AkzoNobel recently opened a €7 million (~ $10 million) state-of-the-art fire protection laboratory at its Felling, UK, site. The new facility is part of a major €10 million (~ $14 million) investment in research, development and innovation (RD&I) that will create around 40 new jobs.

The lab will be operated by the company’s Marine and Protective Coatings business, a leading supplier of fire protection coatings used to protect steel structures such as buildings and oil and gas installations. The global market is growing rapidly due to increasingly stringent fire protection regulations worldwide, with forecasters expecting demand to double by 2018.

“This modern facility will help us to drive innovation and deliver cutting-edge performance coatings technology in line with what our customers demand,” said Graeme Armstrong, the company’s executive committee member responsible for RD&I. “We have installed furnaces on a scale that will test what conditions our coatings materials have to withstand, enabling us to supply our customers with technically sophisticated solutions that are proven and commercially viable.”

For more information, visitwww.akzonobel.com.