AkzoNobel – A success story that began centuries ago
AkzoNobel is a Dutch multinational company which produces paints and coatings for markets ranging from aerospace to whitegoods. The current company was formed through the merger of Akzo NV and Swedish company Nobel Industries AB in 1994, though the history of the company can be traced back to the 17th and 18th centuries through Nobel Industries and Akzo respectively. Today the company has operations in 80 countries and over 40,000 employees. The AkzoNobel of today is the result of more than a century of mergers and acquisitions and the combined skills and knowledge of all those years of innovation. AkzoNobel’s paint and coating products are divided into decorative paint and performance coating, and within those segments are such recognizable brands as International, Interpon, Dulux, Sikkens, Awlgrip, Hammerite, Cuprinol and more.
In this article we have an in-depth look at AkzoNobel and its many brands in both the decorative paints and performance coatings segments. We will also take a look at AkzoNobel’s operations in the UK.
AkzoNobel industrial liquid and powder coatings
Providing coatings for the chemical, power, mining, oil and gas, and construction industries means having the toughest, most durable, and most hard-working coatings available. Through the International, Interpon, and Resicoat brands, AkzoNobel has a range of industrial liquid and powder coating solutions to suit every need.
AkzoNobel’s powder coating brand Interpon is the global number 1 in dry powders. Interpon products include powder coatings for ACE (Agricultural and Construction Equipment), general industry, furniture, appliances, and architecture while Resicoat is the heavy-duty powder coating such as pipeline coatings and solutions for valves and fittings. The brand International also provides passive fire protection and temperature resistant coatings.
|International Enviroline 222||Lining coating||A solvent-free epoxy novolac coating for chemical, abrasion and impact resistance. Suitable for steel and concrete lining in the oil and gas, chemical, pulp and paper, mining and water industries.|
|International Interchar 212||Industrial coating||An intumescent passive fire protection coating formulated as a two-part epoxy with fire and corrosion protection for steelwork.|
|Interpon 700||Appliance powder coating||Epoxy/polyester hybrid powder coating with colour, heat, and UV stability as well as a range of colours and finishes.|
|Resicoat R-726||External pipeline coating||A fusion bonded epoxy single layer corrosion protection powder coating. Suitable for steel, and can be used as a primer.|
Decorative paint brands – Dulux, Hammerite, Cuprinol and more
AkzoNobel is well known in Europe for its Dulux brand (and the other Flourish brands Coral, Alba, Astral, Bruguer, Flexa, Inca, Marshall and Vivechrom) and Sikkens, Armstead, Hammerite, Cuprinol etc. However, they have divested themselves of the North American branch of decorative & architectural coatings, and chosen to focus on their brands and products in other markets. Now, decorative paints account for 27% of the company’s global sales, most of which is due to Dulux and Dulux Trade paint. AkzoNobel’s Global Decorative Paint R&D Centre is located in Slough, UK, and decorative coatings are produced in several locations including the newest, and the world’s most advanced, paint factory in Ashington. AkzoNobel produces some 50 million litres of architectural coating in the UK; and the Ashington facility will allow them to double the capacity.
Automotive and aerospace coating
Globally, transportation is one of the four key end-user segments which are the focus of AkzoNobel. Transportation includes products and technologies for land, air, and sea travel. Specifically in the automotive and aerospace sectors, the company provides OEM and refinish coatings for vehicles and OEM and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operating) coatings for the aerospace industry.
In the automotive industry, AkzoNobel produces coatings for interior and exterior use, from under hood components to climate control bezels to body paintwork. The powder coatings from the Interpon and Resicoat brands are used for underhood elements, trim, wheels, and recently in a collaboration with Audi they demonstrated the full range of powder coating capabilities from exhaust and wipers to bodywork and headlights. They also produce liquid coatings through their Sikkens, Wanda, and Lesonal brands.
AkzoNobel is the global leader in the manufacture, development, and supply of coatings for the OEM and MRO sectors of the commercial airline, general aviation, and the military air markets. They produce water-based coatings, base coat/clear coat systems, peelable coatings, special effects coatings, and others. Just a few of the brands that service the industry are Eclipse, Alumigrip, Aerobase, Aerodur, and Aviox.
|Aerodur Clearcoat UVR||Aerospace coating||Polyurethane topcoat used in OEM application by Airbus Industries. UV resistant, high gloss and with no dirt retention.|
|Aeroflex Finish G 12 E 25||Aerospace coating||One component corrosion-inhibiting topcoat for the wing. Resistant to rain erosion, and used in OEM application by Boeing.|
|Sikkens Rally Black Topcoat||Automotive refinish coating||A low gloss black topcoat for a non-glare eggshell finish. supplied as aerosol or two-component paint.|
|Wanda 8000 Universal Clearcoat||Automotive refinish coating||Water white urethane clearcoat designed for spot or larger repairs and complete refinishing.|
Protective marine coatings by AkzoNobel
The marine coating segment of AkzoNobel produces coatings for cargo holds, cargo tanks, the underwater hull, ship topsides, decks, ballast tanks, and every surface which requires a protective or decorative paint. These paints include specialised tank coatings, antifouling and foul release coatings, abrasion resistant or anti-slip coatings, cosmetic top coats, and protective primers. The marine environment is one of the harshest and the coatings in this market need to withstand some of the toughest, most corrosive, and most damaging conditions. The range of AkzoNobel’s brands are formulated for specific conditions and substrates with their strengths calculated for their end uses such as Intershield 163 anti abrasion for ice going vessels or Interlux for pleasure craft.
The home for AkzoNobel protective coatings is in Felling UK; for more than 100 years the coatings for the shipping industry have been produced there, and it is the birthplace of International, the most well known marine coating brand.
|Awlgrip Topcoat||Boat Paint||A polyester-based high gloss topcoat for long-lasting gloss and colour retention. It has outstanding chemical resistance and is a trusted product among boat owners and experts.|
|Interlux Perfection||Boat paint||A two-part polyurethane topside paint with a high gloss, abrasion-resistant finish. Used for decks, exterior cabin/trims, interior cabin, and hull.|
|International Intershield 300||Tank coating||An epoxy coating with 9% aluminium that provides outstanding corrosion protection. Abrasion resistant, and suitable for use at newbuild or maintenance repair.|
|International Intersleek 1000||Foul release coating||A 3 pack foul release coating that provides the hull with an ultra-smooth surface, reducing drag and preventing fouling buildup.|
A brand sum up – from Enviroline to Intersleek
There are many brands in the AkzoNobel portfolio that we have not had a chance to describe in detail. Below is a brief summary of the brands and their segments.
Automotive and aerospace coatings
- AkzoNobel Sign Finishes
Protective and marine coatings
A glimpse into the future plans of AkzoNobel
As of 2018, AkzoNobel is divesting itself of the specialty chemicals branch of its company. This moves signals a continued focus on its coating and paint operations. The company also invested in innovation hubs where coatings scientists will work on developing protective coatings for the energy, mining, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries. This is in addition to the 4,000 scientists employed in 130 laboratories worldwide already filing some 100 applications for new patents each year. Annually the company invests some 40 million in research, development and innovation and people to stay up to date and guarantee continuous innovation.
The future of AkzoNobel is looking green. They place particular emphasis on increasing energy efficiency, reducing material waste, and continuing to invest in the creation of more eco-friendly solutions. Sustainable solutions for everyday challenges with community outreach and a high level of business integrity are their focus. This commitment to do more with less is written into their company strategy and principles as ‘Planet Possible’.