SHANGHAI - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., Covington, KY, recently received a Ringier 2013 Coatings Technology Innovation Award for its NatrosolTM Performax paint thickening technology. It is the third consecutive year Ashland has won the innovation award.

The Ringier Technology Innovation Awards recognize those who have made significant contributions for the advancement of the industry through technical innovation, improved productivity, economic efficiency and market opportunity creation. Ringier Technology Innovation Awards are regarded as one of the most important awards in China's coating industry.

Natrosol Performax was officially introduced to China's market in 2012. This new range of hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) thickeners allows paint manufacturers to add HEC in a dry form at any point in the paint production process by rapidly dispersing in water-based medium without lumps. The technology provides manufacturers with unprecedented levels of process flexibility, enabling them to streamline paint manufacturing through a better utilization of equipment and resources. This results in improved paint quality and plant output. It also eliminates the need for pre-blending or using the HEC powder at a certain stage in the manufacturing process in order to prevent lumping.