Firestone Acquires Silicone Roofing Systems Provider

Firestone Building Products Company LLC (Firestone) has announced its acquisition of Gaco Western (Gaco), a leader in silicone roofing systems and provider of waterproofing and spray foam insulation. The deal, which includes all assets and operations held by Gaco, closed April 3, after a definitive agreement was signed and announced earlier this year.

The acquisition enhances Firestone’s leadership in commercial roofing and allows Firestone to introduce even more options to customers with Gaco’s silicone and acrylic liquid coatings. The enhanced portfolio creates alternative solutions when full roof tear-offs and rebuilds are not feasible, and it presents contractors with products requiring less labor-intensive installation.

“Combining the best of two brands, Firestone and Gaco, represents an opportunity for growth and long-term value as we aim to create new levels of service and innovation in our industries,” says Tim Dunn, president of Firestone Building Products, Bridgestone Americas Inc. “Operations will conduct business as usual across all teams as we begin bringing our portfolios, employees, best practices and distribution platforms together to continue serving as a total solutions provider for our collective customers.”

In addition to expanding Firestone’s roofing product portfolio with silicone polyurethanes, epoxies and acrylic liquid coatings, the deal offers new positions in commercial and residential sectors with decking and waterproofing products that protect pedestrian surfaces, concrete, metal and plywood, and open- and closed-cell foam products which protect and insulate buildings.

Gaco products will continue to be sold under the Gaco brand and will continue to be made at a state-of-the-art manufacturing, research and development facility in Waukesha, Wis.

Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Knight Joins Axalta Coating Systems to Manage Dura Coat Products

Dan Knight has joined Axalta Coating Systems (AXTA) in their Industrial Coatings segment as the vice president and general manager for Dura Coat Products.

Axalta purchased a majority stake in Dura Coat this past summer and will acquire the remaining outstanding shares by January 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Founded in 1986, Dura Coat has developed a position in the market via its singular focus on overcoming customer challenges through innovation. Dura Coat brands include Durapon, Ceranamel and the XT series of specialty coatings.

“Product innovation has always been Dura Coat’s strength.” says Dr. Myung K. Hong, president of Dura Coat Products. “With the synergies that are possible through the acquisition, we welcome Dan to lead the integration of the two companies. We continue to be vigilant about our customer service while looking forward to increased product research and development.”

Dan comes to Axalta with 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and R&D management in the coil and extrusion coatings markets. Dan will work directly with Dr. Hong to continue to integrate the Dura Coat business into Axalta while working to expand the business both in North America and globally. Key priorities for Dan and the management team of Dura Coat will be maintaining the product innovation and customer service that Dura Coat is known for, while taking advantage of the synergies that Axalta offers Dura Coat.

Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series Speaker Discusses Artificial Photosynthesis

Professor Daniel G. Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, was the honored speaker at this year’s Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series. Axalta Coating Systems, a supplier of liquid and powder coatings, sponsored the event which was hosted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania last week. Professor Nocera’s lecture titled, “A Complete Artificial Photosynthesis,” explained his research that led to the development of an artificial device that converts water and carbon dioxide into biomass and liquid fuels using sunlight.

One of the challenges with using solar energy as a source of electricity is the need for a cost effective method to store the sun’s energy. One example of energy storage is photosynthesis, the process whereby plants and other organisms use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into biomass that can be used later, as needed, as a source of fuel. Professor Nocera has mimicked key aspects of this process by creating an artificial leaf.

“We first invented an artificial leaf that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight,” says Professor Nocera. “We then used a bio-engineered bacterium to convert carbon dioxide along with the hydrogen produced from the artificial leaf into biomass and liquid fuels. The hybrid microbial and artificial leaf operate at solar-to-biomass (10.7 percent) and solar-to-fuels (6.2 percent) yields, exceeding the 1 percent yield of natural photosynthesis,” states Professor Nocera.

“At Axalta, we are committed to delivering innovative coatings solutions that protect our customers’ products,” says Dr. Barry Snyder, Axalta senior vice president and chief technology officer. “Our sustainable coating systems benefit stakeholders, including our customers and the communities in which we operate. Professor Nocera’s research has the potential to have an impact by offering a sustainable source of energy. The translation of fundamental research to practical application, as embodied in Professor Nocera’s research, is an element of the collaboration between Axalta and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.”

“The Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series provides opportunities for our students and faculty members to interact with scholars in the world,” says Gary A. Molander, department chair and Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. “This year, we are delighted to have Professor Nocera share his innovations with us. Professor Nocera’s work exemplifies the opportunities that exist to use fundamental science to create technologies that have broad societal benefits. We look forward to continued collaboration with Axalta in the years ahead.”

Past speakers have included world renowned scientists, including Nobel Prize laureates William Moerner (Chemistry 2014), Robert Grubbs (Chemistry 2005), Ahmed Zewail (Chemistry 1999), Steven Chu (Physics 1997), Harold Kroto (Chemistry 1996), Richard Smalley (Chemistry 1996), George Olah (Chemistry 1994), P.G. de Gennes (Physics 1991), Elias Corey (Chemistry 1990), Thomas Cech (Chemistry 1989), Donald Cram (Chemistry 1987), Jean-Marie Lehn (Chemistry 1987), John Polanyi (Chemistry 1986), Yuan Lee (Chemistry 1986), Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry 1981), and Herbert Brown (Chemistry 1979).

AkzoNobel Combines Sales and Marketing Teams from Its Liquid and Powder Coatings Businesses

AkzoNobel will combine the sales and marketing teams from its liquid and powder coatings businesses that serve the aluminum architecture and façade and cladding markets. The move reflects the growing importance of powder coatings in that sector, and will help customers and specifiers to make the right coatings choices, says Ben Mitchell, manager, Extrusion Coatings at AkzoNobel.

”Because liquid and powder coatings are not always interchangeable in aluminum applications, it is important for customers to understand which are most appropriate,” he says. “Having a combined team will ensure a unified approach to helping designers, specifiers and fabricators to select the optimal solution for their project.”

The new team builds on an effort to educate industry professionals about powder and liquid coatings choices for aluminum, Mitchell adds. These include an AkzoNobel research paper presented at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 2015 Conference and the AEC Daily continuing education course “High Performance Coatings for Aluminum Fenestration”.

“Specifiers need accurate information on all available products in order to make the best decision for a given application, Mitchell adds. “AkzoNobel prides itself on superior customer service, so our priority is to keep internal experts networked throughout our organization and provide clients with optimal solutions for their specific application, regardless of chemistry or application method.”

AkzoNobel’s products for metal coil and extrusions include TRINAR, CERAM-A-STAR, POLYDURE, ACRA-BOND, INTERPON D3000, INTERPON D2000 and INTERPON D1000.