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Cornelius delivers Venator Zirconium drier alternative

Cornelius, an independent European manufacturer and distributor of high-performance chemicals for the industrial manufacturing sector, is telling paint manufactures not to be alarmed by recent zirconium price increases and to use alternative zirconium driers instead.

Zirconium is used in a large variety of industrial applications including paint driers, accelerators and catalysts for the coatings and inks market.

Produced predominantly in Australia, West Africa and China, Zircon sand - the raw material for all zirconium chemicals - is in short supply due to mining restrictions, which has reduced availability and subsequently driven price increases.

Mike Goodhew, Performance Chemicals Business Manager at Cornelius, said: “With a lack of additional supply to balance market demand, pricing has inevitably increased. Early reports suggest the cost of the mineral will increase again early in 2018. There are concerns over obtaining further Zircon sand and subsequently on the zirconium raw material derivatives required for Drier paint manufacture. However, a strong substitute solution could reduce demand.”

Cornelius is partnered with Venator, a global manufacturer of innovative pigments and additive products, who offer an alternative that can be used as a direct replacement to the zirconium drier, not affecting the formulation or product.
Overbased Strontium driers are a cost-effective alternative providing superior drying performance and are more cost-effective than neutral grades. They can also reduce the requirements of auxiliary driers in the system such as calcium. Strontium also offers improved loss of dry performance on storage when compared to Zirconium.

Mike added: “Thanks to Venator, we are able to offer a wide range of high-quality Strontium driers, which are excellent drop-in alternatives for those who seek to replace zirconium. They deliver outstanding results for customers and are now considered to have better all-around performance than zirconium driers.

“Up until now, zirconium has been viewed by the industry as a crucial ingredient to deliver quality and performance. Venator has the widest range of Strontium driers available on the market, giving Cornelius the opportunity to supply viable solutions that address cost, functionality and quality.

“There are no supply issues with Strontium and the price is stable at present, giving our customers the reassurance they need when experiencing volatile demand and supply issues. The range of alternative driers will reduce the industry’s reliance on a product that is facing serious supply shortages.”