CHARLOTTE, NC – Clariant recently announced a new collaborative innovation center to support North America’s paints and coatings industry. A new state-of-the-art laboratory will bring together Clariant’s research and technical experts in specialty formulation ingredients and additives to foster collaborative product development across all formulation aspects. Customers in the region will benefit from a unique level of R&D and application testing support.

“Delivering industry-targeted, sustainable innovation to advance our customers’ evolution is at Clariant’s core. We are excited to expand our footprint in North America with an additional regional innovation center. It enhances our market proximity and ability to jointly develop solutions tailored to unmet needs, which will speed up our customers’ time to market in offering differentiated products,” said Gene Mueller, Head of Region North America at Clariant.

“There is so much more to modern paints and coatings than just color, they’re incredibly complex,” said Andy Michael, Technical Manager of Industrial Applications, BU Industrial & Consumer Specialties. “With our Additives colleagues alongside us in this new innovation center, we’ll be able to take a more universal approach to solving these challenges, working on the best technology and multifunctional solutions to address customer needs.”

The investment will strengthen R&D support for customers across the industrial space of paints, coatings, inks, adhesives and elastomers. Existing capabilities at the location, which includes research laboratories and a pilot plant currently used by the technical teams of Clariant Industrial and Consumer Specialties, will be upgraded and expanded with an additional 5000 square feet of new laboratories and office space.

The emphasis will be on innovating new ingredients, formulating, applying and testing. This includes on-site application testing capabilities with the ability to test a paint formulation on performance, such as scrub, sag, leveling and color acceptance, with industry draw down methods. Further research will be performed in the areas of examining solutions for dispersing and wetting, emulsification, open time, durability and formulation optimization. New equipment has been included that will promote faster throughput screening, improved rheological testing, a spray booth and accelerated weathering chambers.

“Clariant has a long-standing customer-centric approach to supporting the paints and coatings industry. We firmly believe that collaborative partnerships built on performance, innovation and sustainability are key to our customers’ success. They gain the differentiation to drive forward in the market introducing new solutions faster,” said Ray Gonzales, newly appointed Head of Sales North America, Clariant BU Additives. “We’re excited about the expansion at Mount Holly and what this means in providing the technical service and solutions for the development of new formulations.”

Construction of the new Mount Holly West Innovation Center will begin in August 2021 and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2022. Clariant’s latest regional innovation center for North America follows the opening of the Consumer Care Innovation Center in New Providence, New Jersey, in September 2019.

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