AkzoNobel has opened a $10.2 million fire protection coatings research facility at its Felling site in the UK—part of a $14.6 million research, development and innovation investment.
The lab, which will create about 40 jobs, is the company’s latest RD&I investment at the site, which employs more than 950 people.
Earlier this year, the company opened a $2.9 million lab for powder coatings polymer research and a $2 million corporate research laboratory at Felling.
Marine and Protective Coatings
The lab will be operated by the company's Marine and Protective Coatings business, which is the largest supplier of fire protection coatings for oil and gas installations, buildings and other steel structures.
|The new facility will focus on development of fire-protection coatings for steel structures and installations.|
Increasingly stringent fire protection regulations worldwide are driving a boom in that global market, with demand expected to double by 2018.
“This modern facility will help us to drive innovation and deliver cutting-edge performance coatings technology in line with what our customers demand,” said Graeme Armstrong, the company's Executive Committee member responsible for RD&I.
“We have installed furnaces on a scale which will test what conditions our coatings materials have to withstand, enabling us to supply our customers with technically sophisticated solutions that are proven and commercially viable.”
Structural, Installation Markets Eyed
Added Bob Taylor, Managing Director of Marine and Protective Coatings: “We now have a global center of excellence for fire protection development, which will significantly improve our ability to develop and bring new products to market.
“We plan to build on our impressive portfolio of supplying fire protection products for major structures and installations around the world, which also includes commercial buildings such as Melbourne Airport and the New York Times offices in Manhattan.”
Amsterdam-based AkzoNobel is the world’s largest paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, with 55,000 employees in more than 80 countries. Its portfolio includes Dulux, Sikkens, International, Eka and other well-known brands.