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November 17, 2017

MIDLAND, Mich.—The Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont, Wilmington, Dela., officially completed their merger on August 31, creating a new business that will divide into three independent companies: Materials Science, Specialty Products, and Agriculture. However, the company has announced that it will alter its original plans after the Board of Directors ordered a comprehensive review of the portfolio composition of the intended companies.

The board concluded that certain targeted adjustments will be made between the Materials Science and Specialty Products divisions to enhance the competitive advantages of the intended resulting companies. The changes better align these businesses with the end markets they serve, ensuring clear focus, market visibility, targeted innovation, and stronger growth profiles.

As a result, the following businesses will be realigned to the Specialty Products Division from the Materials Science Division: Dow’s Automotive Systems’ adhesives and fluids platforms, Dow’s Building Solutions business, Dow’s Water and Process Solutions business, Dow’s Pharma and Food Solutions business, Dow’s Microbial Control business, DuPont’s Performance Polymers business, and several silicones-based businesses. On a forecasted 2017 basis, the businesses that will be realigned to the Specialty Products Division account for a total net sales of more than $8 billion.

Following the adjustments and realignments, the resulting companies are as follows: The Agriculture Co., Wilmington, Dela., incorporates DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection, and Dow AgroSciences, with a portfolio that includes seeds, traits, crop chemicals, and other solutions. The Materials Science Co., Midland, Mich., will maintain the Dow brand and will comprise Performance Materials & Coatings, Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure, and Packaging & Specialty Plastics. The Specialty Products Co., Wilmington, Dela., will consist of Electronics & Imaging, Transportation & Advanced Polymers, Safety & Construction, and Nutrition & Biosciences.

November 16, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings has released one new standard regarding moisture determination on commercial coating projects and revised another pertaining to polyurethanes.

The new standard, “SSPC Guide 23, Field Methods for the Determination of Moisture in Concrete and Masonry Walls and Ceilings, EIFS and Stucco, is a guide describing five common field methods of determining moisture content in certain exterior walls. The methods can be used on painted and unpainted concrete and masonry walls (including concrete masonry units, brick, stone, poured-in-place, precast, and tilt-up), exterior insulation and finish systems and stucco, and concrete and masonry ceilings. The new guide includes generic descriptions of equipment used in measuring moisture content, conditions necessary to perform testing, test procedures, and other considerations affecting test results.

The revised standard is “SSPC Paint 41, Moisture-Cured Polyurethane Primer or Intermediate Coat, Micaceous Iron Oxide Reinforced, Performance-Based. This standard provides lab testing benchmarks and acceptance criteria for generic coating type in its title. The revision involves an expansion of the scope of the standard, which now allows for the moisture-cured polyurethane primer to be used either as a direct-to-steel coating or as an intermediate coat over a compatible primer.

The standard has also been revised in relation to standard testing conditions, requirements of liquid coating, laboratory testing of applied coatings, and scribe evaluation.

November 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—New reports indicate that a bipartisan group of US Senators may attempt to pass their own infrastructure bill this Fall if none materializes from the White House, where the matter has seemingly stalled. President Donald J. Trump and his administration have not yet offered up a detailed infrastructure package.

Soon after last year’s election, the Trump administration signaled that it would be making a $1 trillion infrastructure plan a priority. In late May, the White House released a budget proposal that included a plan for $200 billion in infrastructure spending, but the schematic was short on details. It calls for $5 billion in the 2018 budget, with increases in future years totaling $200 billion after 10 years. In order to reach the touted $1 trillion figure, the plan relies on private funding that the administration says will be leveraged using government expenditures.

While the White House has said it is committed to working with Congress on infrastructure, Republicans are expected to make tax reform a priority when the legislature convenes again after its summer recess. Infrastructure is not expected to be a top concern until a tax plan is worked out.

November 14, 2017

CENTENNIAL, Colo.—The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) has announced the winners of its 2017 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards. More than 120 projects were judged online by a panel of architects and engineers. The 17 winning projects showcase the versatility and resilience of hot-dip galvanized coating.

The preeminent award, designated Most Distinguished, was given to the Horizon Oil Sands Slurry Preparation Plant (SPP) in Alberta, Canada. The SPP liquefies oil sand ore for further treatment, and the steel is hot-dip galvanized. The Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to the resilient Baseball Man. This special award recognizes galvanized projects with at least 15 years of service. Baseball Man is a topiary designed in 2001 to greet visitors at the Gulfport Sportsplex in Mississippi. In order to withstand the internal irrigation system and harsh fertilizers used, the topiary was constructed with a hot-dip galvanized frame.

For more info and photos of all the winners, visit the AGA Project Gallery at galvanizeit.org/project-gallery.

November 13, 2017

WINDSOR, Conn.—Fischer Technology, an innovative leader for over 65 years in the field of high-quality measurement technology, has opened a new office in Chicago, Ill. The office supports all sales, instrument certification, service, and application needs. It has factory trained technicians, original spare parts, and knowledgeable and advanced application support and sales staff.

November 10, 2017

TAYLOR MILL, Ky.—The Powder Coating Institute (PCI), Taylor Mill, Ky., has awarded its 2017-2018 scholarships to students who are pursuing studies in powder coating technology. The recipients represent the future of our industry. The students’ criteria for the annual awards include: relevance to powder coating technology, comprehensiveness of the university program, future goals, unique qualifications, and a letter of recommendation from their adviser.

This year’s Scholarship Program awarded $20,000 in total, which includes corporate donations. The following students were awarded scholarships: Raviteja Kommineni, Eastern Michigan University; Shiyin Yu, Eastern Michigan University; Theodore Hammer, University of Akron; and Benjamin Whipker, Rochester Institute of Technology.

For more information on the recipients as well as the application process, visit www.powdercoating.org. PCI is a nonprofit technical and professional association that provides information and education on powder coating technologies worldwide.

November 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On August 11, 2017, the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Rule published in the Federal Register. This rule, required by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, was released on June 22, 2017, and requires industry reporting of chemicals manufactured or processed in the US over the past 10 years. This reporting will be used to identify which chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory are active in US commerce.

Publication in the Federal Register initiates a 180-day reporting period in which manufacturers, including importers, are required to notify EPA of chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory that were manufactured (including imported) for nonexempt commercial purposes during the 10-year time period ending on June 21, 2016. These notices are due February 7, 2018.

This rule also contains a provision to allow notification by processors. EPA will use these notifications to distinguish active substances from inactive substances in the TSCA Inventory. These notices are due October 5, 2018.

In addition, the rule establishes procedures for notification of chemical substances on the Inventory that are initially designated as inactive to be redesignated as active, if and when the manufacturing or processing of such chemical substances for nonexempt commercial purposes is expected to resume.

The Agency has developed a list of active chemical substances that are exempt from reporting under the rule. The Exemption List of Active Substances includes chemical substances reported under the 2012 and 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, and in Notices of Commencement received since June 21, 2006.

All information must be submitted electronically. EPA will be hosting webinars to assist submitters this fall. Further details are forthcoming.

November 7, 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Crest Coating Inc. is celebrating 50 years of innovation, collaboration, and transition. For these 50 years, Crest Coating has become a front-runner in powder coating and exotic liquid coating services by gaining the experience and knowledge of many industries. Contained in two modern buildings totaling over 50,000 square feet, the company has come a long way since their one-building facility in 1967. Today, the company has large-capacity conveyorized coating lines and large and small batch capabilities, and provides silk screening, light assembly, and packaging services for their customers.

November 3, 2017

PRINCETON, N.J.—Researchers out of Princeton University’s Muir chemistry lab have developed new surface coatings that appear to be an incredibly effective tool in inhibiting—or, alternatively, assisting—the growth of bacteria. Based on a process called quorum sensing, the newly developed materials could provide some highly desirable benefits for wastewater facilities.

As the Princeton team explains, bacteria cluster together in fortress-like formations called biofilms. In places like hospital environments, quorum sensing can combat these formations, making the bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics and disinfectants. Alternatively, in a wastewater treatment environment, the benefits of bacteria can be amplified with this molecular group coordination.

Quorum sensing was also the key to a recent development in antifouling coatings, introduced by researchers at Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. In that research, it was suggested that cerium dioxide could be used in coatings to stifle quorum sensing in algae and other organisms, stopping the growth of biofilms on marine structures.

November 1, 2017

GAINESVILLE, Tex.—IFS Coatings has launched a new e-book covering practical tips and advice on every aspect of powder coating. The first few chapters can be found in the news section of the company’s website, www.ifscoatings.com, under Guides. The book is 12 chapters in total and provides practical information on a huge range of powder coating topics for powder coaters of all types and sizes. It’s designed to provide instant access to problem solving, FAQs, real life advice, and tips. Topics covered include various powder types, application issues, two-coat powder systems, spraying metallics, and appearance issues.

October 31, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Powder Coating Research (PCR) Group has relocated to a new facility in Columbus, Ohio. The new facility boasts a 3,000-square-foot operation, including an expanded processing area, two isolated spray rooms, a comprehensive testing lab, and conference room. The PCR Group is an independent research and development company.

October 30, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidance materials for the recently-issued TSCA section 8(a) Nanotechnology Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Rule, which became effective on August 14, 2017. EPA has incorporated public comments and included additional questions in the guidance, and will update the guidance as needed based on further questions and discussions.

This rule establishes one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale as described in the rule issued January 12, 2017. The guidance reflects input received on draft guidance EPA issued in May 2017 and provides answers to questions the Agency has received from manufacturers (including importers) and processors of certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale.

October 27, 2017

MANCHESTER, U.K.—A multimillion-dollar research endeavor will begin cracking the code to determine what makes corrosion so destructive. Led by BP and the University of Manchester, the research project could help reduce the impact surface degradation (such as corrosion and wear) has on industries across the globe.

Many industrial assets, such as tools and machinery, are susceptible to surface degradation. When it comes to the demanding environments of the oil and gas sectors, corrosion and wear are even of higher concern. Despite the global impact of surface degradation, corrosion itself is not well understood. A number of industries depend on field experience in order to manage ongoing corrosion issues.

The collaborative research project, known as “Preventing Surface Degradation in Demanding Environments,” could change the current understanding of how surface degradation works. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the project involves researchers from BP, the University of Manchester, Imperial College London, and the University of Cambridge. Researchers from Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds also contributed their expertise to this project.

The team has received $6.5 million in joint funding from the EPSRC and BP, in the hopes of discovering the processes that cause surface degradation and developing new strategies to mitigate them. The funding came as part of the EPSRC’s Prosperity Partnerships, which aims to support existing strategic research-based collaborations between business and universities.

October 26, 2017

ESSEN, Germany—The European Commission has granted its approval to German specialty chemical firm Evonik’s $630 million acquisition of Huber Silica, Edison, N.J. However, the green light comes with some conditions.

The acquisition, announced in December 2016, is part of a move by Evonik to expand its presence into North America and Asia. The company says Huber Silica would also help develop Evonik’s portfolio and strengthen the growth of resource efficiency. Evonik, a leading global manufacturer of specialty chemicals, supplies silica for the paints and coatings industry as well as the tire industry and other sectors.

Because both companies manufacture specialty chemicals, including precipitated silica, the European Commission expressed some concerns about market competition for precipitated silica for defoamer applications and hydrophobic precipitated silica, which is also used in defoamers as well as paints and coatings. This results in reasonably high combined market shares for Evonik, and in these markets, there are a limited number of alternative suppliers. Evonik’s acquisition of Huber would also restrict competition in these sectors.

To address the European Commission’s concerns, Evonik and Huber Silica proposed some divestments from both sides. The EU agreed, but stated that the divestments must include full transfer of production technology, and the parties must provide full technical support to the purchaser. To ensure transaction success, the purchaser must be an established producer of and have a market for precipitated silica within the EEA.

Assuming there are no future issues with the acquisition, Evonik anticipates completion of the transaction in the second half of 2017. Approval by the commission remains conditional until the companies are in compliance with the commitments they’ve made.

October 25, 2017

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands—Global coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has announced the acquisition of one coatings firm and an agreement to acquire a second. U.K.-based Flexcrete Technologies Ltd. is the most recent addition to AkzoNobel’s portfolio, while French manufacturer Disa Technology (DisaTech) is now under agreement to be acquired by the Dutch paints company. Both deals will strengthen the company’s position of leadership in providing coatings for industrial, aerospace, and automotive industries.

The announcement for this latest merger comes on the heels of the announcement that PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, Pa., has dropped its bid to acquire AkzoNobel. In the midst of PPG’s attempted acquisition this spring, AkzoNobel rolled out a plan to accelerate growth by splitting its Specialty Chemicals business unit off into a separate entity.

October 23, 2017

THE WOODLANDS, Tex.—Global chemical companies Huntsman Corp. and Clariant, Muttenz, Switzerland, have announced that they plan to merge into one company, with predicted annual sales of more than $13 billion. The all-stock merger will result in a company called HuntsmanClariant, with global headquarters in Switzerland and operational headquarters in Texas. The $20 billion deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

October 20, 2017

BERKELEY, Calif.—A comprehensive study by a national laboratory in California has dug deep into pavement, revealing that while the choice of materials can impact carbon emissions, the conventional wisdom about cool pavements may not always tell the whole story.

The US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory agreed that laying certain types of pavement can help cities stay cool, but the study also found that many reflective pavements produce drawbacks in relation to conventional pavements, especially when considering the life cycle of materials used.

Scientists conducted lifecycle assessments of conventional and cool pavements. By analyzing technologies over a 50-year span, researchers discovered extra energy and emissions exhibited by cool pavement materials exceeds the expected energy and emissions savings produced by reduced cooling and heating in buildings. Other studies have determined that cool pavements can reduce a city’s average outside air temperature by around 1 degree, depending on the use of certain paving materials, city size, and city location. Reducing the air temperature also has a positive effect on local air quality.

Another possible benefit to certain pavement materials has to do with global cooling. More reflective roads would send sunlight back toward space, which helps cool the planet and offset atmospheric warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

October 18, 2017

NEWARK, Dela.—Intech Services Inc. and Chemours have introduced a new primer, 857G-3310, to the Teflon coating line. The primer is an alternative solution for those with VOC reduction initiatives. It offers high-quality performance without the harshness of an acid based primer, and it’s compatible with high-build PTFE topcoats.

October 17, 2017

HARROGATE, U.K.—A new spray- or brush-applied protective coating from Belzona Polymerics Ltd. is designed to guard complex surfaces from corrosion without adversely affecting inspection and maintenance. Belzona 3412 is a two-part hybrid polymer coating designed as a topcoat to encapsulate flanged joints and other similar mechanical equipment. It’s isocyanate-free, cures quickly, and offers corrosion, UV, and heat resistance. Its adhesive and elastomeric properties allow it to bond with and encapsulate a variety of bare metal and coated surfaces.

October 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is considering a further delay and possible changes to its Final Rule on Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, though technically the rule went into effect May 20.

An OSHA spokesperson has explained that the agency received a petition to stay the effective date and is continuing to review the petition. The regulation’s enforcement date has been set at March 2018 all along, and that has not been changed. OSHA clarified that it is the petition, and not the rule itself, that is under review, and that officially, the rule has gone into effect. Its status, though, could be subject to change for a number of reasons.

In addition to the petition to stay the effective date, the beryllium rule is subject to a lawsuit in the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. The suit, Airborn, et al. v. OSHA, et al., is in its early stages. According to court documents, it is a consolidation of several suits filed by industry groups.

In March, OSHA announced that the rule would be subject to further review as part of a regulatory freeze ordered by the Trump administration. The original effective date of March 10 was pushed back to May 20.

The rule reduces the 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) for airborne beryllium from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter, a limit that applies to all industries. If beryllium exposure is greater than the PEL, employers must take extra steps, including providing engineering controls, medical exams, or medical surveillance. The rule also establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period.

Workers performing abrasive blasting can be exposed to fine particles of beryllium when the abrasive media contains the metal, as coal and copper slag sometimes do. Beryllium levels in abrasives are generally very low, but because of the fine dust generated in the blasting process, it can still be dangerous.

October 13, 2017

Dec. 5-6: Powder Coating 202 Workshop. Amherst, Ohio. Sponsored by the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). Contact PCI at 859/525-9988; fax 859/356-0908; pci-info@powdercoating.org; www.powdercoating.org.

October 11, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the preliminary 2016 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) dataset, the most current TRI data available. These facility-level data show the chemicals that industrial facilities manufacture, process, or otherwise use and release into the environment. The data also show pollution prevention activities initiated by individual facilities during 2016.

While the preliminary data have undergone the basic data quality checks included in the online TRI reporting software, they have not undergone the complete TRI data quality process. In addition, EPA doesn’t aggregate or summarize these data, or offer any analysis or interpretation of them. The agency will update the preliminary dataset several times based on information from facilities.

EPA will publish the complete, quality-checked 2016 dataset in October, followed by the 2016 TRI National Analysis in January 2018. For more info, visit www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program.

October 10, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Protective coatings and linings firm Tnemec Co. Inc. has announced that its new research and development facility has opened in Kansas City, Mo. The opening, which is an expansion of Tnemec’s current manufacturing plant, doubles the size of its R&D laboratory and office space. Testing and ventilation equipment have also been upgraded.

Tnemec says its new chemical immersion room allows for more expansive performance testing, such as in-house autoclave experimentation and severe wastewater analysis. The firm says updated fume hoods were installed in correlation with tougher testing protocols. Other improvements include adding a controlled spray booth for panel preparation, new contact angle devices for nanochemistry, and a state-of-the-art ventilation system that ensures safety for personnel.

October 9, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.—Four BASF employees were among 130 women recognized nationally through The Manufacturing Institute’s 2017 STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering, and production (STEP), the program annually honors female leaders for their advocacy, mentorship, engagement, and leadership in the industry. BASF employees Debbie Dalley, Laura Fisher, Regina Molisee, and Ashley Thompson received awards. Additionally, Fisher and Thompson were among 30 women designated as Emerging Leaders.

As the national sponsor of the STEP Ahead initiative, BASF collaborates with The Manufacturing Institute on the grassroots movement of manufacturers dedicated to overcoming the shared challenges facing young women in manufacturing today. This initiative promotes the role of women in the industry, provides mentoring, and leads research on the topic. STEP Ahead honorees across the US have pledged to promote the importance of women in manufacturing.

October 6, 2017

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has announced that the Automate 2017 show and conference broke all previous attendance records with show attendance of 12,960 people, which is a 37 percent increase over 2015. With the co-located ProMat and ProFood Tech attendees taking advantage of free entry, well over 20,000 people visited Automate. The show is North America’s premier biennial event devoted to leading-edge automation technology and business innovation.

Automate 2017 featured more than 400 exhibitors displaying their latest technologies and services, including global suppliers of robotics, motion control, motors, vision systems, metrology, software, and system integration services for enterprises large and small. In addition, over 1,000 attendees participated in the 120 conference sessions, a greater than 90 percent increase over 2015.

This year’s show also garnered increased international participation. For the first time, 13 Chinese automation companies exhibited, reflecting China’s dramatic growth in robotics implementation and development.

Automate 2019 will take place April 8-11, 2019, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. For more info, visit www.automateshow.com.

October 5, 2017

NORTHLAKE, Tex.—Leading global coatings supplier Hempel has inaugurated its new North American Central Distribution Centre (CDC). The new 202,000-square-foot CDC warehouse has 32 dock doors and will be responsible for distributing Hempel’s entire range of coatings to customers and stock points across North America. With manufacturing taking place in Dallas, Tex., and Conroe, Tex., this warehouse allows orders to be fulfilled and shipped in record time and at a reduced cost.

October 4, 2017

ZURICH, Switzerland—While 3D printing takes a more prominent role in the building of structures, a team of Swiss researchers is looking even further into what they call 4D printing. The fourth dimension here is time: Objects considered to be 4D printed are those that can change their shape at a later point after printing, meaning that objects that are printed out flat can potentially be reshaped to create load-bearing structures.

The team at ETH Zurich is working under Kristina Shea, head of the institution’s Engineering Design and Computing Lab. Shea and her team create 3D printed materials that can exist in either a retracted or extended state. By putting these components together, they’re able to create structures that are more complex.

The scientists print all of the pieces of a given structure at once, using a hard polymer for structural pieces and a more elastic polymer for moving parts. The result is one complex piece that can be transported and then deployed, rather than a set of pieces that still need to be fully assembled. The advantages include the efficiency of printing an entire structure as well as easy transport.

So far, the 4D printed structures are generally quite small, with the researchers deploying them by hand. In the future, they hope to develop systems for controlling the pieces via compressed air or even via a change in temperature or humidity. The researchers see uses for the 4D printing method in the aerospace industry as well as in ventilation systems and in biomedical applications.