Charting a new course for yacht coatings

Exciting plans for revamped testing and research facility in the UK

A world class Application Research Center for yacht coatings is being developed by our Awlgrip and International brands in the UK.

Located at an existing facility in Southampton, it will set new standards in innovation, customer support and training. The project has been split into three phases, with two new spray booths and an adjoining laboratory already up and running.

The overall aim of the redeveloped facility is to make it even easier for the on-site R&D team to fast-track new product development, educate professional and DIY applicators on the latest applications and techniques, and improve response times for customer queries. 

Facility southampton

Phase two is due to begin in 2024 and will include a pioneering climatic control spray booth that can raise and lower both the temperature and humidity to simulate climatic conditions from anywhere in the world.

“We’re passionate about connecting our research and technical teams with applicators who want to be best in class by improving their product, technical and application knowledge with state-of-the-art equipment,” explains Jemma Lampkin, the company’s Yacht Commercial Director.

“Being able to evaluate the impact of regional climate variations will inform and improve new product development and innovation in application technique for the next 20 years and beyond.”

The facility has a long history of developing industry-leading products for Awlgrip and International. Since the original center opened its doors in 2008, 600 trainees have attended courses on the latest products and application techniques. 

Alongside new product development, the testing center is renowned for working with industry partners such as spray gun manufacturers and sand paper suppliers to ensure the latest technology and equipment are rigorously tested.

“This is a huge redevelopment project with enormous ambition,” adds Gareth Thomas, site manager and R&D section leader. “The site will further establish AkzoNobel’s position in the heart of the yacht community for years to come.”

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