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HK Announces Appointment of Brannon Pittman to Technical Services Manager

We are pleased to announce that Brannon Pittman, veteran of 14 years of Gel Coat development and customer service at HK, has been formally promoted to Technical Service Manager for the company. His responsibilities will include assisting the field representatives where necessary, trial runs of products in composite plants around the country and providing the follow-up laboratory work to assist our current and new customers.

We congratulate Brannon on his new position, a position he has earned with a great deal of hard work and effort.

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HK Research Starts a Revolution in 2012

HICKORY, NC — HK Research, the industry’s gel coat expert, unveiled a new user-friendly, grafted polymer matrix named “Revolution” during the 2012 Composites Exhibition and Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

HK Research is confident that its new Revolution® polymer will live up to its name. “Polyester gel coat technology has changed very little over the past 70 years. Until now,” explained David Higgins, VP of Marketing and Sales, HK Research. “What makes Revolution different is its ability to ‘flex’ due to the changes in its molecular structure. Revolution has multiple reactive sites that allow superior cross-link density and inherent flexibility. While providing outstanding in-shop application properties, Revolution Polymer offers the best weathering properties and water -resistance — all at a price competitive with traditional gel coats.”

Using a proprietary grafting technique, HK Research completely re-engineered the polymer’s molecular makeup. As a result of this molecular re-engineering, Revolution features modified resin backbones, grafted polymer chains, controlled uniform molecular weights and flexible cross-links. Ordered monomer grafting minimizes UV degradation, maximizes application characteristics, increases transfer efficiency and reduces water permeation through a polymer network. And, like all HK products, Revolution Polymer is specially engineered to deliver outstanding performance in the shop and in the field.

Based in Hickory, North Carolina, HK Research has the largest facility in North America designed exclusively for premium polymer coating manufacturing. HK Research’s fully automated facility produces the world’s most advanced, consistently reproducible coating products for marine, aerospace, transportation and pool and spa industries.  Barrel to barrel, HK Research’s coatings deliver superior protection that lasts, maintains a new appearance longer, and adapts easily to the production process, saving time and money on every run.

For more information on HK Research or their products, visit their new website or call (800) 334-5975.


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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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