AkzoNobel, the largest global paints and coatings company, has invested in a research and development facility in Italy that will use technology to improve the performance and sustainability of its coatings products.
The coating product it will be developing, Interpon W, is designed for heat-sensitivity for wood applications. The product allows contractors to coat a wide range of materials in less than 30 minutes, from automated electrostatic spraying to infared curing, for faster work and less waste.
The company plans to open R&D centers in North America and Asia sometime in the future.
According to a company press release:
A new research center which will develop pioneering products for the rapidly growing area of powderon wood has been opened by AkzoNobel at its site in Como, Italy.
The new R&D facility – which features an application lab, process lab, and analytical and testing lab is dedicated to delivering low cure powder coatings for use on heat-sensitive substrates (such as MDF, plywood, thermoplastics and composites).
Its inauguration follows the recent acquisition of Stahl’s powder coatings activities, which gave AkzoNobel access to a broad range of solutions, including unique UV technology. The Como center will now focus on developing an expanding portfolio of low cure solutions, including low bake, UV and ultra-low bake (ULB) powder technologies. This will enable customers to use less energy during production, gain process speed and boost their own sustainability profile.
“We’re excited to build on our global leadership position and enter new markets while bringing more surfaces to life for our customers,” says Daniela Vlad, director of AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business. “In addition to strengthening our position as a technology leader, the new facility will also help to accelerate our speed to market so we can reach our customers even faster.”
She adds that this is only the first phase of the company’s expansion into powder on wood, with plans in place to open additional R&D centers in Asia and North America.
With customers worldwide looking to embrace the sustainability benefits that powder has to offer, powder on wood has become one of the fastest growing areas within the coatings industry.
“The dedicated know-how we have in the new R&D center will enable us to develop a broad range of innovative new surface solutions, particularly for our wood coatings customers," Vlad says. "Having recently expanded our Como site, it means we can now accommodate a European manufacturing facility for powder on wood and the new R&D center at the same location, which will speed up the service capability we offer to customers in this segment.”
The Como site is AkzoNobel’s biggest plant in Europe for producing powder coatings. As well as increasing capacity, the recent €20 million ($27.8 million U.S.) expansion also sharpened the company’s focus on sustainable manufacturing.
AkzoNobel supplies powder coatings to customers worldwide, covering market segments ranging from domestic appliances, architecture and automotive, to furniture, IT and general industrial applications.