Coating Polymers for Extreme Conditions

An adhesive company relied on Reaxys, a chemistry research tool, to sift through the clutter and pinpoint a high performance, low cost monomer to enable their polymer coating’s commercial viability.

Coating Polymers for Extreme Conditions - Alpha Moment

Challenge

Developing the Right Additive at the Right Cost
In 2015, a team of chemists at a major adhesives company wanted to expand its offerings to the oil and gas industry by developing an anti-corrosive coating for off-shore rigs in high-salt seas. But before it entered the new market, the team needed to find a way to lower the cost of its formula. Our initial prototypes were based on some extremely expensive – almost to the point of being cost-prohibitive – additives, says Jack Spacek*, the lead chemist on the project.

*Names have been changed to protect customer intellectual property

Solution

Discovering the Polymer That Fits the Bill
Spacek’s team used Reaxys, Elsevier’s online chemistry database, to search through the substructures of additives that could potentially replace part of the coating’s structure. After analyzing a number of reactions, they quickly reached a breakthrough, and invented a new polymer – the first of its kind on the market – with a monomer that kept corrosion from spreading.

We were constantly preparing the coating with different monomers in the hopes of lowering the overall cost, explains Spacek. Reaxys delivered a huge amount of relevant results – many more than Google has on similar projects we’ve done. The results were also linked together better. In fact, it could have potentially taken much more time and been more difficult to find the cost-saving monomer if we hadn’t used Reaxys.


Reaxys delivered a huge amount of relevant results – many more than Google has on similar projects we’ve done. Jack Spacek, Lead Chemist, Major Adhesives Company

Impact

Increased Cost Savings Leads to Higher Profit Margins
The company saw hefty savings, as the replacement monomer allowed its chemists to create the coating for 1/20th of the cost of versions with other additives.

The substantial savings gave us the potential to cut costs and enjoy higher profit margins, and also to expand our company’s coatings business into different industries, said Spacek.

 


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