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Removing lead from coil coatings

Part of our commitment to offering sustainable products

AkzoNobel is leading the way in environmentally responsible coil coatings by ensuring we manufacture products that are completely free of toxic lead pigments.

Same quality, more sustainable

Through decades of ongoing real world South Florida exposure testing, AkzoNobel is now able to offer lead-free coatings with the same quality the industry has come to expect from their high performance products.

"Akzo Nobel, as the world’s largest coatings company, in recent years has maintained a leadership position on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for our many efforts to create more environmentally friendly products and practices," said John Smith, Technical Manager of Coil and Extrusion Coatings for AkzoNobel . "The effort to remove lead compounds from our products is in keeping with one of our corporate sustainability goals of eco-premium products accounting for 30% of our sales by 2015," Smith continued.

AkzoNobel is committed to helping educate its customers on the benefits of using new lead-free products. "Our experience and commitment have helped us to develop sustainable solutions which offer the ideal balance of color, durability, and eco-friendliness," said Smith.

Real world testing is used to help choose replacement pigments that are lead free

Color is particularly important in the brand identity of many coil coating customers. This can present a challenge when trying to eliminate lead, especially in very bright, saturated colors. "Certain colors might not be possible to match exactly in a lead-free formulation, but we do have years of outdoor weathering experience on our test fences that help with challenging colors," said Lori Witherup, Manager of Building Products Technology for AkzoNobel. "For example, some deep yellow-orange colors in the yellow color space are the toughest to achieve as lead-free matches," continued Witherup.

The company conducts these ongoing pigment weathering evaluations in order to anticipate long term performance, and to also gain valuable insight as to the right choices to make in lead-free formulations. "Thanks to this exposure testing, we are able to produce colors like reds, oranges and yellows that will weather suitably, and be a close match for our customers," said Witherup.

"The pigments you choose can dramatically affect performance," Smith said. "We know pigments, we know their resistance to acid rain environments, and we know how to handle and disperse and process them. Most importantly, we’re able to bring this expertise to our customers."

Going lead free is the right thing to do

"Our customers are looking for sustainability solutions more every day, continued Smith. We all want a better, healthier environment. Our commitment, foresight, and financial investments in lead-free products can help lead to healthy sales growth and improved sustainability for our customers and the world," Smith concluded.

Offering environmentally friendly products is one of our goals

Globally, AkzoNobel is the world’s largest coatings company. The company’s corporate sustainability goals include the development of a host of eco-friendly products, with a stated goal of eco-premium products accounting for 30% of total sales by 2015. AkzoNobel has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the Chemicals sector for the past six years, and has held one of the top two spots for the last five years.