KY EPSCoR: Funding to Support Proposing a Kentucky-Based NSF Engineering Research Center in Surface Coatings Research and Applications

  • Saito, Kozo (PI)
  • Grulke, Eric (CoI)
  • Holloway, Larry (CoI)
  • Kuwana, Kazunori (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Funding is requested to develop a proposal for a Kentucky-based NSF Engineering Research Center in Surface Coatings. The ERC will be the natural outgrowth of work begun at the University of Kentucky Painting Technology Laboratory in collaboration with Toyota Motor Co., especially Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, North America, work which has already resulted in the Vortecone, innovative and patented paint booth technology now in use in several Toyota facilities. The funding requested will be used to leverage the outreach already begun by the Painting Technology Workshop, begun in 2000, and will rely on the seeds of industry collaboration already planted by UK's Painting Technology Consortium and KYNanoMat, the UK! University of Louisville nanotechnology partnership. Beyond the research capabilities of its eventual members and collaborators, the strength of the proposed research center (and of its proposal) comes crom the group's ability to make an impact in several key areas simultaneously. Research initiatives that develop new technologies and approaches in painting technology will have an impact on (I) the automobile industry, (2) the paint industry (3) and their associated suppliers. At the same time UK PTL's on-going research is committed to (4) developing technologies that will reduce environmental impact, thus supporting the goals of state and federal legislation and assisting industry in compliance with environmental regulations as well as with lowering costs. Because of its (5) long-nurtured strengths in lean manufacturing (through association with the lean manufacturing program at the UK Center for Manufacturing), the UK PTL has yet another attribute that will attract industry participation and be of substantial benefit to the consortium's partners. Such a center is a good economic fit for Kentucky because of an already-strong auto industry and paint industry presence in the Commonwealth. The paint manufacturing industry in Kentucky consists of more than 20 operations, four of which represent larger organizations: PPG Industries has its Olympic and Porter Paint divisions in Louisville and Sherwin-Williams Company has its Automotive Finishes division in Richmond. YH America in Versailles is a division of the much larger Yokohama Hydex Co. Ltd. ofToyko; Magni Industries is a division of the multinational Magni Group Inc.; Teknor Color Company in Henderson is a division of Teknor Apex Co. Kentucky is the 3rd largest producer of trucks in the U.S., the 4th largest producer of cars and makes 10% of all cars and trucks produced in the U.S. Kentucky has the 3rd highest level of auto industry employment in the U.S.; approximately 6% of the state's workforce is directly or indirectly employed in an auto related industry. Assembly plants in Kentucky include Toyota, G.M. (Corvette), and Ford (2 plants). In addition, Kentucky is home to over 450 auto industry supplier facilities. This overview, it should be noted, is a modest count which does not include the paint or auto industry presence in nearby states, such as PTC member Honda of America's assembly plant in Maysville, Ohio.
Effective start/end date4/1/0412/31/08


  • KY Science and Technology Co Inc: $19,987.00


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