“The awards competition this year was the most intense in its six-year history,” said Christian Jourquin, president of Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, who presented the awards at the Cefic annual general assembly in Rome. “The winning projects clearly highlighted how the chemical industry is high-tech, innovative and sustainable.”
Pictured at left, Cefic's Jourquin is presenting the 2010 Responsible Care prize to Alain Chesneau, NOF Metal Coatings' research and development manager.
NOF Metal Coatings Europe New Coating Compound
Overall winner NOF Metal Coatings Europe France earned top honors for developing a new version of existing coatings mainly used for small parts such as automotive sector bolts and fasteners. Judges praised the robust, innovative nature of the award winning submission, especially highlighting that the high-tech coating combines “a very impressive decrease of VOC emissions with the phasing out harmful compound—hexavalent chromium—while turning a profit.”
The elimination of hexavalent chromium alone was commended as “not easy and very innovative.” The new version coating product, designed for use by coating applicators subcontracted by automotive companies, required several years of dedicated research, including working with scientific institutions to better understand sol-gel technology. Under a project launched in 2004, pilot testing took place in 2007 and full commercial application of the technology occurred in March 2010 on two industrial lines in Germany.
According to the NOF Metal Coatings Europe submission filed last, the anticorrosive coating compound successfully went from research bench to market as part of the company’s objective to focus on sustainable coatings development. The environmentally friendly coating vastly reduces the use of organic solvents from conventional levels down to between four and five percent. The company also said that the new compound does not contain methanol (toxic) or ethoxylated nonylphenol (endocrinian effects).
The panel of judges said this innovative product development on the part of NOF Metal Coatings Europe is clearly moving towards sustainable development and doing less damage.
Responsible Care is a global initiative of the chemical industry to drive continuous improvement in its health, safety and environmental performance and to make a strong contribution to sustainable development. It was first launched in 1985 in Canada and is now run by the national/regional chemical associations in 53 countries around the world.
With more than 30 years of experience, NOF Metal Coatings Europe develops, produces and sells, by licence agreements, the zinc-flake technologies Geomet and Dacromet. The coatings offer low-thickness and high-performing anticorrosion protection and are leaders in the automotive and truck industries, as well as in other industrial sectors such as renewable energies. NOF Metal Coatings Europe is the European subsidiary of NOF Metal Coatings Group, the anticorrosion division of the Japanese chemical group NOF Corporation, who invented the zinc-flake technology. An international licensee's network with more than 350 application lines supplies NOF’s coatings worldwide. More information can be found at www.nofmetalcoatings.com.