Akzo Nobel's Aerospace Coatings business (ANAC) reportedly will be the first company to develop aerospace primers that contain a breakthrough chromate-free technology following the signing of a commercial licensing agreement with the North Dakota State University Research Foundation (NDSU). Researchers at NDSU have developed new primer technology for coating aluminum aircraft structures that is based on magnesium rather than chromate (a harmful substance that is highly regulated in the U.S. and is coming under increasing pressure in Europe). This pioneering corrosion inhibiting technology - the first to be just as effective as chromate - will now be incorporated into some of Akzo Nobel's aerospace coatings products.

"Akzo Nobel is always striving to develop and embrace innovative technology, and what's special about this agreement is that it also has positive implications for the environment," said Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers, who is also the company's board member responsible for Coatings. "We will be the only paint manufacturer to use this state-of-the-art technology, which represents another significant coup for our Aerospace Coatings business."

"Akzo Nobel is actively working with aircraft manufacturers and specifying authorities to develop formulations utilizing this breakthrough technology," added Wijers, who hailed the successful partnership between ANAC and NDSU. He also said that the company expects to commercialize at least one primer containing the magnesium pigment during 2007.

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