News Update

10/20/2016 - Jotun introduces mesh-free fire protection coating

BELLE CHASSE, La.—Global paints and coatings manufacturer Jotun has announced the release of its new mesh-free epoxy passive fire protection coating for the hydrocarbon processing and energy industries. Jotachar 1709 was designed to protect steel against hydrocarbon pool fire scenarios for up to 4 hours, as defined within the ANSI/UL1709 Standard. It also offers long-term corrosion protection, reduced life cycle costs, and the elimination of any risk associated with mesh installation errors.

10/19/2016 - Swiss scientists develop new versatile polymer coating

ZURICH, Switzerland—Scientists at a Swiss university have developed a polymer coating they say is so versatile it can be compared to the iconic Swiss army knife, with future applications cutting into the wastewater and shipping industries. The new polymer for coating materials was designed by a research team at ETH Zurich and a spinoff partner in order to prevent biofilms from forming on their surface. However, as a result of the technological platform the researchers developed, they also say it is now possible to durably coat a variety of different materials using the same polymeric molecule.

The university partnered with spinoff-company Susos, which specializes in the fields of surface modification and characterization. Their work was published in a paper titled “Imparting Nonfouling Properties to Chemically Distinct Surfaces with a Single Adsorbing Polymer: A Multimodal Binding Approach” in “Macromolecular Rapid Communications.” Susos has submitted a patent application for the polymer.

In their work, the scientists considered existing coatings and their resistance, or lack thereof, to environmental factors, since they are often connected to the material by only a weak electrostatic bond. Other more resistant coatings are expensive to use and sometimes require toxic solvents. With those factors in mind, the scientists set out to find a simple solution for binding coating molecules to surfaces with a strong chemical bond, known as a covalent bond. They also wanted a solution that could coat a variety of surfaces and devices made from a range of different materials.

They accomplished this by developing a molecule with a long backbone from which hydrophilic side chains branch out and impart the nonfouling properties. The polymer also features two types of side chains for covalent bonding to metals, one for binding to silicon and glass, the other for binding to oxides of transition metals such as titanium and iron.

10/18/2016 - Camfil APC releases new dust collector filter

JONESBORO, Ark.—Air filtration product manufacturer Camfil APC has announced the release of a new dust collector filter. The HemiPleat FR Carbon dust collector filter is the first to combine flame retardant and conductive properties in a single filter that also offers high efficiency, long service life, and energy-efficient performance.

The special carbon-impregnated filtration media is designed for dust-handling applications that require flame resistance as well as dissipation of static charges. Such applications may include many metal dusts, fumed silica dust, pharmaceutical dusts, carbon black/toner dusts, and plastic, PVC, or composite dusts. The filters are particularly suited to explosive dust applications, making it possible to conform to NFPA and ATEX requirements and lessen the risk of ignition sources due to static electricity charges.

10/14/2016 - Behr Iron & Steel pleads guilty to OSHA violation

ROCKFORD, Ill.—Behr Iron & Steel Inc., a high-volume ferrous and nonferrous scrap processor, has pled guilty to willfully violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, resulting in the death of an employee at the company's facility in South Beloit, Ill.

Behr's South Beloit facility recycles metals contained in such things as automobiles and refrigerators. On March 10, 2014, an employee was cleaning the discharge pit when the employee's arm was caught by the unguarded conveyor belt. The employee was pulled into the machinery and killed. The company admitted in a plea agreement that it failed to provide lockout/tagout protection and confined space protection as required under OSHA regulations for employees who were cleaning a shredder discharge pit. The company admitted that those violations caused the death of an employee who got caught in a moving, unguarded conveyor belt. It faces a maximum sentence of 5 years' probation, a maximum fine of $500,000, and restitution to the victim employee in an amount determined by the Court.

10/13/2016 - MetoKote relocates performance test lab

LIMA, Ohio—MetoKote Corp. has relocated its Performance Test Laboratory to a larger space within its Lima, Ohio, facility. MetoKote has offered customers the convenience of an in-house American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) certified laboratory since 1995. The new 1,900-square-foot location provides an improved controlled environment, and offers more space and the ability to perform hundreds of different test methods for customers. MetoKote offers a full range of custom coating services, including e-coating, powder coating, liquid paint, and other custom coatings.

10/12/2016 - SSPC releases new wet abrasive blast standards

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Five new joint SSPC-NACE wet abrasive blast cleaning standards are now available from SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings. Wet abrasive blast (WAB) cleaning is primarily specified for suppression of dust in areas that would otherwise be prepared by dry abrasive blast cleaning. Wet surface preparation methods will also reduce the levels of any nonvisible water-soluble contaminants, such as soluble salts, that may be present on the surface and adversely affect coating performance.

Although the definitions of surface cleanliness immediately prior to coating application are the same for both the WAB and dry abrasive blast cleaning standards, the wet abrasive blast cleaning standards eliminate the need for customizing the dry blast cleaning standards to address flash rust levels and other specialized equipment and procedures that must be used with wet cleaning methods.

The newly published joint standards are: SSPC-SP 7 (WAB)/NACE WAB4, Brush-Off Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning; SSPC-SP 14 (WAB)/NACE WAB8, Industrial Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning; SSPC-SP 6 (WAB)/NACE WAB3, Commercial Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning; SSPC-SP 10 (WAB)/NACE WAB2, Near-White Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning; and SSPC-SP 5 (WAB)/NACE WAB1, White Metal Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning. The standards are intended for use by coating or lining specifiers, applicators, inspectors or others whose responsibility is to define a standard degree of surface cleanliness for carbon steel surfaces to be achieved by wet abrasive blast cleaning.

These standards combine elements of the existing standards for dry abrasive blast cleaning with elements of the 2012 SSPC/NACE waterjet cleaning standards. The definitions of cleanliness for the steel surface immediately following wet abrasive blast cleaning are identical to the definitions in the five dry abrasive blast cleaning standards. However, because water is used to convey the abrasive onto the surface, a layer of flash rust will form on the cleaned steel as the water evaporates.

Due to the varied tolerance of coatings for the presence of flash rust on the surface, contractors must know the maximum permissible level of flash rust that may be present on the steel immediately prior to the application of the protective coating, as well as how to assess how much flash rust has developed. The WAB cleaning standards define four levels of flash rust: no flash rust, light flash rust, medium flash rust, and heavy flash rust. These definitions are based on the extent to which the flash rust obscures the underlying steel substrate, the ease with which it can be removed by wiping with a cloth, and the amount of material that appears on the cloth after the surface is wiped

10/11/2016 - Dow settles class action suit

MIDLAND, Mich.—The Dow Chemical Co. has announced that it is settling the 11-year-old, $1.06 billion urethanes price-fixing lawsuit it has contested since a federal jury awarded damages in February 2013. Sources are indicating that the death of Justice Antonin Scalia figured heavily in the company's decision.

“Growing political uncertainties due to recent events within the Supreme Court and increased likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class action suits have changed Dow's risk assessment of the situation,” the company stated. “Dow believes this settlement is the right decision for the company and our shareholders.” In the settlement agreement, Dow has agreed to pay the plaintiff class $835 million to resolve the $1.06 billion judgment. This amount includes post-judgment interest and an anticipated award of attorney's fees. This settlement agreement is conditional upon approval of the Courts.

The federal lawsuit, which dates back to 2005, alleged that Dow and its competitors (BASF SE, Bayer AG, Huntsman International LLC, and Lyondell Chemical Co.) began fixing prices for urethane by 1999, in violation of federal law. The conspiracy was said to have lasted into 2003. Dow was the only remaining defendant; all of the other companies had settled out of court long ago, in agreements that topped $100 million in all. Dow continues to strongly believe it was not part of any conspiracy and the judgment was fundamentally flawed as a matter of class action law.

10/7/2016 - Associations file suit over silica rule

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A coalition of construction industry associations taking issue with the new OSHA silica rule are taking their concerns to a federal appeals court. Eight groups, including affiliates of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., the National Association of Home Builders, and the Associated General Contractors of America, have filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The organizations argue that the federal agency did not fully address their concerns about the rule's impact on the construction industry.

The “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica” rule, amending silica exposure regulations for the first time since 1971, was made final March 25. The rule represents the fruition of decades of research and a lengthy stakeholder engagement process, including the consideration of thousands of public comments. In terms of permissible exposure limits, the updated rule reduces the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift, to 50 micrograms. The regulation also has other provisions aimed at protecting workers, such as requirements for exposure assessment, methods of controlling exposure, recordkeeping, hazard communication, respiratory protection, and medical surveillance. The final rule is written as two standards, one for construction and one for general industry and maritime.

The groups worry that rule compliance is beyond the capabilities of current technology. In seeking the court's review, the industry partners say they are deeply committed to providing a safe construction environment; however, they have significant concerns about whether this new rule is technically feasible, given that the agency's final permissible exposure limit is beyond the capacity of existing dust filtration and removal technology.

OSHA estimates that when the final rule becomes fully effective, it will save more than 600 lives annually and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year. Industry groups previously estimated the rule will cost the industry nearly $5 billion per year, about $4.5 billion per year more than OSHA's estimate. The petition starts what is likely to be a lengthy legal challenge to the measure.

10/5/2016 - IHEA offers third edition of process heating handbook

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—“Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, 3rd Edition” is now available for download. This Sourcebook is part of an initiative under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) that began more than 10 years ago when the first Sourcebook was published. The ITP and IHEA undertook this project as part of a series of publications on industrial utility systems. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives.

The third edition of the Sourcebook describes basic process heating applications and equipment, and outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements. It also discusses the merits of using a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. It is not intended to be a comprehensive technical text on improving process heating systems, but serves to raise awareness of potential performance improvement opportunities, provides practical guidelines, and offers suggestions on where to find additional help.

The Sourcebook is available for download at no charge on the IHEA website at Simply click on the Publications tab and scroll down to Books.

10/3/2016 - Echo celebrates 50 years

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Officials are blowing out 50 candles this year at Echo Engineering and Production Supplies Inc., a supplier of engineered plastic and rubber components, caps, plugs, and other products used to mask areas of parts during painting and coating. The family-owned business was started in 1966 by John Offenbacker in his garage in San Jose, Calif. Kingdon Offenbacker, John's son, is now CEO.

The company initially started doing work for companies that do design and assembly of printed circuit boards for the electronic industry. As one of the fastest-growing, privately held companies in Silicon Valley, Echo decided to expand its offerings to general manufacturing and set up an office in Indianapolis. The company used to mold its products in-house, mainly smaller parts at relatively low volumes. But as the business grew, starting about 15 years ago, it partnered with molders in China.

Echo works closely with customers to design parts, and can do reverse engineering or manufacture from prints. Often, the company uses 3D printing for rapid prototyping. Echo provides thousands of plastics and rubber components for a wide range of industries, including automotive, agricultural, and fluid power.

9/29/2016 - DeFelsko to host SSPC training

OGDENSBURG, N.Y.—DeFelsko Corp., a coating thickness and inspection instrument manufacturer, will be hosting three SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings training programs focused on the principles and practices of coating inspection. The training will be held at DeFelsko's New York headquarters, which is located close to the Syracuse International Airport as well as the newly expanded Ogdensburg International Airport.

The Protective Coatings Inspector Program Workshop, to be held on November 3, is intended for coatings professionals who already have experience using inspection equipment. The objective of this course is to thoroughly train individuals in the use of proper methods and equipment for inspecting surface preparation and installation of industrial and marine protective coatings and lining systems on an array of industrial structures and facilities. The registration deadline for this workshop is October 12.

Using SSPC PA2 Effectively, to be held on November 11, is a basic-level, half-day workshop that summarizes and explains the key highlights of SSPC PA 2: Measurement of Dry Coating Thickness with Magnetic Gages. Students will learn to verify the accuracy of a DFT magnetic gage, measure the DFT of a coating with Type 1 or Type 2 gage, and describe and implement the procedure to determine if the film thickness in a given area conforms to the maximum and minimum levels specified. To attend, register before October 21.

Protective Coatings Inspector Program is a three-track workshop. Program Level 1, to be held December 5-9, is an advanced-level course that trains participants as a Level 1 Basic Inspector. Program Level 2, to be held December 5-10, prepares attendees to be a Level 2 Certified Inspector. Participants must have the PCI prerequisite. Both courses aim to thoroughly train individuals in the proper methods of inspecting surface preparation and installation of industrial and marine protective coatings and lining systems on an array of industrial structures and facilities. Participants must register by November 14.

The Level 3 Certification Program, to be held December 10, identifies and awards recognition to individuals who have in-depth knowledge of the principles and practices of inspection of industrial coatings. Following successful completion of a written exam, the PCI Level 3 Certification attests to the professional credibility of the coatings inspector and raises the standard of inspection in the protective coatings industry. Registration is required by November 20.

For more information on each program, visit Or register online at

9/27/2016 - CCAI honors members, installs directors

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), Taylor Mill, Ky., has honored members for service and dedication and installed its 2016-2017 Officers and National Board members. CCAI is a nonprofit technical and professional association that provides information and education on surface coating technologies worldwide.

CCAI's highest honor, the James F. and David J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award, went to John Sudges of Midwest Finishing Systems. Sudges received the award for his years of dedication and service to CCAI.

Each year, CCAI chapters recognize a user and supplier member for their year-long service and dedication to their respective chapter. The 2015-2016 Chapter Award winners are: Central States Chapter — Frank Laster, A-1 Paint Powder and Sandblast, and Todd Lanquist, Chemetall; Las Vegas Chapter — Tony Sclafani, AR Iron LLC, and Sercy Spears, Coral Chemical Co.; Northern Illinois Chapter — Jack and Dennis Walters, Acme Finishing Co. Inc., and Bruce Bryan, CCAI; Southern California Chapter — Shivie Dhillon, Sundial Powder Coating, and Hugo Cambron, PPG Industries; Twin Cities Chapter — Ted Schreyer, Associated Finishing, and Doug Van Duyne, DuBois Chemicals; West Michigan Chapter — Rich Saddler, Abcor Industries, and Tom Farrington, Henkel Corp.; and Wisconsin Chapter — Lee Van Buskirk, Metalcraft of Maysville Inc., and Mark LaValley, Northern Coatings & Chemical.

CCAI also announced its National Board of Directors Officers and Board Members for 2016-2017. CCAI is very fortunate to have the leadership of the following individuals: Ron Lum, Coral Chemical Co., president; Bill Oney, American Finishing Resources, vice president; Duane Fudge, Chemetall, treasurer; and Kevin Coursin, Engineered Finishing Systems, recent past president.

In addition to the officers, serving on the National Board of Directors for the 2016-2017 year will be: Shivie Dhillon, SunDial Powder Coatings, Southern California Chapter; Jim Gallagher, Harley Davidson, Wisconsin Chapter; Kevin Irving, AZZ Galvanizing, Iowa/Central Illinois Chapter; Loren Keene, Pneu-Mech Systems Mfg., Central States Chapter; Dan Labrecque, Tiger Drylac USA Inc., West Michigan Chapter; Todd Luciano, Products Finishing, Greater Cincinnati Chapter; Jim Malloy, Kolene Corp.; Katie McGovern, Hubbard-Hall Inc.; Ron McMahon, Sherwin-Williams Co., Northern Ohio Chapter; Tony Sclafani, AR Iron LLC, Las Vegas Chapter; Mark Walsworth, Nordic Ware Inc., Twin Cities Chapter; Sam Woehler, George Koch Sons LLC; and Tim Milner, JIT Powder Coating, Twin Cities Chapter. Serving as Ex-officio Board members are: Larry Melgary, Northern Coatings & Chemicals, Wisconsin Chapter, and Bob Warren, retired, West Michigan Chapter.

9/26/2016 - Automatic Coating Limited celebrates 50 years

SCARBOROUGH, Ont.–Automatic Coating Limited (ACL), an applicator of powder and liquid coating in North America, is celebrating 50 years in the corrosion coating industry. The family-owned business has lead the way by developing and investing in state-of-the-art equipment and holds patent and patent-pending technology in the application of coatings to increase life cycles and reduce maintenance costs. ACL operates in the naval, pipeline, aerospace, and manufacturing industries.

9/21/2016 - BASF opens automotive center in Houston

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.–BASF has opened a new Refinish Competence Center in Houston, Tex. The center includes the latest in virtual and in-person training facilities, spray booths, and market-leading application equipment to enable next generation training for all job functions in the collision repair industry. In addition to teaching the latest painting techniques, the center offers classes to help customers drive more business through their shops. The facility can also support industry and networking events, for up to 50 people, to enhance customer interactions.

9/20/2016 - Hempel launches app to aid in coating condition surveys

CONROE, Tex.–Global coatings supplier Hempel (USA) Inc. has launched an interactive iPhone and iPad tool to facilitate coating condition surveys. The Trusted Asset Protection Survey (TAPS) is a digital application designed to increase efficiency and invite more customer interaction in the survey process.

The new digital tool is expected to accelerate coating condition surveys, a system in which final recommendations can be delayed when conducted via a manual process. Now, reports recorded by TAPS will be stored on Hempel's server and connected to its customer extranet in order to give access to the most recent information available for managing assets.

The overall condition survey focuses on giving the asset a coating and corrosion condition status to help spot potential problems, minimize risk, and prioritize the areas that need to be considered first for maintenance. It is intended to help a customer identify where to allocate operational expenses to conserve the performance and aesthetic appearance of their holdings.

9/19/2016 - Steel firm builds new paint line facility

COLUMBUS, Miss.–Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI), a producer of carbon steel products, has broken ground on its new $100 million paint line and Galvalume facility in Columbus, Miss. The project, originally announced in May 2015, is expected to be complete and ready for operation during the first quarter of 2017.

Situated on a 1,400-acre site, the facility is a cutting-edge, high-tech electric arc furnace minimill capable of producing 3.4 million tons of steel annually. The plant features two electric arc furnaces, two ladle metallurgy furnaces, two vacuum degassers, two thin slab casters, a hot strip mill, pickle lines, an annealing line, a temper mill, two hot-dipped galvanizing lines, and a rewind/inspection line. The addition of the paint line and Galvalume capabilities will allow SDI to produce additional value-added steel products. The paint line will provide an annual coating capacity of 250,000 tons.

9/16/2016 - US Department of Labor files suit against Lear Corp.

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The US Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Lear Corp., doing business as Renosol Seating LLC, and three of its managers for suspending and terminating employees who reported workplace hazards in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The suit follows an investigation by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after three Renosol employees filed federal complaints. Based in Selma, Ala., the company is a high- and low-volume foam manufacturer.

Filed in March, the suit alleges that Lear discriminated against the employees by conducting retaliatory acts in violation of the OSH Act's Section 11(c). The suit seeks back wages, interest, and compensatory and punitive damages. Additionally, the suit seeks an order directing Lear to remove all references to this matter from the employee's personnel records and barring Lear from future violations of the OSH Act.

The department's action makes numerous allegations, including that the company harassed employees, reduced their overtime, segregated them from coworkers, and suspended and later terminated one of the employees in retaliation for raising health concerns associated with exposure to toluene diisocyanate.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 21 other statutes, protecting employees who report violations. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor to request an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program.

9/15/2016 - IHEA's online learning course set for October

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Industrial Heating Equipment Association's (IHEA's) Fundamentals of Industrial Process Heating Online Learning Course is scheduled to begin on October 17, 2016. This course is ideal for students who wish to take the course at home or work in a flexible web-based distance-learning format. It's an affordable alternative to campus-based classes and allows students to go at their own pace. The course offers an indispensable tool to industrial process heating operators and users of all types of industrial heating equipment. In the instructor-led, interactive online course, students learn safe, efficient operation of industrial heating equipment, how to reduce energy consumption, and ways to improve your bottom line.

This class provides an overview of the fundamentals of heat transfer, fuels and combustion, energy use, furnace design, refractories, automatic control, and atmospheres as applied to industrial process heating. Students will gain a basic understanding of heat transfer principles, fuels and combustion equipment, electric heating, and instrumentation and control for efficient operation of furnaces and ovens in process heating.

This 6-week online course is led by industry expert, Max Hoetzl, retired vice president of Surface Combustion. The registration fee includes course instruction, live interaction with the trainer, class forums to interact with other students, and an electronic copy of IHEA's Fundamentals of Process Heating Course Handbook. To register, visit and click on the course button on the home page.

9/14/2016 - Corrosion inhibitor made for coating applications

HAMMOND, Ind.–ICL\Advanced Additives, a leading global specialty phosphate producer, has introduced a zinc and aluminum based inorganic corrosion inhibitor that is designed to provide early and long-term corrosion protection in conjunction with industrial coating systems.

HALOX 700 is a white, nonreflective corrosion inhibiting pigment. The combination of zinc and aluminum phosphates provides extended protection in solvent-based and water-based epoxy and urethane coatings. For alkyd and acrylic coatings, HALOX Organic Corrosion Inhibitors are recommended for use in combination with HALOX 700. Recommended application levels for the product range from 5 percent to 10 percent based on the total formula weight.

9/12/2016 - Researchers take a closer look at graphene

BERKELEY, Calif.–While the various properties inherent to graphene make it ideal for applications from corrosion-resistant coatings to biological devices, all uses rely on the structural reliability it is known for. However, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report that while the material is strong, it is not very resistant to fracture. The team published its findings, “Toughness and Strength of Nanocrystalline Graphene,” in the journal “Nature Communications.”

In terms of strength, defined as a material's resistance to deformation, the material has been billed as 200 times stronger than steel. However, the researchers say they have developed the first known statistical theory for the toughness of polycrystalline graphene and found its toughness is quite low. In fact, the material's toughness is lower than diamond and only slightly higher than pure graphite. Toughness and strength are often mutually incompatible properties, the scientists note.

Over the past few years, graphene has been studied in a variety of applications, including corrosion-resistant coatings, flexible electronic displays, and biological devices. These uses depend on its mechanical properties for structural reliability. The team is now trying to understand more about the fracture of graphene, specifically the effects of adding hydrogen to the material. Preliminarily, they report that they are finding cracks grow more readily in the presence of the element.

9/8/2016 - Kason expands test lab

MILLBURN, N.J.–An all-new, expanded test laboratory at Kason Corp. contains a full range of equipment for documenting the performance of vibratory screeners, centrifugal sifters, fluid bed dryers and coolers, mixers and blenders, and size reduction equipment using customer-supplied materials. Performance data obtained on all laboratory test equipment are scalable to accurately project outcomes achieved on production models to be constructed. Kason lab technicians can also replicate virtually any process layout and production scenario, including running of materials at elevated temperatures.

9/7/2016 - Glass nanocoating work wins NSF grant

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.–WattGlass LLC has been awarded a $746,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in recognition of its work on a glass coating said to make the material antireflective, self-cleaning, and highly transparent. WattGlass, a startup founded in 2014 to commercialize the coating developed at the University of Arkansas, will use the grant to further develop the patent-pending coating technology.

The coating virtually eliminates reflection, glare, and fogging on glass and other transparent materials using a proprietary nanoparticle coating. The nanoparticle-based coating will also increase the efficiency of solar panels and reduce their cleaning and maintenance costs. The coating costs less than $0.50 per square meter and is made from commercially available materials. The company is looking into ways to apply its coating technology for automotive, consumer, building glass, and solar photovoltaic panels.

The National Science Foundation Phase II grant came through the Small Business Innovation Research Program, which allows federal agencies to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening small businesses that meet federal research and development needs.

9/6/2016 - Sponsors announce date for Electrocoating Seminar

CINCINNATI, Ohio—The Electrocoat Association and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) are co-sponsoring the 2016 Electrocoating Seminar this year, which will be held October 4-5 at the Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa.

An Introduction to Electrocoating kicks off Day 1 of the classroom-style program to bring attendees up to speed with the technology before tackling more advanced topics in the remainder of the seminar. The discussion will center on cost and process efficiencies, quality control, and innovative technologies in the different components of a typical electrocoating line. Preventive maintenance and troubleshooting for defects that can plague a system will also be addressed and illustrated with actual examples.

An evening networking event at the conclusion of Day 1 provides attendees an opportunity to meet the presenters and ask questions specific to their company's needs as well as interact with other attendees and potential partners.

This year's event will conclude with a plant tour of John Deere Des Moines Works, Ankeny, Iowa. The facility's cathodic electrocoat system has been in operation since 1980 and will offer a real-world illustration of the technical material presented.

Registration includes the educational program, networking reception, group lunches and breaks, transportation for the plant tour, and a copy of The Electrocoat Association's textbook, “Electrocoating: A Guidebook for Finishers”.

To review the complete program and to register, visit or contact Anne Von Moll at 800/563-8831 or

9/2/2016 - Courses: October 2016

October 11: Practical Course on Viscosity Measurement. Phoenix, Ariz. Also offered October 13 in Houston, Tex., and October 20 in Middleboro, Mass. Offered by Brookfield AMETEK. Contact Brookfield at 800/628-8139; fax 508/946-6262;

October 17: Fundamentals of Industrial Process Heating Online Learning Course. Offered by the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). Contact Kelly LeCount at 859/525-9988;;

9/1/2016 - EPA awards grants to 38 student teams for innovative sustainable projects

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded 38 People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) grants to university student teams for proposed projects to develop new, sustainable products and strategies. Each team will receive up to $15,000 for their proposals.

Funding for the P3 competition is divided into two phases. Teams selected for Phase I awards receive grants of up to $15,000 to fund the development of their projects, which are then showcased at the National Sustainable Design Expo in the spring. Following the Expo, P3 teams compete for Phase II awards of up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and potentially bring them to the marketplace.

This year's teams are testing innovative ideas such as repurposing chemical byproducts from the mining industry into new concrete that helps inhibit the corrosion of steel and developing a food waste collection kiosk that will spur food waste to energy production in the local community. Previous P3 teams have used their sustainable ideas and gone on to start businesses.

8/30/2016 - LED light meant to improve visibility

DEER PARK, Tex.–Equipment provider Marco Group International has announced the release of a new lighting tool for use in abrasive blasting applications. The new Blastmaster 308 Series LED Hose-Mounted Light is designed to provide a crisp light to illuminate the area being abrasive blasted and give the operator better visibility of the work surface. Designed to be used with multiple power sources, the LED light is said to be ideal for a wide range of applications, including blast rooms, blast yards, storage tanks, and more.

The three-LED module design produces a 45-inch, round pattern of bright white light at 18 inches from the surface. The brightness created is similar to that of daylight. The light includes an abrasion-resistant urethane body that weighs only 11 ounces, which is meant to minimize additional weight on the blast hose that could lead to operator fatigue. The shatter-resistant borosilicate lens was designed to protect the long-lasting LED module.

8/29/2016 - Coating detects unseen structural damage

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.–Researchers at the University of Illinois are developing a new polymer coating meant to deliver a clear indication of structural damage so small that it would otherwise be undetectable to the naked eye yet still capable of catastrophic failure. When those structural materials suffer even the slightest damage, the coating changes color to alert inspectors to the problem. Potential applications include airplanes, bridges, and pipelines.

The research team is led by Illinois professor of materials science and engineering Nancy Sottos, aerospace engineering professor Scott White, and postdoctoral researcher Wenle Li. Their findings were published in a paper titled “Autonomous Indication of Mechanical Damage in Polymeric Coatings” in the scientific journal Advanced Materials.

In the lab, the scientists placed microcapsules filled with a yellow pH-sensitive dye in an epoxy resin. A crack, scratch, fracture, or any kind of stress on the material would break the capsule and release the dye. When the dye reacted with the epoxy, an unmistakable color change occurred–the dye changed from light yellow to a bright red. A crack as small as 10 micrometers is enough to cause the color change, indicating a loss of structural integrity. This helps to assess the extent of the damage, as a deeper abrasion or crack will break open more microcapsules, leading to a more intense red.

Detecting damage before significant corrosion or other problems can occur provides increased safety and reliability for coated structures and composites. Testing showed that the coating is effective on a variety of materials, including metals, polymers, and glasses. The coating also possesses long-term stability and offers a low-cost solution to preventing structural failures.

The research team is now turning its attention to finding additional applications for its “damage indication system.” Possibilities include applying it to fiber-reinforced composites and integrating it with the group's previous work in self-healing systems.

8/25/2016 - Theme park faces paint shop fines

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Paint shop employees at a Connecticut theme park allegedly were exposed to chemical, burn, and respiratory hazards, according to a recent statement from the federal agency that oversees worker safety. The Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, Conn., faces $70,000 in fines for 18 serious violations found during an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency also issued one other-than-serious violation without issuing a corresponding fine.

In addition to allegedly exposing workers to spray coatings without proper protection, the theme park also allegedly allowed those workers to handle caustic chemicals improperly. These conditions exposed them to serious burn, fire, chemical burn, electric shock, and eye, face, and hand injuries.

Lake Compounce was founded in 1846 and is one of the oldest, continuously operating theme parks in the US. Data on OSHA's website indicates that the theme park has previously been under inspection. In 2001, a fatality occurred when a maintenance worker who was cutting grass was killed when one of the roller coasters allegedly malfunctioned. In the investigation following the fatality, OSHA issued 24 serious violations and seven other-than-serious violations with fines totaling $29,000. The park settled with OSHA for at least one of the violations being dismissed and a reduced penalty of $14,500. An inspection in 2008 resulted in the theme park paying reduced fines related to three serious fall violations. In 2011, a third inspection resulted in no citations.

8/24/2016 - Axalta acquires Dura Coat Products, earns lab accreditation

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.–Axalta Coating Systems LLC, a leading global supplier of powder and liquid coatings, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dura Coat Products, a prominent manufacturer of coatings for metal coil and related markets in North America. Axalta will purchase a majority stake in Dura Coat at the closing, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2016, and the remaining outstanding shares by January 2019. The acquisition is subject to required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In addition, Axalta has earned accreditation by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). A2LA awarded ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation to Axalta's Houston Technical Services Laboratory. ISO/IEC 17025 is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. Labs must hold accreditation for this standard in order to be deemed technically competent. Axalta also holds A2LA accreditation at its Coatings Technology Center in Wilmington, Dela., as well as its laboratory in Mt. Clemens, Mich. A2LA is the largest US-based, multidiscipline accreditation body.

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