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BYK-Chemie GmbH.


BYK-Chemie GmbH

Abelstrasse 45

46483 Wesel, Germany

Phone: + 49 281 670-0

Fax: + 49 281 65735





524 South Cherry Street

Wallingford, CT 06492

Phone: 203-265-2086



BYK Additives & Instruments is a globally operative, branch-leading supplier of additives for coatings, inks, plastics and paper surfaces as well as instruments for the objective assessment of color, appearance and physical properties of coatings, plastics, and paper surfaces.

Over a period of many decades, BYK has repeatedly introduced innovative products to the market, opening up new perspectives for the effectiveness and potential uses of additives and instruments.

Additives are chemical addition agents which are mixed in tiny quantities with coatings, inks and plastics and which serve to refine and finish paper surfaces. They improve product properties such as the scratch resistance and gloss of surfaces.

The first-ever BYK additive on the market was launched in 1935 for coatings. This was when BYK developed their ANTI-TERRA[R] product. It ensured that pigments in coatings could be evenly distributed--a significant quality improvement for the manufacture of coatings.

The history of BYK itself dates from a full 60 years earlier. In 1873, Dr. Hemrich Byk founded a chemicals factory in Berlin under his own name, initially manufacturing sleeping pills. In 1917, the company merged with the Farb- und Gerbstoffwerke (paint and tanning agent works) to form the Byk-Guldenwerke AG; the Ernst Lomberg photochemical factory later being added to the group.

In 1962, BYK established its Wesel works and launched production of paint and plastics additives there. As a globally active specialty chemicals company, BYK also has production plants in Kempen (Germany), Deventer (the Netherlands), Wallingford (USA) and Tongling (China). The BYK instruments section (BYK-Gardner GmbH) is centered in Geretsried in Upper Bavaria.

As one of the four business sectors within the ALTANA Group, BYK Additives & Instruments employs around 1,200 staff worldwide, more than 600 of them in Wesel. In 2008, company turnover amounted to EUR 450 million. Some 86% of that turnover was earned abroad, especially in neighboring European countries, the USA and the Asian market.

Innovative additive developments

In the late 1990s, BYK was the first additives manufacturer to begin successfully utilizing controlled polymerization technology (CPT), thus allowing improved control of the fine structures of additives. BYK has since developed several CPT-based products which are internationally in demand. BYK was also very quick to embrace nanotechnology. Minute quantities of nano particle solids significantly improve the properties of coatings and plastics. By using nano additives, it is possible not only to increase the UV screening of wood coatings or improve the scratch resistance of coatings, but also to generate "self-healing" effects in coatings.

In 2008, BYK introduced the first rheology modifying wax emulsion to the market. AQUATIX 8421 improves the orientation of effect pigments in aqueous coatings while also reducing sedimentation.

Every year, BYK invests 8% of its turnover in research and development--a figure that is twice as high as the industry standard. For BYK, innovative developments are closely oriented towards present and future customer demands.

One in five BYK staff works in interdisciplinary teams dedicated to furthering new developments and leveraging staff competence from the various specialty fields. BYK rewards excellence in development work (annually) with its internal "BYK Advance" innovation prize.

Innovative solutions for quality control

The innovative BYK-Gardner instruments are like "objective eyes", because they are capable of measuring how the human eye perceives a surface.

In terms of appearance measuring instruments, BYK is the global market leader. At the present day, for example, wave-scan and "structure space" have become globally established standards in the automotive industry for determining orange peel effect (waviness) and DOI (distinctness of image). The "structure space" is a special assessment system in which the measured values correlate with the visual perception. It was developed by the "Orange Peel Working Group" under the chairmanship of BYK and with the active participation of leading automotive manufacturers.

A new, innovative instrument in the color measurement sector is the BYK-mac. This handheld device objectively determines the overall color impression of effect coatings.

In contrast to uniform colors, the appearance of effect coatings changes depending on the angle from which they are seen, or on light conditions. Certain types of effect pigments create a sparkle effect when the sun shines. If the sky is clouded, however, the visual impression changes entirely, often being described as "graininess". This graininess is determined by flake size and flake orientation. Conventional color measurement instruments are unable to adequately describe these effects; the BYK-mac, by contrast, reliably measures color change, sparkle and graininess.

Close to the customer

BYK places great importance on being close to its customers and remaining in constant dialog with them. This is one of the reasons why the company is represented in more than 100 countries and regions around the globe.

In eleven technical service laboratories, BYK offers customers and application engineers support for concrete questions. At its locations in Wesel, Deventer or in Asia, the USA and Brazil, BYK develops solutions for various application sectors--such as automotive coatings, inks or general industrial coatings, etc. And BYK makes its experience internationally available in the form of customer seminars at which some 1,100 participants from around the world are informed and trained each year.

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Title Annotation:Company Capabilities 2009
Publication:Coatings World
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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