A longer life with Lamoral®

march 29, 2019

Becoming a global player in sustainable coatings is the ambition of Theo Verweerden, co-founder and CEO of Lamoral®. Based at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, the company is on the verge of a breakthrough for a coating offering a 100% guarantee that it will block UV rays from the sun, prevent corrosion and repel dirt. “The life of materials can be managed over time. Now that’s what I call sustainable.”
 

He has to refrain from mentioning names; it’s still a bit too early for that. “Together with various large multinationals in Europe and Asia, we are about to sign contracts,” Theo Verweerden says, taking some time out of his busy schedule to chat over a cup of coffee at Center Court at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. “During this phase, it’s better to keep this information close to the vest until all the legal details have been worked out. This is how it works, particularly when you have developed a unique product like this, a coating based on fluoropolymer that truly filters out all the UVA and UVB rays from the sun, making it extremely durable. It has also been tested extensively by different independent institutions. There is a lot of interest in the product. I think the first large batches of coating will be produced sometime this spring. We’ve made a start, and the next step is to roll out the Lamoral brand, initially in Western Europe and Asia, and then worldwide. Lamoral has to become a brand name synonymous with the most durable coating in the world.”

 

Space travel

Theo Verweerden’s words reveal a marketing background. “That’s right; I worked as a marketing director for Rohm and Haas and DSM, but I have always remained a chemist. A few years ago, I learned about a very special coating for antennas used for space travel. This coating is resistant to long-term, extremely high doses of sunlight and extreme cold. This is of course essential in space but actually has much broader applications. To make a long story short: we sat down with two investors and a technologist to perfect the coating and make it suitable for broader uses. Lamoral was founded in 2016 and I took the lead over the company as an entrepreneur and CEO.”

 

CHILL

The first assignment was to develop a coating that could be applied to different types of materials. Initially, this was done at a small lab in the innovation center in Weert, and it wasn’t long before the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen joined in. “The CHILL labs, to be more precise. This was where we tested a vast array of formulas and applications for about two years, together with the researchers from universities and schools of applied sciences as well as students and teachers of course. The results were astounding, and were reason enough to submit the initial prototypes to independent institutes for evaluation. The conclusion was unambiguous: the Lamoral® coating is 100% sustainable. In addition to repelling all radiation and corrosion so that materials won’t get weathered and discolored, it also repels dirt.”

 

Markets

The next step was to find customers. “Actually,” Theo Verweerden specifies, “first we defined the markets we wanted to conquer first. There are so many applications for this coating so we had to narrow our focus. The marketing and sales budget are also limited, so for the time being, we are focusing primarily on businesses in the construction, signage and textile sectors. The coating is ideal for protecting the outside of buildings, window and door frames and roofs, and can also play a role in climate control. The reflection of sunlight makes it easier to cool buildings in the summer or in countries with warm climates. Our customer in Asia took some measurements and concluded that more than 35% of the energy used can be saved. This leads to a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions. So, it’s sustainable, but most of the sustainability benefits may be gained by slowing down the weathering process. A circular economy is great, but it’s even better to be able to use materials longer. In actual fact, we are extending the life of these materials, which is where our payoff, ‘Taming Time’ comes from.”

 

Color

Intensive tests have shown that advertising and other types of signage that are processed with Lamoral® retain their color. “This is also an important market for us, as is the textile sector. The coating is 100% moisture- and dirt-repellent. It may be applied to canvas but also clothing for firefighters and athletes. Bram Tankink, former professional cyclist and currently the sustainability ambassador for this campus, tested a coated cycling jersey. It stays dry in all weather conditions.”

Musing about it, Theo Verweerden sees so many other options. “Ships, solar panels, airplanes and cars. The potential is huge. Is it strange that a company as small as Lamoral could have invented this? No, that’s how it often works with innovations. It’s certainly not always the multinationals who reinvent the wheel.”

 

Brightlands Chemelot Campus

Once the first customers sign a contract, Lamoral® will start outsourcing production to existing factories. The Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen will remain the base of operations for development, sales and marketing. “We have the opportunity here to join networks and are grateful to be able to tap into the potential of the educational institutes and CHILL. There are so many parties working on materials, and sustainability is a mainstay here. Finally, together with the industrial site, the Brightlands Chemelot Campus is an appealing environment, also when it comes to meeting with potential customers. It’s the ideal location for us to conquer the world.”

 

www.lamoral-coatings.com

Lamoral
Lamoral
  overview news & events