Monthly Archives: December 2011

HK Research President Richard Higgins Inducted into “PCMA Circle of Honor”

Oct. 18, 2002
Richard Higgins-CCT, President of HK Research, was selected as a member of the Piedmont Cultured Marble Association (PCMA) Circle of Honor during its “Hands On” Multi-Regional meeting in October at Comar Inc. in Pelion, SC. “It’s truly an honor to be included in this distinguished group,” Higgins says.

This recognition is currently bestowed on only three other PCMA members. It’s based on years of dedicated service to the PCMA and its members. The PCMA is one of several regional divisions of the International Cast Polymer Association. The PCMA represents the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

For more information on the PCMA, visit


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HK Research Voted ICPA Supplier of The Year

Jan. 25, 2003
HK Research was voted “2002 Supplier of the Year” at the International Cast Polymer Association’s POLYCON national convention in Dallas, TX. HK Research received this honor for its assistance to the manufacturer base, and efforts that went above and beyond that of a standard supplier to the industry. Outgoing ICPA President Todd Werstler announced the Supplier of the Year, and other awards, during the Polycon General Session. Richard Higgins-CCT accepted the recognition on behalf of HK Research.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized as a leader in your industry,” HK President Richard Higgins says. “Our goal is to continue exceeding our customers’ expectations, while always providing a top quality product and excellent customer service.”

The ICPA of the Composites Fabricators Association represents more than 300 manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators and installers of cultured marble, cultured granite, cultured onyx, and solid surface kitchen and bath products. ICPA’s goal is to promote recognition and demand for cast polymer products, represent the industry on legislative and regulatory issues, and maintain high standards of quality in cast polymer products.

The members of ICPA currently account for approximately 85% of the total U.S. production of cast polymer products and a growing volume of the international production. For more information about the ICPA, visit


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HK Research Introduces New Low-HAP Deep Tone Accent Colors at IBEX

Feb. 5, 2003
During the 2003 International Boat Builder Exposition (IBEX), held in Fort Lauderdale, FL every February, HK Research introduced its new Low-HAP Deep Tone Accent Colors. This exciting, innovative product is a first for a gel coat producer, and the only accent color gel coat that meets the Marine MACT standard of 33% HAP.

This introduction expands HK Research’s already broad product line, making it the only gel coat producer to have a COMPLETE line of Marine MACT Compliant gel coats. Other unique gel coat products introduced by HK Research include:

HydroShield® – Amazing blister resistant gel coat for marine hulls.
SolarShield® – Handles high UV situations on marine decks.
HydroShield® LITE – Low-HAP (MACT Compliant) Marine Gel Coats that surpass the industry standards set with HydroShield®.
Low-HAP Pigmented Gel Coats that exhibit little change in 10-year simulated UV exposure.
Low-HAP Clear Gel Coats (well below MACT Standard).

Founded in 1992, IBEX is the leading trade show for the boat building industry. It’s owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine. For more information about IBEX, go to For more information on Professional BoatBuildermagazine, visit


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HK Research Sponsors Team Donzi Powerboat

Feb. 2003
HK Research is a proud sponsor of – and major supplier to – Team Donzi’s entry into the American Powerboat Association Racing League. “Our involvement with the race team is a great opportunity to showcase the quality and performance of our gel coats,” HK President Richard Higgins says.

The APBA is a 100-year-old organization known for exciting, high-performance competition. This year, Donzi is a sponsor of the Off Shore Division. Team Donzi is competing in the F2 class comprised of open cockpit twin-engine powerboats up to 39-feet long. The action begins with the first race of the season at Daytona Beach on April 11. The season will end in November at Key West. Races are commonly broadcast onThe Speed Channel.

Though they vary by location, most APBA courses are five to seven miles long. Race lengths vary by class with the Super Cat and Super Vee running 100 miles. The smaller classes run fewer laps and miles. Points are based on finishing the race and order of finish.

For more information about Donzi Marine, and Team Donzi racing, and For more information about the American Powerboat Association Racing League, visit

Editor’s Note: It is with great sadness that we learned of the untimely death of Steve Simon, Team Donzi’s Director of Racing. To view a tribute to his life and work, please click on the following link:


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HK Research President Richard Higgins Speaks at Midwest Composites Conference Seminar

March 13, 2003
Richard Higgins-CCT, president of HK Research, joined a distinguished group of industry experts to conduct a daylong seminar at the Composite Fabricators Association’s Midwest Composites Conference in South Bend, IN, on March 13, 2003.

The symposium, titled “Improving Gel Coat Cosmetics” offered an in-depth look at the recent advances in low-HAP gel coat products. It covered the manufacture, application and end-properties of these advanced polymers with a focus on enhancing product quality. The novel “team-teaching” interactive format provided an exchange of information and ideas based on the faculty’s collective knowledge and interest of audience members.

The Composites Fabricators Association (CFA) is the world’s largest trade association serving the composites industry. With more than 1,100 members from across the globe, CFA unites manufacturers with their suppliers, distributors, end-users, and other industry stakeholders to harness the power of a united industry. The CFA provides a forum for the composites industry to develop and enhance shared opportunities and address common challenges. Higgins is on the CFA Board of Directors. For more information on the CFA, go to


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ACMA Honors NC Congressman for Legislative Efforts

May 7, 2003
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the world’s largest trade group serving the composites and cast polymer industry, has honored North Carolina Congressman Cass Ballenger with the “Legislator of the Year Award”.

The award, which was presented by ACMA board member Richard Higgins, recognizes legislators who have consistently supported the goals of member companies. “If it weren’t for guys like Cass, our industry would be in trouble,” said Higgins, President of HK Research.

Ballenger’s opposition to a rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was critical for the industry. The rule would have required composite manufacturers to control 95 percent of their emissions during the final stages of production.

HK Research is the industry’s recognized leader in low-HAP gel coats, which allow users to cut their gel coat emissions considerably. Available in a wide range of colors and in every open mold category, these low-HAP gel coats easily exceed current EPA standards.

With more than 1,000 member companies, the ACMA (formerly CFA) is the world’s largest trade group representing the composites industry. The ACMA offers comprehensive training programs, leadership in technical, government and regulatory affairs and hosts COMPOSITES, the industry’s largest North American trade show.

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One-On-One Attention Helps International Marble Excel

One-On-One Attention Helps International Marble Excel

The Challenge
International Marble Industries was experiencing air entrapment in the gel coats it used for its line of cultured marble products. Previous suppliers were unable to correct the problem. Air entrapment causes pitting and other cosmetic flaws in the finished surface.

The Answer
HK Research worked one-on-one with International Marble to develop a gel coat specific to its needs. With input from International Marble, the 1404 Series of Low-HAP NPG-ISO gel coats was born.

The Outcome
International Marble Industries no longer deals with air entrapment, and easily made the transition to HK’s low-HAP gel coats. Today, the two companies continue working together developing new products.

“We feel HK Research is the best at what they do, and that makes us even better at what we do. They have an excellent technical support team, and I appreciate the fact that Dick Higgins is only a phone call away.”

– Nathan Rivera, Operations Manager, International Marble Industries


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Better Quality + Increased Production = Lower Emissions for Jacobs Manufacturing

Better Quality + Increased Production = Lower Emissions

The Challenge
Jacobs Manufacturing was facing two major problems with its gel coats. First, the pump houses and other fiberglass enclosures the company produces were simply not holding up to the typical 100% sun exposure they experience. There was chalking and fading, in most cases, within six months. Second, the lack of a usable low-HAP gel coat was putting pressure to limit emissions on other areas of production.

The Answer
Jacobs began using HK Research’s LHA series of FRP gel coats and noticed the difference immediately. Poor quality, bulky “extender fillers” are the reason gel coats chalk or fade when exposed to the elements. HK Research does not use fillers, therefore delivering a higher quality gel coat. HK is the recognized leader in low-HAPs, offering high quality gel coats with fewer environmentally harmful emissions.

The Outcome
Since switching to HK gel coats there is no visible fading, the exterior retains its luster and chalking is no longer a problem in Jacobs Manufacturing’s products. Additionally, they have been able to increase production by using HK’s low-HAP gel coats.

“In 2002, our production was up 12% over the year before but we actually lowered our emissions. In the last 20 years we have seen tremendous strides in the quality of finishes that are available. Gel coats really hadn’t kept up until HK Research came along.”

– Mike Jacobs, President of Jacobs Manufacturing


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Donzi Marine Finds Gel Coat Answer

Donzi Marine Finds Gel Coat Answer

The Challenge
Gel coat inconsistencies were consuming valuable time during daily production meetings and creating production nightmares for Donzi Marine, a leading manufacturer of high-performance boats. Specifically it was gel coat color variations from one batch to the next, a common problem in boat manufacturing, that was creating headaches for Donzi.

The Answer
A switch to HK Research’s HydroShield® Lite gel coat solved the problem. HK Research holds the tightest color specs in the industry, thanks to a fully-automated plant and a unique method of making gel coats. That kind of barrel-to-barrel consistency means fewer, if any, finish repairs.

The Outcome
For Donzi, it means one less thing to worry about in production meetings.

We used to spend a big portion of our daily production meeting wrestling with gel coat problems. Since we switched to HK Research gel coats, the topic rarely comes up.”

— Steve Simon, VP Operations, Donzi Marine

Editor’s Note: It is with great sadness that we learned of the untimely death of Steve Simon, Team Donzi’s Director of Racing. To view a tribute to his life and work, please click on the following link:


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