When Bill Allmond said to me in a podcast we recorded about the ASC’s 2023 Convention and EXPO that he was excited to “bring everybody back together again,” I didn’t really get the full meaning of that statement. After my first time attending the event last week in New Orleans, I understand it a little better. This industry is a tightknit group. You like each other; you enjoy getting together. Every public space that was available – from the coffee shop to the bar – was full of adhesive and sealant folks chatting it up. 

The event reminded me that we do our best work when we interact and collaborate with others. People come together at events like the ASC convention because talking to other people about what you are doing and listening to what others are doing in their respective fields sparks in our brains new ideas and new ways to solve problems. Likewise, seeing friends and colleagues in a more relaxed setting offers a pause that allows people to return to work with a more energized and hopeful approach to their jobs. Events give us many opportunities to learn, both formally and informally. 

For me, the convention had many educational opportunities, with discussions and presentations focused on some of the most pressing concerns within the industry, such as the supply chain, the regulatory landscape, and sustainability. And technical presentations discussed the latest developments for adhesive formulators. I was especially impressed with Michael Okoroafor’s keynote address on Wednesday morning. He is the chief sustainability officer at the spice company McCormick & Co., and he offered insights into how his company partners with suppliers and the broader world to create a more sustainable business model. It was especially interesting because Okoroafor’s background is in packaging — which faces challenges in terms of sustainability and its contribution to GHG emissions. Adhesives will play a key role as the packaging industry solves those problems. 

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the ASC’s Innovation Awards. In its seventh year, the awards honor the top three innovations from the industry. This year, the council received 30 submissions, and independent judges reviewed them against a list of categories and weightings. 

The primary award was presented to Albert Giorgini and the team at H.B. Fuller for their development entitled “EV Protect 4006 Lightweight Encapsulant for Lithium-Ion Batteries.” This technology represents a two-component foaming, flame-retardant polyurethane encapsulant that prevents or inhibits thermal runaway in lithium-ion battery packs. During the awards ceremony, we watched a video that demonstrates how the technology inhibits runaway fires in those packs. Congratulations to H.B. Fuller for this award and for developing a technology that will make the electric vehicles we drive much safer. 

Nvirovate received the first runner up award for a development called “Soybean Oil PSA: Brand ESG & Sustainability Enabler.” The company is a start-up that is developing pressure-sensitive adhesives from soy oil, creating a closed-loop, sustainable product that will be better for the environment. Xlynx received the second runner up prize for its innovation, “Development of Universal Covalent Adhesives for Use with Low Surface Energy Polymers.” Make sure to read this article in the October 2022 issue of ASI that features the technology from Xlynx

Speaking of new technology, I am excited for you to read this month’s ASI, where we offer articles on innovations available to adhesives formulators. Within the eMagazine is an article from King Industries about the performance of non-tin catalysts as tin replacements, providing desirable regulatory and performance attributes. Also featured is the article from Cardolite’s presentation at the 2022 Polyurethanes Technical Conference, which discusses the application of renewable, cashew nutshell liquid-based polyols in CASE and polyurethane foams. I hope you enjoy this issue of ASI, and I hope to see you soon at another industry event!