News Update

2/23/2015 - IHEA announces ThermProcess sponsorships

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.–The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) has partnered with Industrial Heating magazine to once again provide a Resource Center at ThermProcess 2015, to be held June 16-20 in Dusseldorf, Germany. ThermProcess is held every 4 years in conjunction with three other trade fairs: GIFA–International Foundry Trade Fair with WFO Technical Forum, METEC–International Metallurgical Technology Trade Fair with Congress, and NEWCAST–International Trade Fair for Precision Castings. The event showcases the foundry technology, metallurgy, thermo process technology, and castings industries.

In 2011, ThermProcess had record-setting numbers for exhibitors and visitors. Nearly 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world met with 79,000 visitors from 83 countries. The Resource Center was developed to support IHEA members and US-based companies who either exhibited at the show or wanted to take advantage of promotion through the show. As in 2011, sponsorships of the Resource Center are once again available to provide benefits and services that might otherwise be prohibited.

The Resource Center is designed to give promotional support to the sponsoring company, before and during the show; assist with the finer details of participating in a trade show in Europe; provide access to translation services throughout the show; give sponsors the opportunity to offer educational presentations; provide use of the private conference rooms; provide hospitality throughout the show; assist with hotel reservations and restaurant recommendations; and help gain exposure for your company's products and services globally.

To become a sponsor, call IHEA at 859/356-1575 or visit and click on the “Participate in the ThermProcess Resource Center” button.

2/20/2015 - RadTech announces board of directors

BETHESDA, Md.—RadTech, the nonprofit trade association for UV+EB technologies, has announced its board of directors for 2015: Peter Weissman, Quaker Chemical Corp., president; Lisa Fine, Joules Angstrom UV Printing Inks, president-elect; Don Duncan, Wikoff Color, immediate past president; Eileen Weber, RedSpot, secretary; and Paul Elias, Miwon North America, treasurer.

In addition, newly elected RadTech board members include: JoAnn Arceneaux, Allnex USA Inc.; Mark Gordon, INX International Ink Co.; Nikola Juhasz, Sartomer Div., Arkema Group; George McGill, Zeller+Gmelin Corp.; Alexander Polykarpov, AkzoNobel; Jeremy Teachman, Sun Chemical Corp.; and Xiasong Wu, DSM Functional Materials. Returning board members include: Jennifer Heathcote, Phoseon; Beth Rundlett, Katcheco Inc.; Rick Baird, The Boeing Co.; Joshua Lensbouer, Mannington Mills; and Aaron Smith, Kimball.

“With the continued strong growth of UV and EB, we welcome new board members to help lead and guide our efforts to support the advancement of the technology,” said Weissman. “UV+EB are enabling technologies that additionally offer manufacturers higher productivity, energy savings and favorable sustainability profiles when compared to conventional coatings technologies. These advantages are driving use in areas as varied as industrial pipe and tube, 3D printing, consumer packaging, automotive, and aerospace.”

2/19/2015 - Skipp accepts position at Brenntag

MIDDLEBURY, Conn.—Andrew K. Skipp has accepted an appointment as executive vice president of Brenntag's Mid-South Region. Brenntag, with US headquarters in Reading, Pa., is the second largest chemical distributor in the US and the largest chemical distributor in the world.

Skipp recently announced his retirement as president and CEO from Hubbard-Hall Inc., Waterbury, Conn. Skipp was succeeded in the position by Molly C. Kellogg. Skipp spent his entire business career at Hubbard-Hall, starting as a salesman in 1977 and rising to president and CEO in 1999. Prominent in the chemical distribution industry, Skipp was chairman of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) from 2010 to 2012 and was named Distributor of the Year in 2012.

Hubbard-Hall distributes chemicals to the metal finishing and electronics industries and is a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals for surface finishing, metal coloring, and wastewater treatment.

2/16/2015 - AkzoNobel solicited as potential buyer of Axalta Coating Systems

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, is reported to be the potential buyer of automotive coatings firm Axalta Coating Systems for more than $7 billion. Although AkzoNobel has not revealed its plans for Axalta, investment banks are in negotiations with the Dutch chemical firm to offer a bid, reported Bloomberg, which citied sources familiar with the matter. AkzoNobel and US-based Sherwin-Williams were both identified as possible buyers of Axalta.

Formerly named DuPont Performance Coatings, Axalta Coating Systems was acquired by alternative asset manager Carlyle in February 2013 for $4.9 billion. The company produces and markets powder and liquid coatings and application tools. In August, Axalta filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise as much as $1 billion, and Carlyle appointed Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to manage the IPO. Axalta CEO Charlie Shaver said that the company is seeking to generate revenues of $7 billion by 2018, a 63 percent increase from $4.3 billion in 2012.

2/11/2015 - Axalta adds zinc-free anticorrosion primer

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has announced the expansion of its global product portfolio to include Alesta ZeroZinc, the next generation of zinc-free anticorrosion primers. These powder primers are formulated to provide an optimum solution for a variety of substrates and offer the potential to reduce costs, enhance operating reliability, and save resources.

Alesta's ZeroZinc is available in three formats suited for application on different substrates — steel primer for ferrous substrates, edge primer for steel and aluminum substrates with sharp edges, and antigassing primer for a tailored solution for degassing substrates.

Aside from quality protection, the primers are environmentally responsible, due to a formulation without zinc or heavy metals. They meet the standards regarding corrosion protection and durability according to DIN ISO 12944-6. In combination with an adequate pretreatment, the primers provide durable, best-in-class corrosion protection even under the most severe conditions, such as aggressive atmosphere, high humidity and extreme climate.

2/9/2015 - Courses: March 2015

March 17-18: ASTM Corrosion Testing: Application and Use of Salt Fog, Humidity, Cyclic, and Gas Tests. ASTM headquarters, West Conshohocken, Pa. Sponsored by ASTM International. Contact Jeff Adkins at 610/832-9738; fax 610/832-9599;;

March 17-18: Making Properties and Profits<\#208>Twin Screw Extrusion Seminar. Akron Polymer Training Center, Akron, Ohio. Sponsored by the University of Akron. Contact the training center at 330/972-8303; fax 330/374-8789;;

March 25: Understanding and Managing Color Quality. PRA Coatings Technology Centre, Hampton, Middlesex, UK. Sponsored by PRA. Contact Elisabeth Brown at +011-44-20-8487-0800; fax +011-44-20-8487-0801;

2/6/2015 - Hubbard-Hall announces leadership change

WATERBURY, Conn.—Hubbard-Hall Inc. has announced a leadership change to become effective the first of the year. Molly C. Kellogg, currently executive vice president, will become president and CEO upon the retirement of the current president and CEO, Andrew K. Skipp, on December 31, 2014. Kellogg and Skipp are sixth-generation family members of the company, whose roots date to 1849.

In announcing the organizational change, Charles T. Kellogg, Hubbard-Hall chairman and CFO, stated, “With 20 years of experience in the company and having worked in virtually every department, Molly has a deep understanding of the company's internal strengths and external opportunities. She's committed to growing the business and brings a unique, long term perspective to our future success.”

Skipp, who announced his retirement in September, has had a 37-year career at Hubbard-Hall, with the last 15 as president and CEO. Under his leadership, the company has enjoyed consistent success and implemented key quality initiatives such as responsible distribution, ISO, and lean.

Hubbard-Hall distributes chemicals to the metal finishing and electronics industries and is a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals for surface finishing, metal coloring, and wastewater treatment.

2/5/2015 - EPA awards research grants to help predict the impacts of chemicals, nanomaterials

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded research grants to Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, to better understand the impacts of chemicals and nanomaterials throughout their life cycle—design, manufacture, use, and disposal. According to the EPA, this research will advance the science of chemical life cycle assessments and provide tools to design safer chemicals, while enabling a healthy economy and safer society.

Arizona State University's research will evaluate the trade-offs between using nanomaterials to improve the functionality of consumer products and the potential risks to humans and the environment. The University of California, Santa Barbara's research will develop an online tool to evaluate life cycle impacts of chemicals which industry, academia and other decision makers can use to make more informed decisions about chemical and product design.

As more is understood about the impacts of chemicals throughout their life cycle, this research will influence future scientists and decision makers to consider the associated benefits and consequences of chemicals, which will help create a healthier economy and a safer society.

In September 2012, the EPA partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to encourage collaboration in applying principles of sustainability to chemical management issues. These grant awards further the EPA's and NSF's commitment to increase knowledge of chemical life cycles and sustainable chemistry.

2/4/2015 - Concrete drill jig reduces silica exposure

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A University of California ergonomics team has designed an innovative concrete drill jig that is proving to be highly effective in limiting worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica as well reducing fatigue and risk of musculoskeletal injuries. It also increases productivity, which is a bonus for McCarthy Building Company Inc., the company that's using the jig in renovating a historic building in downtown San Francisco, Calif.

The jig can drive multiple large hammer drills at different angles and heights, and is mounted on a base that allows it to move easily around a construction site. A vacuum collects dust generated by the drill bit. When a laborer drilled into concrete using a pneumatic rock drill by hand, the team measured silica dust levels that were 14 times higher than the recommended exposure limit set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. But with the jig and the dust-capturing device, the exposure level is below the recommended exposure limit. The jig is one of many ways employers can limit worker exposures to silica. For more information on the project, visit

2/3/2015 - ASTM publishes solvent rub standard

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.—A new ASTM International standard describes a solvent rub technique that can be used in the laboratory, field, or fabrication shop for assessing the solvent resistance of an organic coating that chemically and/or physically changes during the curing process. ASTM D7835, Test Method for Determining the Solvent Resistance of an Organic Coating Using a Mechanical Rubbing Machine, was developed by Subcommittee D01.53 on Coil Coated Metal, part of ASTM International Committee D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications.

The coil coated metals that are covered in the new standard are used in many markets, such as metal buildings, siding, roofing, trim, appliances and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The standard will also be used to measure the precision of this method compared to the manual method, which is described in ASTM D5402, Practice for Assessing the Solvent Resistance of Organic Coatings Using Solvent Rubs. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in the standards developing activities of D01.53. Now that ASTM D7835 has been approved, the subcommittee will be developing a precision statement for the standard. Laboratories, particularly those that work with coil coated metals, are invited to participate in the upcoming interlaboratory study. For more info, visit

2/2/2015 - Comex sues Sherwin-Williams over failed deal

MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Mexico's largest coatings producer has filed suit against The Sherwin-Williams Co., blaming the US paint maker for the implosion of its plan to buy the Latin American supplier. The suit follows Sherwin-Williams' announcement earlier this year that it would terminate its $2.34 billion offer to acquire Comex, the fourth-largest paint and coatings maker in North America.

Sherwin-Williams announced in November 2012 that it planned to buy Comex, extending the Cleveland-based company's reach throughout Latin America, where PPG Industries has been aggressively expanding. Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V. (Comex Group), headquartered in Mexico City, manufactures and sells industrial, protective, specialty, and architectural coatings throughout Latin America, the US, and Canada. Both companies voiced enthusiasm for the acquisition when it was announced.

Mexican regulators approved the $90 million acquisition of Comex's North American business, and that deal concluded in 2013. However, Mexico twice rejected Sherwin-Williams' bid for Comex's much larger Latin America portfolio, finally prompting the US company to end its pursuit. Now, Comex says Sherwin-Williams' efforts to get approval after the second rejection was below the standards set in the purchase agreement. In April, Sherwin-Williams terminated its offer to acquire Comex and filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of New York, requesting a declaration that the company had used “commercially reasonable efforts as required under the stock purchase agreement and has not breached the agreement.”

The court request came just days after Comex notified Sherwin-Williams that it had breached its obligations. Because the deal hadn't closed by March 31, 2014, Sherwin-Williams states that under the terms of the agreement, either party could cancel without being in material breach. Comex is seeking unspecified damages and reportedly has requested that the International Chamber of Commerce arbitrate the conflict.

1/30/2015 - Exposure to solvents may cause brain problems

BOSTON, Mass.—A new study has uncovered brain problems caused by longtime on-the-job exposure to industrial coatings and other solvent-based products. Sustained, high-level exposure to vapors from industrial paints and coatings, adhesives, and other solvent-based products may compromise brain function in workers decades after they have left the job, according to research conducted by a team at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“This study adds to the mounting evidence not only of the harmful effects of solvent exposure on cognitive function in the short term, but also of the health effects that may last long past the time of exposure,” says Dr. Erika L. Sabbath, the study leader. In a study of retired French utility workers, Sabbath found significant association between memory and thinking impairment and long-time occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents, benzene, or petroleum solvents. Some of the retirees showed problems 30 to 50 years after their exposure.

The findings have major implications for exposure limit policies for industrial painters, construction workers, and others who have high, ongoing exposure to solvent-based products. The potential for damage is particularly high for today's workers, who stay on the job longer. Sabbath's study, “Time may not fully attenuate solvent-associated cognitive deficits in highly exposed workers,” has been published in “Neurology,” the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The research examined memory, attention, and processing speed in 2,143 retirees who had been potentially exposed to three types of solvents in their careers—chlorinated solvents, benzene, and petroleum solvents. All three solvents are widely used in various products throughout the paint and coatings industry. People with high, recent exposure (within the last 12 to 30 years) to solvents were found to be at greatest risk for memory and thinking deficits. The study does not make recommendations for reducing exposures.

1/28/2015 - US government consolidates projects in 19 states

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US government will slash a half-million square feet of office space, and relocate an unknown number of employees, in a $70 million consolidation plan that will trigger projects in 19 states. The US General Services Administration (GSA), the nation's largest landlord, has identified 19 federally owned sites that will be retooled to allow a variety of federal agencies to consolidate their workspace. The project will eventually cut millions of dollars from rent and leasing costs and from expensive operation of underused or inefficient space, GSA says.

The federal government has been working to shrink its brick-and-mortar footprint for some time, through programs such as Total Workplace and through ongoing property disposal. To that end, GSA has been seeking to sell, swap, lease, or otherwise dispose of millions of square feet nationwide that it can no longer use. The effort has produced some novel initiatives. Recently, the agency offered to give buildings in need of redevelopment in exchange for construction services on several Washington, D.C., buildings.

The new consolidation effort is aimed at reducing costs by eliminating multiple leases as well as scaling back the federal government's energy and water consumption. The GSA currently provides workspace for more than a million federal workers in both federally owned and leased space across more than 9,000 properties. The agency is not yet saying when, where, or how many federal employees will eventually be relocated because of the consolidation.

1/26/2015 - EPA publishes 19th annual US greenhouse gas inventory

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 19th annual report of overall US greenhouse gas emissions, showing a 3.4 percent decrease in 2012 from 2011. The “Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks,” which is submitted annually to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

The major contributors to the decrease in emissions from 2011 to 2012 were the decrease in energy consumption across all sectors in the US economy, and the decrease in carbon intensity for electricity generation due to fuel switching from coal to natural gas. Other factors included a decrease in transportation sector emissions attributed to an increase in fuel efficiency across different transportation modes and limited new demand for passenger transportation.

Greenhouse gases are the primary driver of climate change, leading to increased heat-related illnesses and deaths; worsening the air pollution that can cause asthma attacks and other respiratory problems; and expanding the ranges of disease-spreading insects. Climate change is also affecting the frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts, and other extreme weather events. Under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the EPA is taking steps to address carbon pollution from the power and transportation sectors, and to improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, and factories.

The EPA prepares the annual report in collaboration with other federal agencies and after gathering comments from stakeholders across the country. In addition to tracking US greenhouse gas emissions, the inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere through the uptake of carbon in forests, vegetation, soils, and other natural processes (called carbon “sinks”). For more info, visit

1/22/2015 - ATEK renames business unit

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa—ATEK Companies has announced that it has renamed ATEK Precision Castings as ATEK Metal Technologies. The new name reflects ATEK Metal Technologies' expertise and leadership in supplying world-class cast aluminum parts and assemblies. As part of the rebranding initiative, ATEK Metal Technologies has a new website, The company is a technology-leading manufacturer of aluminum castings and a single-source supplier for powder coating, finish machining, assembly, and plating.

1/21/2015 - Evonik increases prices

ESSEN, Germany—The Inorganic Materials Business Unit of Evonik Industries has raised the prices for its silica products, metal oxides, and matting agents. The fumed silica and metal oxides are sold under the brand names AEROSIL and AEROXIDE; the precipitated silica are sold under the brand names ULTRASIL, SIPERNAT, SIDENT, and ACEMATT. The prices were increased by up to eight percent or as contracts allowed. This measure was needed to secure sustainable supply. Evonik Industries AG is a global leader in specialty chemicals.

1/20/2015 - OSHA cites abrasives maker for 10th case

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Fourteen months after resolving numerous federal health and safety violations at its plant in Harvey, La., US Minerals is facing a fresh round of citations at the facility from the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The citations come 2 months after OSHA issued a second round of citations and $195,470 in fines involving the company's plant in Baldwin, Ill. And both cases come just a year after the abrasives and roofing materials maker resolved eight OSHA cases involving multiple plants with a fine of $700,000.

The new case details one repeat and seven serious violations and proposes fines totaling $77,770. The allegations include lack of noise protection, training lapses, and lockout/tagout violations. The citations were issued after inspections of the Harvey plant in September and October 2013. US Minerals has disputed the allegations.

US Minerals, Dyer, Ind., is one of the largest US producers of coal slag products. The company produces Black Magnum coal slag and Black Diamond iron silicate abrasives, roofing granules, and fill.

1/15/2015 - GKN Driveline to create 105 jobs in Lee County, N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C.—Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have announced that GKN Driveline will open a service center in Lee County and expand manufacturing at its Alamance facility. The company plans to create 105 new jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2016 and invest more than $18 million in this expansion.

GKN Driveline, Detroit, Mich., is the world's leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems, serving global vehicle manufacturers. The company is a leading producer of constant-velocity joint (CVJ) systems, AWD systems, transaxle solutions and eDrive systems. The company is renewing a former GKN facility in Sanford, N.C., to create a service center with 105 new jobs. Compensation for the new positions will vary by job function, but the average annual salary will be $39,048, plus a robust benefits package, including health, retirement, and vacation time. The average annual wage in Lee County is $37,066.

The project was made possible in part by an award to GKN Driveline from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

1/14/2015 - CCAI releases new online training videos

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) has released a variety of educational training videos that can be accessed anytime from anywhere. Found on CCAI TV through CCAI's website at, the library of videos offers educational presentations from industry experts that run an average of 20 to 40 minutes in length. Designed to give information and provide an understanding of many finishing technologies, more than 20 videos offer a low-cost educational tool for those in the industry. Additional videos will be added to the video library frequently.

Online videos can be rented for a 30-day period on an individual basis or in a package collection. There are currently three packages available, containing multiple videos at a larger discount than individual viewing. Current collections include: Building Blocks of Powder Coating, Español Educación, Finishing Essentials, and Efficient Curing with Infrared. Fees to access individual videos are $30 for CCAI members or $49 for nonmembers. Video collection access is $79 for CCAI members or $99 for nonmembers. Become a CCAI member today and save on your video training. CCAI individual memberships are just $95 per year and include a membership to the chapter of your choice.

In addition, a series of free videos are also available from CCAI's corporate members. These free videos include KMI Systems' Turn-Key Finishing Systems, IntelliFinishing's Shuttle and how it works, Midwest Finishing's video on “The Midwest Difference,” Nordson's Purple Up Close, and TTX's Finishing System Overview. These videos contain valuable information for all finishers.

1/13/2015 - AkzoNobel revamps Performance Coatings business

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, has announced plans to slim down and retool its sprawling Performance Coatings business, one of the company's three major divisions. Performance Coatings, which has about 22,000 employees in 60 countries, will reduce the number of global management layers and reorganize into seven market units. The seven new units, which will focus on specific customer segments and technologies, will be: Marine Coatings, Metal Coatings, Powder Coatings, Protective Coatings, Specialty Coatings, Vehicle Refinishes, and Wood Coatings. The costs associated with this reorganization are approximately $328 million.

1/12/2015 - Courses: February 2015

Feb. 2-6: Polymers and Coatings Winter Short Course. Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center, San Luis Obispo, Calif. Sponsored by the Polymers and Coatings Program of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department of the College of Science and Mathematics at California Polytechnic State University. Contact Ray Fernando at 805/756-2395;;

Feb. 3-4: 10,000 Lakes Corrosion Control Seminar. Mystic Lake Hotel and Conference Center, Prior Lake, Minn. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Jennifer Sweney at 763/784-9144; fax 281/228-6300;;

Feb. 11-12: Liberty Bell Corrosion Course. Williamson's Banquet Hall, Horsham, Pa. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Dave Krause at 610/868-9352; fax 281/228-6300;;

Feb. 24-26: 54th Annual Underground Corrosion Short Course. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. Sponsored by NACE International. Contact Ray Bingman at 812/568-5236; fax 281/228-6300;;

1/9/2015 - Axalta invests millions in Mexican resins facility

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has committed to investing $10.5 million in Tlalnepantla, Mexico, to expand capacity to produce resins used in the manufacture of transportation coatings. The investment will enhance and expand the capability of the Tlalnepantla operations center, one of three manufacturing locations for Axalta in Mexico and headquarters of the company's businesses in Latin America. The resin facility will use manufacturing technology designed to improve operational efficiencies, reduce waste, and further reduce the company's environmental footprint from manufacturing operations. The Tlalnepantla facility already manufactures coatings for some of the largest global automotive OEM and heavy-duty truck manufacturers, as well as the company's refinish brands.

1/7/2015 - Pneu-Mech Systems moves to new headquarters

CLAREMONT, N.C.—Pneu-Mech Systems MFG LLC is pleased to announce the move into a new corporate headquarters location in Claremont, N.C. In an effort to adapt to additional sales and product offering growth, the move has become necessary to better serve its customers. In addition, the company has added Leif Josefsson as VP of engineering and product design. Josefsson has more than 40 years of paint finishing design experience. Pneu-Mech Systems manufactures paint finishing systems and equipment for metal, plastics, wood, and composite materials.

1/6/2015 - Audi uses energy-saving Dürr technology to paint in Mexico

BIETIGHEIM, Germany—Plant manufacturer Dürr is supporting its customer Audi in the construction of a resource-saving production plant in Mexico. As the general contractor, Dürr will build one of the world's most environmentally friendly paint shops at the site in San José Chiapa, Mexico. The Eco+Paintshop will ensure that all interfaces and processes are efficient, from pretreatment via e-coating to spray booths to the ovens.

Audi commissioned this shop in December 2013. Cars will roll off the production line starting mid-2016. Dürr is a mechanical and plant engineering group that holds leading positions in the global automotive, aircraft, machinery, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries.

1/5/2015 - US EPA funds nanomaterials research

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The federal government has put nearly $10 million into examining the environmental impact of science's fastest-growing field: nanomaterials. The goal is to understand the impact of nanomaterials throughout their life cycle, from design to disposal.

Nanotechnology generally refers to engineered structures, devices, and systems between 1 and 100 nanometers long. The engineered nanomaterials can take on unique optical, magnetic, electrical, and other properties. Many of technology's burgeoning first generation of products, including building materials, paints, and coatings, are composed of engineered nanoparticles, such as metal oxides, nanotubes, nanowires, quantum dots, and carbon fullerenes.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $5 million grant to Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., and a $4.9 million grant to the University of California, Santa Barbara, Calif. The EPA grants reflect concern that the development of these promising materials may be moving too quickly for due examination of their risks.

The research at Arizona State University and UC Santa Barbara is expected to help minimize some of these risks and enable the design of safer products. Arizona State's research will focus on the tradeoffs between using nanomaterials to improve the functionality of consumer products and the potential risks to humans and the environment. The research proposed will address the knowledge gaps that prevent the safe development of nanoenabled products, and has the potential to improve design and processes of products with nanomaterials.

UC Santa Barbara will use its funds to develop an open-access, online tool to evaluate lifecycle impacts for chemicals and materials at an early stage of the chemical product development process—when the precise manufacturing routes and fates of the products are still uncertain.

1/2/2015 - New powder additive helps scratched military vehicles heal themselves

ARLINGTON, Va.—A new powder that can be added to commercial off-the-shelf paint primers is helping scratched military vehicles heal themselves before corrosion starts, US Navy developers say. Developed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the additive allows the vehicles to “heal like human skin” before the effects of corrosion reach the metal underneath, according to an announcement by ONR, which provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage.

The additive, called polyfibroblast, could benefit a variety of vehicles. From rainstorms to sunlight, tactical vehicles face constant corrosion threats from the elements. Corrosion costs the US Navy about $7 billion each year, including about $500 million for corrosion to Marine Corps ground vehicles, according to the most recent Department of Defense reports. This technology could cut maintenance costs and, more importantly, it could increase the time vehicles are out in the field.

Vehicles transported and stored on ships also are subject to salt spray from the ocean—a leading cause of problems for military hardware. In one laboratory experiment, polyfibroblast showed it could prevent rusting for 6 weeks inside a chamber filled with salt fog, the Navy said. While many self-healing paints are designed for cosmetic purposes, polyfibroblast is being engineered specifically for tactical vehicles used in a variety of harsh environments, developers say.

Polyfibroblast is a powder made up of microscopic polymer spheres filled with an oily liquid. When scratched, resin from the broken capsules forms a waxy, water-repellant coating across the exposed steel that protects against corrosion. Development of polyfibroblast began in 2008.

12/31/2014 - Applied Plastics celebrates 60 years in business

NORWOOD, Mass.—Applied Plastics Co. Inc., one of the original licensed applicators of DuPont Teflon finishes in the country, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Founded in 1954 by Frank Ring, the firm specializes in supplying hypotubes and forming mandrels to medical manufacturers and in applying DuPont Teflon finishes and other functional coatings for other industries by using many different methods, depending upon the application. Applied Plastics, a family-owned business, is in the process of constructing an additional 20,000 sq. ft. facility in order to remain highly responsive to their customers while accommodating growth.

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