guarantee

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.—A new coating system is designed to provide maximum protection for aluminum and steel products in harsh climates and environmental conditions. CENTRIA says it has redefined its current coatings line with the new Versacor Elite Coating System. The company designs, develops, and manufactures architectural metal wall and roof systems. According to the company, the coating system provides abrasion resistance and protects against moisture and intense sunlight. This performance can be achieved with a 2-mil-thick barrier coat over a metal substrate along with premium polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) topcoat. The system carries a 25-year warranty on aluminum and a 20-year warranty on steel products against cracking, chipping, peeling, color change, and chalking.


11/5/2014 - DOD targets culture of corrosion

ORLANDO, Fla.—It will take more than protective coatings to make a dent in the US military's $23 billion a year campaign against corrosion. It will take an entirely new national attitude — one trained to “prevent, treat, and control” corrosion rather than “wait, find, and fix” it. So says the Defense Department's Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight, which contends that the real cause of corrosion is not oxidation, but indifference and lack of awareness. This is according to “Changing the Corrosion Culture through Education and Training,” a presentation given earlier this year by Daniel J. Dunmire, director of corrosion policy and oversight.

According to Dunmire, just about everybody needs culture change, including designers and engineers, policy makers and the public, trainers and standards writers, suppliers and academia, and procurers and project managers. Each of those parties is a piece of the overall corrosion puzzle, and Dumire's office is working on many fronts to show each party what their role is and what's at stake when corrosion spreads and materials degrade. The toll is not just economic, although corrosion does consume a full 25 percent of DOD's annual maintenance budget. The greater toll, says Dunmire, is corrosion's impact on military readiness.

Dunmire contends that there are three faulty assumptions and perceptions underlying the current corrosion culture: corrosion is inevitable and can't be prevented; corrosion control means “wait, find, and fix”; and upfront attempts to stop corrosion are too costly. Correcting these mistaken beliefs is now the job of seven working integrated product teams (WIPTs), staffed by volunteers from every service branch. Other teams in the effort include the University of Akron, the first university in the western hemisphere to offer a bachelor's degree in corrosion engineering. For more info, visit www.corrdefense.org and www.corrconnect.org.


11/4/2014 - Courses: December 2014

December 9-10: Powder Coating 202 Hands-on Workshop. Gema's facility, Indianapolis, Ind. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 936/597-5060; fax 936/597-5059; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.


11/3/2014 - US Supreme Court upholds OSHA whistleblower protections

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of two former employees of privately held companies that provide advisory and management services to the Fidelity family of mutual funds. The former employees claimed they faced retaliation after they reported allegations of fraud. The ruling asserts that the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act apply broadly to a public company's private contractors and subcontractors just as it protects employees of the public company served by the contractors and subcontractors. “Whistleblower protections play a vital role in protecting the health, safety, and financial well-being of all Americans,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. “We are pleased that the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of employees of a public company's contractors to expose fraud and securities rule violations without fear of retaliation. The Labor Department is committed to protecting these critical whistleblower rights for workers.” OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations. For more info, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.


10/31/2014 - Hartford Finishing grows, adds 94 jobs

HARTFORD, Wis.—Hartford Finishing Inc., a powder coating and painting firm, and its sister companies have announced the addition of 94 new jobs. The announcement coincided with the opening of the company's new paint line. Wendorff Bros. Co. is the parent company of Hartford Finishing and several sister companies, including Steel Craft Corp., Capitol Stampings, and SnoWay International. Phase one of the $12 million expansion project adds 110,000 square feet to the Steel Craft building in Hartford. Phase two includes upgrades to the original Hartford Finishing building. The three sister companies will add a combined 94 new jobs to handle increased business due to the expansion. Hartford Finishing currently employs 180 workers and houses six separate state-of-the-art powder painting systems, a full service assembly area, stripping center, wet paint line, and 12 loading docks.


10/29/2014 - Axalta appoints director

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems has announced that Andreas Kramvis has joined its Board of Directors and will serve on the Audit Committee. Kramvis is a vice chairman of Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing leader that provides aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Axalta is a leading provider of liquid and powder coatings to the automotive, transportation, general industrial, and architectural and decorative industries.


10/28/2014 - GMI adds staff member

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—Goyer Management International (GMI) has announced that Mark Gentry has joined its staff and will assist with all of GMI's clients, including the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), FABTECH, and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association. Gentry will serve as CCAI's vice president of sales and education. In this role, he will be responsible for new membership development, exhibit sales and solicitation, providing information and education on energy efficiency, and much more. Goyer Management has provided management services to CCAI since 1990.


10/27/2014 - Axalta, BD Barcelona Design celebrate 40th anniversary

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, was chosen by BD Barcelona Design, a prestigious international design group, to develop special powder coatings for the 40th anniversary of the Banco Catalano, an iconic furniture design. Axalta created powder coatings in four Natural Color System (NCS) colors in fine textured finishes to provide a completely new appearance for the Catalano. Axalta's powder coatings offer excellent performance, a wide range of colors, and beautiful finishes. Architects Lluis Clotet and Oscar Tusquets created the Banco Catalano in 1974, shortly after founding their company Barcelona Design. Clotet and Tusquets are highly regarded for their concept and design of the Catalano, and are considered revolutionaries in the realm of urban furniture design. Axalta is a leading global provider of liquid and powder coatings for automotive, transportation, general industrial, architectural, and decorative applications.


10/24/2014 - New coating nixes chromate

FARGO, N.D.—A new coating for aluminum alloys eliminates toxic hexavalent chromium while retaining its anticorrosion properties, developers say. The Cr(Vl) coatings technology was developed by the North Dakota State University Research Foundation and licensed to Elinor Specialty Coatings of Fargo, N.D. The patented magnesium-rich coatings technology protects aluminum alloys, such as those in vehicles and ship parts, or vehicles made entirely from aluminum.

The agreement gives Elinor Specialty Coatings exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize the coatings technology in marine and automotive markets. Chromium-free system primers using the technology will be marketed to military and civilian markets under the names Aluma45MTM and Aluma45ATM. The products are intended to be applied over chromium-free pretreatments or bare metal, so that hexavalent chromium is eliminated from the entire coating system.

The coatings' long-lasting protection allows longer periods between maintenance cycles, while eliminating the toxic work conditions and longterm hazmat storage dilemmas of Cr(Vl) for companies or command units. The university says the coatings may reduce costs by eliminating the need for extra controls to reduce chromate exposure and reduce weight and fuel consumption because of their lower density over chromate primers. The coatings were developed in part by previous research funding from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the Center for Surface Preparation, a state Economic Development Center of Excellence at NDSU; and the Product Design Center at NDSU.


10/22/2014 - W.R. Grace pays more than $63 million to clean up hazardous waste sites

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Under its bankruptcy plan of reorganization, W.R. Grace & Co., Columbia, Md., has paid more than $63 million to the US government to resolve claims for environmental cleanups at approximately 39 sites in 21 states.

W.R. Grace's payment includes approximately $54 million for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company agreed to pay another $9 million to other federal agencies, including the US Department of Interior and the US Army. W.R. Grace, a global supplier of specialty chemicals, and 61 affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in April 2001. In 2003, EPA filed claims against the company to recover past and future cleanup costs at sites contaminated by asbestos and other hazardous substances. Numerous agreements to resolve the Agency's environmental liability claims against the company and its affiliates were negotiated as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings between April 2008 and February 2013. The company continues to be responsible for all of the sites it owns or operates and for any additional sites that were not known or resolved under the earlier settlements. The payment to the EPA will reimburse cleanup costs and provide funds for future cleanup.


10/21/2014 - Department of Labor files whistleblower complaint

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of Labor has filed a whistleblower complaint in the US District Court for the District of Idaho against Clearwater Paper Corp. in Lewiston, Idaho, for allegedly retaliating against an employee who raised workplace safety and health concerns. The department alleges that a Clearwater Paper employee was fired in 2010 in retaliation for filing a safety complaint with OSHA's Boise Area Office. The employee was first suspended and then fired soon after OSHA conducted an inspection to assess excessive exposure to red cedar dust at Clearwater Paper's sawmill in Lewiston. This facility was later sold in 2011. The department is seeking reinstatement of the employee as well as payment of more than $300,000 in damages and fees, including back pay, compensatory damages, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages.

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits employers from discharging or in any manner retaliating or discriminating against any worker for exercising their rights under the Act. These rights include filing an OSHA complaint, participating in an inspection, raising a safety and health issue with the employer or the government, or any other right afforded by the OSHA law. For more information on whistleblower statutes under OSHA's jurisdiction, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.

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