International Celebrates 140 Years in Marine Coatings


Global coatings company AkzoNobel’s International brand recently reported via emailed press release that it's celebrating its 140th anniversary.

To commemorate the company’s achievements, International released a legacy timeline covering new standards of performance and sustainability in the global coatings industry. “At International, we take immense pride in our legacy of combining innovation with the highest of environmental standards,” said Jean-Michel Gauthier, Business Unit Director for Marine, Protective and Yacht Coatings.

“From the outset, [co-founders] Albert and Max [Holzapfel] were committed to developing products that raised the bar in terms of reliability and product performance. Today, we honor that great tradition, leading the way in developing sustainable solutions that will continue to protect the planet for generations to come.”

International History

Starting at a small shipyard on the River Tyne in the United Kingdom back in 1881, the Holzapfel brothers began their journey into the world of marine coatings, according to the company. At the time, the brothers partnered with Charles Petrie, and were mixing paints by hand.

After nearly a decade, in 1890, the company was named “International.” Some years later the industry would witness a global demand for marine coatings, pushing International to launch production overseas in Russia, with additional manufacturing facilities in nine countries including Sweden, Japan and the United States by 1914.

During this period, a landmark new factory was built in Felling, Gateshead, where the company remains to this day.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the brand continued to expand globally, responding to demand from the Asia Pacific region before it was bought by AkzoNobel in 1998. The marine, protective and yacht coatings company is currently reported to employ more than 2,000 people worldwide.

Its products reportedly are used on six continents, coating commercial, military and pleasure craft of all types, while  protecting large-scale steel structures on land and at sea.

In 2002, International was reported to be one of the first major coatings suppliers to cease using TBTs (Tributyltin), six years before they were banned. Four years later, it became the first major marine coatings supplier to totally withdraw from the supply of coatings containing coal tar and in 2011, it was the first manufacturer in the heavy-duty coatings sector to completely phase out the use of lead chromates.

Additionally, the company says its sustainable solutions are also working to help ship owners save fuel and reduce carbon emissions.

International's 140-year history is displayed on its new website, which can be found here. Over the next few months, International plans to chart the history of the business as well as profile the colleagues who make the brand what it is today.

Recent Marine Coatings News

Just a few months ago, in June, AkzoNobel announced the launch of a new anti-fouling hull coating line called “Intersmooth.”

Both coatings, Intersmooth 7200Si SPC and Intersmooth 7476Si SPC, are a part of the company’s International brand and are reported to feature self-polishing silyl methacrylate technology.

Using a resin technology coupled with a biocide package, the Intersmooth 7200Si SPC coating has been further optimized and aims to provide cost-effective performance through its ability to reduce waste and VOC emissions, all while improving application efficiency.

The coating is noted to have benefited using higher solids and has a guaranteed speed loss threshold of 2.5%, according to the company. AkzoNobel adds that the formulation features an optimized biocide package that not only delivers a clean hull but helps operators contribute further to reach their environmental goals by reducing CO2 emissions in service.

It is also designed to provide less sensitivity to time and temperature in its service period and a reduced risk of surface cracking versus silyl acrylate-based products.

Serving as a second self-polishing silyl methacrylate product, Intersmooth 7476Si SPC also made its way to AkzoNobel’s anti-fouling line. According to reports, the coating aims to deliver consistent, reliable and industry leading antifouling performance over the dry-docking cycle through its ability to deliver a more consistent polishing rate that enables custom-designed schemes for vessels based on their predicted routes, to ensure they perform at their best—resulting in less interruption or delays in service.

Not only is the anti-fouling coating noted to deliver maintenance and cost savings to operators, but it also provides less sensitivity to time and temperature in its service period and a reduced risk of surface cracking.

At the beginning of the year, the company announced that it was set to increase its presence in the North American yacht coatings market with its acquisition of New Nautical Coatings.

Established in 1978, the company is the owner of the premium Sea Hawk brand and supplies premium antifouling coatings, as well as several other products, such as primers and varnishes.

Although the privately-owned company operates out of a facility in Clearwater Beach, Florida, New Nautical Coatings is reported to be one of the top players in yacht coatings in North America, generating sales in the Caribbean and Australasia areas as well.

The company reports that the Sea Hawk brand has a high customer loyalty among yacht owners, shipyards and maintenance service providers due to its premium quality and product performance.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Asia Pacific; Business management; Coating Materials; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); International (AkzoNobel); Latin America; Marine; Marine Coatings; North America; Program/Project Management; Protective Coatings; Protective coatings; Z-Continents

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