What is more important – using green products or items that result in “green performance?”

It’s trendy, in today’s society, to purchase anything associated with the word “green.” For most people, the ultimate objective of adopting green products is to reduce their carbon footprint and water usage. Yet what is more important, Jim Gibson asks, using green products or items that result in “green performance?”

Being green is a way of corporate life and a product commitment for Adsil, Inc., a company headquartered in Daytona Beach, FL. From the floors at Einstein Bagel and McDonald’s restaurants to the memorial blocks at PNC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, Adsil has made its crystal-clear mark on a myriad places and spaces. Adsil products are used to remove graffiti, enhance cleaning of floors and walls at schools, universities and businesses; prevent corrosion and save energy costs.

Gibson’s company, Daytona Beach-based Adsil, manufactures a line of clear, inorganic and siloxane finishes that form a hard, durable, chemical-resistant layer of glass-like protection and can be applied to numerous surfaces. These coatings are designed to help extend the life expectancy of equipment and property, make it easier to maintain surfaces (which lowers cleaning costs) and allow customers to use less water (which helps the environment).

The concept for Adsil’s earth-friendly MicroGuard® began in space. The original formula was developed by Dr. John Schutt, a current Adsil shareholder, when he was with NASA. The formulas were refined to work in the ‘real world’ by Raj Dhawan, Adsil’s current director of research and development.

MicroGuard is a patented coating that is inorganic and forms a glass film that chemically bonds to metal substrates except ferrous metal. It bonds to stainless steel, ceramic and concrete-based surfaces as well as painted metal. The MicroGuard line preserves, prolongs and protects an amazing array of assets. Product finishes have been specifically designed to protect non-ferrous metals, concrete floors, walls and other masonry surfaces, ceramic tile and grout, terrazzo, decorative stone, barrel tile, and pre-finished roof surfaces. MicroGuard market applications range widely, from architectural and commercial uses to industrial maintenance and specific original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market sectors.

MicroGuard is green in two key ways. First, the products protect surfaces from environmental attack. Second, they enable the use of cleaners that do not harm the environment.

The University of Florida housing department has used MicroGuard clear floor treatments since 2001 on more than 160,000 square feet of tile floors in the bathroom and commons areas and on more than 60,000 square feet of concrete flooring in the student union. According to UF’s Assistant Director of Housing Jim Crocker, MicroGuard treatments have provided a 35-percent reduction in cleaning costs (including time, labor and chemicals), a significant odor reduction in the bathrooms, marked improvement in the aesthetic surface appearance and the elimination of mold growth on the exterior concrete.

HVAC systems are among the equipment that Adsil coatings protect. An EPA study in 2004 focused on 56 separate air conditioning units treated by Adsil coatings in Charlotte, NC. The units were of different ages, sizes and models. The objective was to see if the carbon footprint of the metropolitan area could be reduced. The study found that the energy reduction created by Adsil coatings is equal to 60 pounds of NOX and CO2 per ton of air conditioning

HVAC systems use between 35 to 45 percent of a building’s energy. If the unit’s condenser fins and coils are cleaned regularly, they operate and transfer heat more efficiently. However, if they become corroded, this results in a heat transfer loss, a rise in energy usage and a decrease in efficiency.

“Organic coatings can be used as a barrier to corroding elements, but they are typically thick and reduce heat transfer,” says Gibson, who is president and CEO of Adsil. “They are also soft and easily absorb contaminants, and are difficult to clean without using harsh chemicals. These chemicals can contaminate runoff to the storm water system.

“With our inorganic, siloxane-based, thin film coatings, a building manager can maintain designed efficiency longer and clean the coils and fins with eco-friendly cleaners,” Gibson adds. “Since the unit is easier to clean when it is protected by our coatings, harsh chemicals are not needed. And there are green results such as reduced cleaning time and decreased use of cleaning machinery, the ability to use eco-friendly cleaners, and increased energy savings.”

Simply put, Gibson says, using products that result in green performance can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than green products themselves.

“Customers benefit from reduced energy costs by using Adsil products,” Gibson said. “Green performance is more important than saying you use green products because with green performance you save money and help the environment.”

In addition to the University of Florida, Adsil has a wide range of clients. The company has recently completed projects for the Miller Park bathrooms in Milwaukee in time for the National League Divisional Series, the Kenosha Lighthouse for graffiti removal, Ohio State University (three flooring projects), and Home Depot, Best Buy and Darden Foods to prevent corrosion, extend the efficient operating longevity of HVAC units, and save energy.

New York City has relied upon MicroGuard to protect its parks. The product is used on stainless steel rails for park walkways. It is also used on stainless and other decorative metal sculptures. The two-fold objective is to enable park maintenance personnel to clean the metal with eco-friendly cleaners and to avoid metal corrosion.

Adsil has distributors worldwide. In fact, about every month, distributors from different countries spend a week in Daytona Beach learning about Adsil's products. The Chinese government recently contracted with Adsil for coatings that remove graffiti beneath highway overpasses.