The Detroit Society for Coatings Technology presents:

Future Of Coatings Under Study

Future Of Coatings Under Study

40th Annual

MSU Education Center
Troy, MI

FOCUS 2015—Keeping FOCUS for 40 Years.

Download the full schedule as a 1-page PDF: FOCUS 2015 Program-at-a-Glance.

Click on each speaker below to reveal an abstract and biographical sketch.

  • 7:30–8:30 a.m. Reception Area

    Registration, Coatings Products Showcase & Continental Breakfast

  • 8:30–9:30 a.m. Main Auditorium

    Keynote: John McElroy Autoline

    Get Ready To Rumble, How The Auto Industry Is About To Change Forever


    The automotive industry has started a process of unrelenting change. It is going to completely change the way it manufactures cars (3D printing), it is going to completely change the ownership model (car sharing) and the cars themselves will no longer need drivers (autonomous technology). This is going to be a very disruptive process that will drive many traditional companies out of business at the same time it creates fantastic opportunities for new ones to be created.


    John McElroy is the host of “Autoline Daily” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis. He is also the host of the television program “Autoline This Week,” a weekly half-hour discussion program featuring top automotive executives and journalists. The show can be seen online at McElroy also broadcasts five radio segments daily on WWJ Newsradio 950, the CBS affiliate in Detroit. He writes a weekly blog for and a monthly op-ed article for Ward’s AutoWorld.

    John McElroy brings an extensive background to covering the auto industry. He took his first plant tour when he was only six years old. As he got older, he read any and every book about cars he could get his hands on, which led to an understanding of automotive engineering principles. As his enthusiasm for cars grew, he successfully—though briefly—ventured into amateur road racing. He also gained valuable insight to the industry working as an hourly UAW employee in various automotive manufacturing plants while working his way through college, where he earned a Bachelors Degree in English at Wayne State University.

    As a journalist, McElroy put his automotive background to good use. His past experience includes five years as Detroit Editor for Road & Track, and as the American correspondent for World Cars, which was published by the Automotive Club of Italy. He was also invited to write the annual automotive entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook. He spent most of his career at the trade magazine Automotive Industries where he ultimately rose to Editorial Director.

    McElroy has appeared as an automotive expert on ABC World News Tonight, CBS News, and NBC Nightly News. He is often interviewed by CNN, NPR, and CBC in Canada. He is frequently asked to speak to automakers, suppliers and industry organizations. He is a member of the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year.

    McElroy has won numerous awards for editorial excellence, particularly the Jesse H. Neal award in 1984 for his series titled, “Inside Japan,” and in 1995 and 1997 for his Editorial opinion pieces. In 1997 he was named “Communicator of the Year” by the Sales and Marketing Executives of Detroit. He was awarded first place in the International Wheels Awards in 2004 for his television documentary “The Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise” and in 2005 for his documentary “Challenge Bibendum” and second place in 2006 for “A Car Is Born.”

    John McElroy is a thorough student of the industry as a print journalist, television and radio broadcaster, analyst and lecturer.


  • 9:30–9:45 a.m. Reception Area

    Break & Coatings Products Showcase

  • A.M. Moderator Main Auditorium

    Matt Boland Product Director Axalta Coating Systems

  • A.M. Moderator Amphitheater 101

    Tracy Moorer Sr. Advance Process Specialist, Paint Operations Chrysler Group LLC

  • 9:45–10:20 a.m. Main Auditorium

    Tim December BASF Corporation

    Resin Retrospective 1975–2015: Forty Year Journey of Resins used in Automotive OEM Coatings


    This seminar will present a forty year retrospective of resins used to formulate automotive OEM coatings. The impact of end use drivers such as high solids, improved physical properties and improved durability and their impact on resin design will be discussed. Several examples will be presented to highlight the development of today’s coatings.


    Timothy S. December has a BS /Chemistry from Michigan Technological University and an MS/Chemistry from Oakland University. Tim has been a member of the BASF Coatings Technical Group for more than 30 years with experience in Automotive OEM coatings including: electrocoat, primers, topcoats and the new integrated process systems. He has over 50 coatings patents and pending applications. He has appeared on the History Channel program Modern Marvels–“Paint”.


  • 9:45–10:20 a.m. Amphitheater 101

    Jeffrey A. Quill Q-Lab Corporation

    History of Testing


    Since hoods and fenders were first hung on a fence in Florida in the 1930s, automotive testing has come a long way. From the development of the first standard substrate used to reduce some of the variability in testing to the development of the new state of the art ASTM test method for transportation materials, automotive weathering and corrosion testing has seen a lot of change. We will take a brief look at how the testing of transportation materials has evolved since the first FOCUS conference 40 years ago.


    Jeffrey A. Quill has been Q-Lab’s Director of Products and Applications since 2000.

    He is a member of several ASTM, ISO and SAE committees dealing with standards for weathering and testing of coatings, plastics, printing inks, textiles and other materials. He is considered to be one of the world’s experts on light stability and weathering testing, and has given numerous presentations and seminars and authored many papers on the subject throughout the world.

    Jeffrey has a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University.


  • 10:25–11:00 a.m. Main Auditorium

    Florian Girthofer Valspar

    History of Refinish


    An overview of the Refinish Collision Market will be presented.This will include a review of the changes in paint technology and market dynamics over the last 40 years. The increasing influence of insurance companies and consolidation of repair shops will be discussed along with market trends moving forward.


    Florian Girthofer is Vice President, Channel Strategy of the Valspar Corporation. He joined the company at the end of 2013 from Axalta Coating Systems (former DuPont Performance Coatings, DPC), where he served as the Regional Vice President of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region since the beginning of 2012. Florian joined the DPC business in 2008 and held a variety of leadership positions, including Marketing Director DPC North America and Global Strategy Manager Refinish. Florian joined the DuPont Corporation in 2004 as Manager of Corporate Plans. Prior to joining DuPont, Mr. Girthofer was President and CEO of SKW BioSystems, and President and Chief Operating Officer of SKW/Degussa Construction Chemicals. He began his career in 1991 as management consultant, where he spent 5 years with Arthur D. Little on numerous assignments in the chemical industry.

    Mr. Girthofer is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a graduate degree (Diplom-Kaufmann) in Business Administration from he University Passau, Germany.


  • 10:25–11:00 a.m. Amphitheater 101

    Donald K. Cohen Michigan Metrology

    Substrate Surface Texture “Spectroscopy” and the Prediction of Final Paint Appearance


    A review of the various instruments and analysis techniques used for substrate surface texture measurement will be presented as related to final paint appearance as measured by the BYK Wave-Scan device. Correlation of texture measurements of coated and uncoated steel substrates prior to and after E-Coat along with final painted surface BYK Wave-Scan measurements will be presented. The industry standard substrate measurement, SAE J911 longwave cutoff of 0.8mm will be compared to proposed cutoffs that may better predict final paint appearance for steel substrates.


    Dr. Cohen is the founder of Michigan Metrology, LLC. which was established in 1994, to provide industries with 3D surface texture, flatness and wear measurement and analysis services. Dr. Cohen's holds a B.S./M.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences. Prior to forming Michigan Metrology, Dr. Cohen was with IBM in the data storage area and then later with WYKO Corporation developing surface metrology instrumentation and analyses for various industries. Since forming Michigan Metrology, Dr. Cohen has been providing surface texture related solutions to clients throughout the automotive, medical device, chemical and material sciences industries. Dr. Cohen has served as Chairman of the ANSI/ASME B46.1 Surface Texture Standards committee from 2005–2011.


  • 11:05–11:40 a.m. Main Auditorium

    Scot Dillon Axalta Coatings Systems

    Semi-empirical Methods to Assess Co-solvent Evaporation from Waterborne Films


    Automotive coatings are multicomponent mixtures with complex rheological profiles that are typically applied via spray atomization processes. Understanding the relative evaporative rates of various solvents throughout this process can provide insight leading to optimized flow and leveling of a coating.

    For traditional solventborne automotive coatings, relative evaporation rates as well as mathematical models have been well documented. Waterborne coatings, by contrast, present a more complex system for determining evaporative rates; different evaporative regions are present in aqueous zones versus zones with relatively hydrophobic co-solvents. Relative evaporation rates of co-solvents were determined experimentally by gas chromatograph and are reported on films of waterborne coatings at ambient conditions. Co-solvents of various chemical families were investigated including: alcohols, glycol ethers, and others.


    Scot Dillon is a product support engineer at Axalta Coatings Systems. He has been in the automotive coatings industry for 5 years and holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in Chicago. Scot currently provides research, development, and support for OEM customer accounts and is experienced with waterborne and solventborne paint systems.


  • 11:05–11:40 a.m. Amphitheater 101

    Jim Reader Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

    New Superwetting Surfactants for Automotive Coatings


    Automotive coatings are some of the most demanding coatings applications from both a protection and aesthetics perspective. Multiple layers of different coating chemistries, applied using different methods, must work together with the previous coating layers to achieve the final, high quality appearance and performance. Regulatory and performance demands have led to many of these coatings being formulated with water as the primary carrier, requiring the use of surfactants to ensure consistent wet out of the substrate or previous coating layer and ensure a consistent cured finish.

    This paper will discuss the development of surfactants and antifoams for automotive coatings, beginning with traditional surfactants and oil based defoamers developed for latex interior paints, through the high performance dynamic wetting agents critical for spray applications, and ending with the latest generation of superwetting surfactants. These superwetting surfactants provide waterbased formulations with extremely low surface tension, allowing wetting of very low energy, difficult to wet surfaces like plastics, wood, different metals and other layers of coating. These new surfactants also provide the ability to rapidly migrate to new surfaces and some also have anti-foaming characteristics needed to minimize other problems like pinholing and popping. The paper will also discuss how newer trends, such as reduced coating layers, wet-on-wet application and increased use of plastic substrates will affect additive selection and development.


    Jim Reader graduated from the University of Warwick (UK) in 1988 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry. He joined Air Products and Chemicals in 1998 in Manchester (UK) as a Research Chemist and later an Application Development Chemist for the Epoxy Additives business. He joined the Specialty Additives business in 1996 and has worked in Europe and Asia before becoming a Lead Chemist in Allentown in 2008. His hobbies include soccer, tennis and board games.


  • 11:40–11:50 a.m.

    Student Poster Session

  • 11:50 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Main Dining Room & Reception Area

    Lunch & Coatings Products Showcase

  • 12:45–1:45 p.m. Main Auditorium

    Panel Discussion: Innovation 2.0: Taking Action

    • Jim Charron

      Vice President of Applications Development, Bayer MaterialScience
    • Eric Degenfelder

      Vice President of Global Product Management, Axalta Coating Systems
    • Chris Killian

      Vice President of Specialty Products Technology, Eastman Chemical Company
    • Rose Ryntz

      Vice President of Advanced Development & Material Engineering, IAC Group
  • P.M. Moderator Main Auditorium

    Rudy Pomper Senior Manager, Manufacturing Engineering General Motors Company

  • P.M. Moderator Amphitheater 101

    Mike Mulligan Global Product Manager, Automotive OEM Clearcoats PPG Industries, Inc.

  • 1:50–2:25 p.m. Main Auditorium

    Michael Knight PCCR USA

    Alkyds In Automotive: A Retrospective and Perspective View


    Alkyd enamel paints were introduced on some car and truck models at Ford and Chrysler in the early 1930’s. Unlike nitrocellulose lacquers used at that time, alkyd enamels were very resistant to chemicals and solvents. However, they oxidized in sunlight very quickly showing fading and dulling in a matter of several weeks. With that said, stoving alkyd enamels were used until the mid-1950’s when “reflow” acrylic lacquers were introduced. Gloss was sacrificed with reflow lacquers and by 1960; stoving acrylic enamels were introduced because the auto companies realized that Americans liked a shiny car.

    Alkyd resins and/or modified alkyds are still used today but for underbody/underhood applications where UV durability is not required, but corrosion, chemical resistance and adhesion to poor substrates are important.

    So what’s new with alkyd resin technology today? Still selling lots of conventional solids alkyds today although many said they would be replaced with alkyd emulsions by now. High solids and water reducible alkyds address VOC issue, but not without some sacrifice of performance. Near zero VOC alkyd emulsions have been introduced for DTM applications, but also have shortcomings. They are used in parts of the country where near zero VOC is required. Research is ongoing to improve the performance of alkyd emulsions.


    Michael Knight received his BS in Chemistry from Western Illinois University in 1978 and later completed his MBA at Wayne State University in 1994.

    After graduating with his BS, he started a 20 year career with BASF Automotive OEM Coatings in product development working on resin development, electrodepostion coatings, high solids primers, Stone Guard™ chip resistant coatings, waterborne basecoats, and etch resistant clearcoats, leading product development teams for the latter three product lines. Later he led development teams for 2K urethane for school bus, waterborne basecoats for Heavy Truck and color keyed primers for automotive TPO bumpers.

    In 1998, Mike started working for McWhorter Technologies, now PCCR USA. There he has worked as an Application Chemist, a Technical Market Specialist, and an Account Manager and, now as the Coatings Technical Service Manager. Since 1984, his major focus has been on waterborne resins and coatings including polyester dispersions and alkyd emulsions.


  • 1:50–2:25 p.m. Amphitheater 101

    Mark Gilbert Alberdingk Boley

    The Unique Chemistry of Waterborne UV Curable Resins on Automotive Interior Cabin Substrates


    This presentation will discuss the use of Ultra-Violet Curable Water-Based resins and their application as high performance coatings for various car interior substrates including genuine leather, artificial leather (PVC and TPO), Polycarbonate and ABS rigid plastics. This chemistry will be compared to conventional 2K systems utilizing isocyanates which need time to develop its physical properties versus the instantaneous cure of UV chemistry which produces immediately high performance durability and chemical resistance. The advantages of choosing this type of technology will also be discussed along with some of the hurdles of switching to this type of chemistry. Results from both clear and pigmented systems will be presented.


    Mark Gilbert has over twenty years of experience in the processing and formulating of acrylic emulsions and polyurethanes, mainly in the automotive market with a focus on leather and multiple plastic substrates. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Chemistry from Keene State College, New Hampshire. He currently resides in Greensboro, NC and is employed by Alberdingk Boley as an Applications Chemist – Technical Service.


  • 2:25–2:40 p.m. Reception Area

    Break & Coatings Products Showcase

  • 2:40–3:15 p.m. Main Auditorium

    Susan K. Vicha Borchers OM Group

    Surface Tension Modifying Additives Solve a World of Problems for the Coatings Industry


    Paints and Coatings formulators face many challenges in developing new products and supporting older product lines. Once the pigments and binders have been identified that will meet the customer’s performance requirements the daunting task of balancing the application and final appearance of the product has just begun. The Surface Tension of the coating has to be in an acceptable range to overcome the Surface Energy of the intended substrates, and possible surface contaminations encountered at the customer’s site, otherwise a whole host of issues can occur. This presentation will provide valuable information about identifying the root causes of these issues, how Additive manufacturers have developed strategies to modify the Surface Tension of liquid coatings and recommendations on addressing specific film defects.


    Susan Vicha has been a Chemist with Borchers OM Group, Paint and Coatings Additives, for four years. She came to Borchers OM Group with over twenty years of coatings experience, focused primarily in Automotive Refinish and Powder Coatings, where she was awarded four patents. Susan has an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College and a BA in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University.


  • 2:40–3:15 p.m. Amphitheater 101

    Danielle Hunter Bayer MaterialScience LLC

    Exploring the Unmet Needs of Automotive OEMs: Structural Adhesives


    Bayer MaterialScience conducted a series of exploratory discussions within the Automotive Industry in order to better understand the changing dynamics facing OEMs and Adhesive Companies as they prepare for the 2025 CAFE standards requiring vehicles to achieve 54.5mpg. This presentation will highlight prioritized unmet needs of the industry and the methodology Bayer used to gather and analyze the information.


    Danielle Hunter joined Bayer MaterialScience LLC in 2012 as Market Manager, Adhesives & Sealants. She is an active member of the Adhesives & Sealants Council and is chair of the Marketing Committee. Prior to joining Bayer, she was a Regional Sales Manager for Avery Dennison, focusing converters in the Chicagoland market. She previously worked at Bostik Adhesives, where she was responsible for national sales in automotive and product assembly and also market development for urethane adhesives. She began her career at Dow Chemical, where she held roles in both sales and market development within the construction industry. Danielle is a graduate of the Ohio State University and holds a BA in Psychology.


  • 3:20–3:55 p.m. Main Auditorium

    Scott Swain BASF Corporation

    The Evolution of Pearlescent Effect Pigments


    Designers have long sought to capture and use the iridescence and depth of natural pearls. Automotive designers especially look for ways to utilize the special travel effects pearls can provide to automotive colors. This seminar will help you to understand the principle of how light interacts with natural pearls and pearlescent effect pigments. We will discuss advancements in technology and applications from the first natural micas used in automotive applications to today’s state of the art pearlescent pigments.


    Scott Swain has over 27 years of automotive coatings experience with much of it involving color science and pigment qualification as a formulator. For the past few years Scott has been supporting automotive paint formulators as technical specialist for automotive absorption and effect pigments within BASF’s Dispersion & Pigments Division. He provides technical assistance from BASF’s labs in Wyandotte, MI and Newport, DE. He earned a Master of Science from Eastern Michigan University.


  • 3:20–3:55 p.m. Amphitheater 101

    Elyssa Rautiola Ford Motor Company

    Methods to Quantify Easy-Clean Properties of Surfaces for Automotive Touch Screen Applications


    As touchscreen usage has grown in the automotive and other consumer industries, the need for anti-fingerprint surfaces has become apparent. In this work, methods were developed to quantify the fingerprint-resistant and “easy clean” properties of surfaces. First, a standard solution was formulated that simulates the composition of human fingerprints. A repeatable fingerprint application procedure was then established using a fingerprint stamp produced from the cast of a real fingerprint. To quantify the “cleanability” of the surfaces, a repeatable cleaning method combined with optical haze measurements were used. Subjective tests were conducted, comparing samples in a pair-wise fashion to identify the correlation between an observer’s perception and the quantifiable results collected. Eighteen surfaces were measured and compared using these methods.


    Elyssa Rautiola received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry/Toxicology from Eastern Michigan University in 2013. Following graduation, she joined the Coatings Group at Ford where she contributed to the method development and testing of anti-fingerprint coatings. Her focus continues on the development of functional coatings such as easy clean exterior coatings and brake dust resistant wheel coatings.


  • 3:55–5:00 p.m. Reception Area

    Post-conference Reception