Axalta Invests $5M in Coatings Center
The old DuPont Performance Coatings business is making a new push into scaling up its coatings research and development, with a fresh $5 million infusion into its Coatings Technology Center in Wilmington, DE.
Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, says it has invested $5 million in a new pilot reactor that has begun operations to support coatings polymer research and scale-up activities at the center.
"The expansion will enhance product development capabilities and accelerate the manufacture and introduction of the next generation of polymers that offer improved performance properties," Axalta said in an announcement.
The reactor system is coupled with a complete process automation and control system to enable precise control of ingredient amounts and critical process conditions such as temperature and pressure, the company said. The polymers produced can be used for both solvent-based and water-based coating products.
'Appearance and Performance'
“Coatings are about appearance and performance,” Axalta Chairman and CEO Charles Shaver said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible coatings—ones that will cure faster, adhere better, offer the latest colors and be more durable than any others on the market.”
The pilot reactor, also known as a semi-works facility, is a small-scale manufacturing system that allows new polymer formulations to be produced in a way that mimics full-scale production, according to Axalta. The system allows Axalta to produce formulations that work in a laboratory environment but may not immediately transfer consistently to full-scale production.
Axalta Coating Systems (the former DuPont Performance Coatings) provides products and services for the automotive, transportation, industrial, architectural and decorative sectors.
“Our reactor in Wilmington will enable us to manufacture and test new polymer concepts quickly with lower cycle times and bring them to market faster than before,” said Panos Kordomenos, Senior Vice President for Research & Development at Axalta.
The CTC is Axalta’s global center for research and development, including the work performed by its specialized polymer technology team. The new facility will complement existing Axalta polymer research capabilities in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Axalta Coating Systems is the business long known as DuPont Performance Coatings. DuPont sold the business Feb. 1 for $4.9 billion to The Carlyle Group, an asset management group that serves the aerospace, defense, transportation, energy and infrastructure sectors.
Axalta provides coatings, application technologies and other products and services for the automotive, transportation, general industrial, and architectural and decorative sectors.
Axalta's architectural and decorative products are used in a range of building applications.
The company has 35 manufacturing plants, seven R&D centers and 12,000 employees worldwide.
Axalta is led by John G. McCool, who was president of DuPont Performance Coatings and had been with DuPont since 1976.