International Paint’s Protective Coatings business has opened a £6.4-million (€7.1 million) testing laboratory for Fire Protection products at its Felling, UK site. The new facility will create 14 new jobs, and safeguard a further 30 at the 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. "The new laboratory will give us a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence for Fire Protection product development."
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. International has supplied fire protection solutions for buildings including The New York Times Building in the US, the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore and the Victoria Hospital at Kirkcaldy in the UK.
"This significant investment in Fire Protection is an indication of our commitment to Research and Technology, which we see as key to our future success in the Protective Coatings business," said Robert Taylor, Managing Director of International Paint.
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 much broader fire protection service than just coatings supply.
In addition to an expert understanding of the behaviour of structures in fire, International can utilise the necessary infrastructure, resources and technology to critically assess the fire and life safety considerations of our customer’s assets as part of a complete fire protection service.
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. The combined investments will add around 40 research jobs and safeguard a further 46.