Newswise — A chromium-free paint developed through research at North Dakota State University, Fargo, and licensed to Elinor Specialty Coatings, Inc., is a 2014 TechConnect National Innovation Awardee. Elinor licensed the technology through the NDSU Research Foundation, and developed Aluma45 MgRP™, a chromium-free magnesium-rich primer for use on aluminum-alloys and composites in ship, automotive and construction materials manufacturing. Aluma45™ can be used directly on bare metal, eliminating chromium-based pre-treatments, which reduces weight, manufacturing time and costs, while eliminating toxic chromium coating procedures and disposal.
The TechConnect National Innovation Awards selects top early-stage innovations from around the world through an industry-review process of the top 20 percent of annually submitted technologies at the TechConnect National Innovation Summit. Rankings are based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector.
Elinor Specialty Coatings presented the coating innovation Aluma45™ and BronzeShield,™ a selectively removable protective coating for bronze art and architecture, at the TechConnect World Innovation Showcase and Conference in June in National Harbor, Maryland. The event serves as the world’s largest showcase and accelerator for industry-vetted emerging-technologies ready for commercialization. It is co-located with the National SBIR/STTR Conference and the National Innovation Summit and Expo.
Researchers at the NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials initially developed the core technologies behind Aluma45™ and BronzeShield™. The Department, along with the North Dakota Center of Excellence in Surface Protection, forms the only corrosion and coatings research center in North America.
According to Dante Battocchi, chief technology officer at Elinor Specialty Coatings, many manufacturers currently rely on toxic coatings, which aren’t nearly as effective on aluminum as the Aluma45™ primers.
North Dakota State University researchers playing a role in years of development of the patented Cr-free Mg-rich technology used in Aluma45-M™ include Dr. Gordon Bierwagen in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU, Dr. Dante Battocchi, and Dr. Michael E. Nanna. Previous research funding that resulted in the development of these coatings was provided by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the Center for Surface Protection, a state Economic Development Center of Excellence at North Dakota State University; and the Product Design Center at NDSU.
“The Innovation Award from TechConnect illustrates the impact this innovative technology can have in a variety of market sectors,” said Dale Zetocha, executive director of the NDSU Research Foundation, which licenses technologies developed at North Dakota State University.
Phase I research for the chromium-free Mg-rich technology was funded at NDSU by monies from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Grant F49620-96-1-0284). Funding of initial research for the selectively removable polymer technology was awarded through Grant MT-2210-03-NC-06 from the National Center for Preservation Technology Training. Both technologies were licensed to Elinor Specialty Coatings through the NDSU Research Foundation.
NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in agricultural sciences, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, and social sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. NDSU is part of the 11-campus North Dakota unified system of higher education governed by the State Board of Higher Education, with its mission to enhance the quality of life for all those served by the NDUS, as well as the economic and social vitality of North Dakota. www.ndsu.edu/research
About Elinor Specialty Coatings
Elinor Specialty Coatings solves problems in coatings-related markets through innovative technology transfer and in-house scientific research and development. The company also offers manufacturing supply chain solutions with MagnaShield™ for magnesium components. Elinor works with manufacturers in the industries of transportation (automotive, shipbuilding) to provide hexavalent chromium-free Mg-rich primers available with Aluma45-M™. In addition, Elinor is addressing a challenge in maintenance and preservation of historical works of art and decorative metal architecture around the world through a technology licensed from North Dakota State University known as BronzeShield.™ www.elinorcorp.com
About the NDSU Research Foundation
The NDSU Research Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports NDSU in its teaching, research and public service missions. The Foundation manages the intellectual properties developed by faculty, staff and students doing research at NDSU and facilitates commercialization of these technologies. By commercializing intellectual property through licensing of technology, the Foundation is able to create resources that are returned to the individual inventors and to the University to promote continued research. www.ndsuresearchfoundation.org