International Paint’s protective coatings business opened a £6.4 million (€7.1 million) testing laboratory for fire protection products at its Felling, UK site. “The new facility significantly improves our ability to develop and bring new fire protection products to market,” said Dipak Mistry, technical manager for International’s protective coatings business.
International is the leading supplier of fire protection coatings, used to protect steel structures such as commercial buildings and oil and gas installations, with its Interchar and Chartek brands. The fire protection market is growing rapidly due to increasingly stringent fire protection regulations worldwide, and forecasters expect demand to double by 2018, the company said. International has supplied fire protection solutions for buildings including The New York Times Building in the U.S., the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore and the Victoria Hospital at Kirkcaldy in the UK.
The new laboratory will complement International Paint’s current fire protection capabilities, which include structural and fire engineering experience, estimation expertise and corrosion performance knowledge. By integrating into design contract chains and working alongside owners, architects, design engineers and steel fabricators, International draws on these resources to offer a broader fire protection service than just coatings supply.
The new laboratory is part of a major, €10 million investment in research, development and innovation by AkzoNobel at the Felling site. AkzoNobel’s powder coatings business recently completed a new €2 million laboratory for its polymer research and a €1.4 million corporate research laboratory.